Sunday, 11 October 2020

De Atramentis Artist Inks

I've posted before about the lovely De Atramentis Document Inks, created in Germany in 2014. These were a game changer when they first came out and I still love sketching with them. Mostly I use the Brown, various variations of Grey, and the Black, but I have also made a lovely burnt sienna ink, a raw sienna ink and some fun oranges and greens to draw with over the years.

Here are my previous posts.

Mixing Document Inks November 2014, updated January 2015, which shows a number of two-colour and a few three-colour mixes, and their ratios. 

De Atramentis Inks - Mixing Document Greys  November 2014, updated January 2015. This was in answer to a question about how to mix greys using other colours. I tend to make them with Blue and Brown.

De Atramentis Inks mixed with Black  November 2014

De Atramentis Document Ink Mixes - Magenta, Blue and Yellow  December 2014, update January 2015. This explores many three-colour mixes using the Blue rather than Cyan as the primary blue.

De Atramentis Document Ink colours  January 2015

More Three-Colour Mixes with De Atramentis Inks January 2015. This explores a range of three-colour mixes.

Documented Inks Revisited October 2018 which shows the inks mixed with Black and with White.

They also appear in Fountain Pen Inks June 2018, Coloured Drawing Inks November 2014 and Packing inks and pens September 2015 and a few others, and whenever I talk about my sketching supplies. 

Over the years, the colour range has expanded and the bottles have changed size from 35ml to 50ml. The current bottles are larger rounded bottles but will shortly change to elegant square bottles with larger lids. I'll update with a photo once these are available.

The current range as shown on the De Atramentis website shows 17 colours. They are now called 'Artist Inks' but have the same properties as the original 'Document Inks'. They are nano-pigmented, waterproof and lightfast mixable inks designed for fountain pens. 

De Atramentis Artist Inks - White, Yellow, Orange, Red, Dark Red, Magenta.

De Atramentis Artist Inks - Violet, Blue, Dark Blue, Cyan, Turquoise, Dark Green.

De Atramentis Artist Inks - Green, Brown, Sepia, Grey, Black.

There is also a thinner available called Artist Ink Thinner so you can dilute the colours without changing the properties. 

The colours are the same as the original Document colours, apart from the Green, which is now brighter. The current Dark Green is similar to the original Document Green I used for my mixing experiments.

Treat the Blue as an ultramarine or warm blue for mixing purposes. Treat the Cyan as a phthalo or cool blue for mixing. The Red is the warm red and the Magenta is the cool red for mixing purposes. I still love the colours you can create exploring the triad of Blue, Magenta and Yellow.

There are many more pigmented inks available now than there were when these were first released, which is terrific for artists who want to sketch with colourful waterproof inks in our fountain pens. I've explored many of them in this post but have stuck with the De Atramentis inks in my own pens.

These inks are available directly from De Atramentis in Germany; from in the US, from in Australia and many other places. 

Disclosure: I was kindly sent this range of inks by the manufacturer, but all opinions are my own. 


  1. Hello there, I was wondering if you have noticed any difference between the artist line of inks and the document line? They seem to just occasionally have different names for the same colors (I believe document urban gray is the same as artist gray for example) and the artist inks are the same price for an extra 5ml. Thanks!

    1. The original bottles contained more ink than their label suggests so you may see two different amounts on the labels.
      The colours are pretty much the same apart from the green, as you can see if you look at previous posts.
      Urban Grey was created especially for in Australia, but it took off everywhere so now I guess it is just called Grey. I'll have a better look at both to see if they are identical or just similar...

  2. This is a wonderful post! My interest is writing rather than painting. (I used to do calligraphy when I was young, but now I limit myself to handwriting which I find fun and relaxing.) I like waterproof inks but thought that the de Atramentis colors were kind of blah. I'd heard you could mix them, but I really don't know much about mixing colors. All the links on this post are so helpful in showing me how to mix and what wonderful colors can be made. Thank you!

    1. Being able to mix exactly the colour you want, rather than buying multiple bottles, is really fun. I find the most useful for mixing are the Yellow, Fuchsia (magenta) and Blue (rather than the Cyan). I also love the greys you can mix with the Blue and Brown and the sienna colours you can create with the Yellow and Brown.

  3. Translated from their website:
    "Document ink must not be correctable and must not be removable without traces. The ink color must be lightfast and under the influence of water, the ink may only run so far that the writing lines remain visible. It must also be resistant to certain chemicals and solvents".
    "The Artist Ink is waterproof and lightfast"