Inkmas Day 3: DeAtramentis Document White

12 days of Inkmas


Review by Tina Koyama

I had two main reasons for wanting to try White in the DeAtramentis Document waterproof ink series (available in 19 colors). Holiday cards often come with red or green envelopes, so I thought it would be fun to try addressing some of mine with white ink. That was my holiday motivation. My sketching motivation was that I use a white Sakura Gelly Roll gel pen fairly frequently – most often in a red Field Notes Sweet Tooth notebook – but Gelly Rolls are water-soluble, and that’s occasionally a problem when I combine it with wet media. I wondered if waterproof Document ink would be a good option for both purposes.

Before I get to the ink itself, let’s address the more immediate pen issue. My intention was to fill a fountain pen with it, but once I chose a pen, it took forever to sufficiently flush what I thought was an already clean nib to use it with white ink. No matter how many times I flushed it, traces of the pen’s previous blue ink were visible.

I got so tired of flushing and reflushing that I finally gave up and decided to use a dip nib. (I guess that would have been the smarter choice anyway, but I’m not well-practiced in dipping, so I thought the fountain pen would be easier.) If you want to use this ink in a fountain pen, I recommend buying a brand new one and dedicating it to white ink only. You have been warned!

I was a little disappointed that this ink isn’t more opaque. Compared to my white Gelly Roll, which is an opaque, consistent white, Document White is milkier and has areas that are less opaque. I shook my sample to see if that would help, but I didn’t notice any difference. The brush swatch, especially, shows the lack of consistency in opacity.

My writing sample was done on a red page of a Shizen Design multi-colored notebook, where you can see varying degrees of opacity depending on the thickness of the line and how recently I had dipped. If I were adept at using a flex nib to get lots of thicks and thins, the variety would be interesting and probably attractive.

I’ve seen examples online of calligraphers using white acrylic ink to write on dark papers with lovely results, so this ink might be a good candidate for that (though not by me). Used with a heavier nib, the uneven opacity would be less of an issue, and the ink is certainly waterproof, so it would be a fun option for those colored envelopes.


Tina Koyama is an urban sketcher in Seattle. Her blog is Fueled by Clouds & Coffee, and you can follow her on Instagram as Miatagrrl.

DISCLAIMER: Some of the items included in this review were provided free of charge for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Written by

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Tina, I’ve read that for using fountain pen ink with a dip pen, you can add something that makes the ink more viscous. That might help with the shading you experienced as well.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.