Top Shading Inks

Pen Chalet’s Top Shading Inks!

Last week we heard from all of you and you cast your votes. Sheen, in a landslide victory, was the winner over shimmer. However, there were a surprising number of votes cast for another ink quality that we have yet to talk about. This week we are bringing you Pen Chalet’s Top Shading Inks.

Continue reading for a chance to win one of the four Top Shading Inks!

What is Shading?

Shading inks, as the name implies, are inks that produce multiple shades of the same color depending on the variation of line wetness. You can have a red ink that is a deep red with some strokes, but a lighter, dusty red on other strokes. Shading, unlike sheen and shimmer on occasion, is almost always acceptable in the work place. This may be one of the reasons why these inks are so popular. Another reason for their popularity, is the depth of color that you can get with them.

Top Four Shading Inks

Top Four Shading Inks

Diamine Marine

On the far left we have Diamine Marine. An ink made to represent the colors of the ocean, Diamine Marine, can shade form a deeper blue-green, to a lighter aqua. As you write, you will definitely notice shading with this ink. Diamine has many other inks that are great shaders. A great example of this is Diamine Earl Grey, the Diamine Special edition color for the fountain pen community on Reddit.

Sailor Jentle Apricot

Second from the left we have Sailor Jentle Apricot. Shading from a dark orange to an almost yellow-orange, Sailor Jentle Apricot captures all of the shades of a real Apricot. Sailor’s inks are well known for their great properties, and for being very reliable. Also, we still have many of the 50ml bottles available before the change to 20ml bottles will occur.

J Herbin Bleu Pervenche

J Herbin Bleu Pervenche, or Periwinkle Blue, produces all of the subtle blues you could find on a periwinkle. Also, Bleu Pervenche is a very reliable ink that has great flow, and a great drying time. J Herbin is popular for their shimmering inks like Emerald of Chivor , although their other inks are just as great.

Robert Oster Caffe Crema

Robert Oster has well over a hundred ink colors to choose from, and each one pulls its inspiration from the “Land Down Under”. Caffe Crema, an Italian reference to an espresso, encapsulates every color you love to see in your daily cup. It’s not often that a brown ink makes it into the top, but Caffe Crema is exceptionally well-behaved, and the shading it can produce is simply astounding.


Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about shading inks, and have some new inks that you’d like to try out. Comment below with some of your favourite shading inks! Don’t forget to share this with your friends and to subscribe to our blog! Also, don’t forget to enter below in our giveaway! ‘Til next week!

Enter to Win a Bottle of One of Our Top Shading Inks

Enter to Win a Bottle of One of Our Top Shading Inks that we used in this review:

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63 thoughts on “Pen Chalet’s Top Shading Inks!

  1. EH

    Monteverde Rose Noir is one of my favorite shading inks. I love the transitions from dark purple to lighter purple. I love Sailor Apricot, but I think it’s shading is extremely subtle. My bottle seems to give a fairly consistent deep orange (unless I use it in an ink wash). 🙂

    1. Christopher D Seetomona

      Don’t really have experience with shading inks but would love to try the Sailor Gentle Apricot!

  2. DK Goodyk

    I love Pilot Iroshizuku inks with the way they shade. I’m falling in love with Diamine inks though.

  3. Julie

    I love shading inks to the point of not really even loving an ink that doesn’t shade. My favorite is R&K Alt Goldrun (which may be spelled wrong). I love that Robert Oster!!

  4. Geoffrey Dunn

    Glad to see shading inks are tops!!! I enjoy all types and brands but Robert zoster inks are my favourite for shading. Thanks for a great review!

  5. DUMONTIER Marjorie

    The Sailor Apricot is pretty cool but the Diamine looks gorgeous as well …

  6. matthew fitzgerald

    I like the Diamine Marine best. As for orange/yellow shading, my favorite is Noodler’s Habenero.

  7. Phillip B

    I see my favorite ink made it on the list. Sailor Jentle Apricot is a great ink for shading, on Tomoe River it has a little sheen and wonder orange and yellow tones.

  8. Rachel McNulty

    I don’t have a personal favorite shading ink. Of these four I really like the Diamine Marine and Sailor Apricot.

  9. BrooklynBeka

    I think Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku shades beautifully. I forgot about my Diamine Marine I’ll have to finally use it, thanks for the reminder!

  10. Samantha Crabtree

    Some of my favorite shading inks are Diamine Earl Grey, Meadow, and Ancient Copper, Robert Oster Aussie Brown, and Monteverde Fire Opal. There are several more that I like, but these are the ones can I think of at the moment.

  11. Cassandra

    The Robert Oster is just such a classic look. I could see that becoming my signature ink… Thanks for doing the giveaway!

  12. Laura Franke

    I much prefer shading inks to sheen or shimmer. I don’t really have a favorite yet though.

  13. Cincu Dan

    Finally now I know the difference between shimmering and shade inks. Nice post. And I would go to the Robert Oster Caffe Crema … souch a peacefully color

  14. Orin

    The best I’ve tried are Diamine Ancient Copper, Diamine Meadow, and Robert Oster Emerald.

  15. David Knapp

    That Diamine Marine is lovely, but I’ve had problems with it bleeding through the papers on which it’s used….

  16. Ron Parish

    Thanks for another great giveaway. Please do mor of these comparisons. Thanks.

    1. Ron Parish

      I forgot to add my favorite shading ink. That’s a tough one, but you just can’t beat Robert Oster’s Fire & Ice. Yes, I know about the sheen, but it also has great shading properties.

  17. Athena PN

    Love shading inks! One of my favorites is Noodler’s ‘Black Swan in Australian Roses.’ I just tried a sample of Robert Oster ‘Lipstick Red,’ a fascinating dusty red that’s quite different from the red inks I’ve tried and has some intriguing shading too. So much good ink to choose from!

  18. Patrick E. Tinney

    The only ink that I really have logs of shading with is Black Swan In English Roses (Noodler’s).

  19. Ged Alangui

    Good review and makes me wanna get a Sailor Jentle Apricot. All of them are gorgeous.

  20. Amy R

    These are all great examples of shading, but my favorite is Noodler’s Apache Sunset. Those hues!

  21. Alek N.

    Oh, I love that Cafe Crema! And as for my favorite shading ink – I’d say J.Herbin Lie de The is great.

  22. Sarah Wishnevsky

    I’m in love with so many of them! Kyo-no-oto Hisoku, Iroshizuku Yu-Yake, De Atramentis Oriental Red, and Colorverse Electron, just to name a few I like a lot right now. Possibly my favorite is Oster Frankly Blue, though — although a friend of mine has his limited edition Ten Dollar Note inks and those are amazing too.

  23. Sakshi Reddy

    Sailor Apricot is absolutely beautiful. The perfect orange and my personal favourite shading ink of these.

  24. Bryan

    I really like Noodler’s Apache Sunset – but I have a soft spot for any orange ink.

  25. Nicole S

    Personally, I’m still searching for a favorite, but I’m still new to this game 🙂

  26. Teri

    I’m a shade type of gal. I think my favorite shading ink is Seitz-Kreunach Cognac, such a lovely brown.

  27. Papish

    Love Sailor Apricot, but sometimes it feels too bright.
    Thank you for the giveaway!

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