Art Supply Throwdown: Black Ink Pad Comparisons

Hello dear friends! A couple of days ago on Instagram, I shared a photo of an ink pad that I tried for the first time. It’s Memento Luxe by Tsukineko. I received so many questions about it that I thought I’d post a quick comparison between the black inks that I currently have on hand.

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As an art journaler who enjoys using stamps in her mixed media projects, I’m always on the lookout for permanent black ink. I like it to be juicy, dark and most of all, I want it to stay put when I brush wet mediums over it.

A few months ago I switched from StazOn to Hero Arts India Ink just to try something different. They both work great but I wanted something that stamped a little darker. Stumbling across Memento Luxe gave me the perfect opportunity to try something I was unfamiliar with.

For the purposes of this comparison I tested 3 different black ink pads.

I stamped the images onto white mixed media paper.

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Per the directions, I hit the Memento with a blast from my heat gun. I did it for about 5 seconds then brushed on Golden matte gel medium. As you can see here No Drag. Also, note how nice and dark the stamped image is!

For both the Hero Arts and the Archival ink I stamped the image on that same piece of mixed media paper and gave them 2 minutes air drying time before brushing Golden matte gel medium over.

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You can see here that there is definitely some drag going on and the stamped image isn’t quite as dark.

I’ve previously used my Hero Arts India ink for many months and have liked it. I hadn’t noticed drag, but my stamping is always over layers of paint. This test having being done on white mixed media paper allowed me to really see that it wasn’t staying put.

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The Archival Ink appears to have produced an even less dark stamped image with more smearing that even the Hero Arts.

To be honest, I haven’t used this ink too much in my art journaling as I’ve always felt that the stamped images weren’t quite as dark as I wanted them to be.

I’m currently out of StazOn ink so I didn’t include it in this test. I do have one on the way though. When it arrives I’ll be sure to test it and share the results.

Based on the three inks tested, I think you can see that the Memento Luxe produced a darker image that stayed put much better than the other two. Yes it means an extra step of hitting it with my heat gun for a few seconds, but that’s not an issue for me at all.

Before I wrap this up, just a couple of things to keep in mind with the Memento Luxe…

You’ll want to set it with your heat gun as soon as you stamp so you don’t accidentally smear it. Since the ink is so thick and juicy, it takes longer to just air dry on its own and you run the risk of running your hand over the wet ink.

Also, due to the thicker consistency of the ink, it isn’t well suited for fine detailed stamping. you’ll want a different ink pad for that, but for the types of stamps that we use in mixed media, this is a great ink in my opinion.

As I said previously, I think each of these are fine inks and have their place in your art supply stash. Me personally, I’ll keep using my India Ink from time to time but the Memento Luxe ink pad has definitely moved itself to the forefront.

Thank you for reading. I hope you’ve found this comparison helpful.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend!




Please note that while my posts may contain affiliate links, my reviews and opinions are my own. I purchase all of my own art supplies and only recommend products that I personally like.


4 Comments on Art Supply Throwdown: Black Ink Pad Comparisons

  1. Patty
    March 25, 2016 at 6:55 am (5 years ago)

    Thank you Belen! I definitely wouldn’t mind the extra step to avoid smearing!

    • Belen Sotelo
      March 29, 2016 at 11:22 am (5 years ago)

      Thanks for reading, Patty. StazOn works nicely as well. I’ll have to do a head to head comparison and share the results. 🙂

  2. Laura DP (PA Pict)
    March 25, 2016 at 9:06 am (5 years ago)

    Thanks, Belen. That is really good to know. I only have the Archival Ranger ink and don’t use it too often but it is good to know that it will smear when subjected to wet media.

    • Belen Sotelo
      March 29, 2016 at 11:25 am (5 years ago)

      Thanks Laura. Perhaps with a longer drying time you may have different results, but with the two minutes I gave it there was done definite smearing going on.


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