WATERCOLOR

Best Opaque White Ink – Copic vs. Ph. Martin’s

My Favorite Mixed Media Supply – Opaque White Ink

Using white ink is a favorite element that I use to polish off my paintings’ finishing touches. I’ve been using Copic white ink for years now and have come to love this expensive and sometimes elusive supply. But is it really the best opaque white ink as there are so many art community claims? Especially when compared to its cheaper counterpart – Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof White Ink. Well, that is what we are going to be testing today!

Dr. PH Martin's Bleed Proof White Ink

What To Look For In An Ink

Before evaluating these two inks to figure out the best opaque white ink – let’s first have a little chat about what I look for in a good quality ink. There are technically four categories that I like to use when evaluating when it comes to my inks. Those include…

  • PRECISION OR FLUID LINES/DETAILS
  • OPACITY
  • STAINING ABILITY
  • MIXABILITY

These four criteria will help us evaluate these inks in a more non-biased format and help us get a better understanding of the strengths as well as weaknesses of these supplies. So here we go! Watch my vlog below – or read on for a short synopsis.

Best Opaque White Ink

TEST ONE: PRECISION/LINE TEST

The Line/Precision test tests how intricate of line/details I can achieve with the ink in fluid and smooth strokes. As you can probably see – the Copic faired a tiny bit better in this round. Overall, it just felt easier to control and glided along with the paper with ease.

TEST TWO: OPACITY TEST

As the name implies, this test is trying to evaluate how much coverage the ink has over dark surfaces. It’s a bit hard to see in the image – but the Ph. martin’s faired better in this test for overall coverage over a larger area. But for smaller, more intricate strokes – the Copic actually had more opacity coverage, interestingly enough. But overall, I would say the Ph. Martin’s pulled just slightly ahead in this round.

TEST THREE: STAINING ABILITY TEST

It’s important to note that neither of these inks is permanent – meaning their staining strength will be very weak. That being said – I was curious, which would fare better in this test. As you can see, the Copic seemed to grasp the paper more than the Ph. Martin’s. But something cool to note – the Copic created these really cool wispy effects once activated with water after drying thoroughly. So although it failed the opacity test – it still created a pretty cool texture that I might have to use in a future painting.

TEST FOUR: MIXABILITY TEST

This test of two-fold – meaning I wanted to test how these inks worked when mixing them with other paints and also how they faired in a wet on wet scenario. Personally, I love to mix my white inks with watercolor concentrates. They create this awesome neon – almost gel pen – colors on my paper. And I have to say the Ph. Martin’s faired very well in this test – which honestly surprised me. That being said – it was very close when determining a winner for mix-ability with other supplies.

As for the wet on wet test – The Ph. Martin’s really flunked out. It barely moved in the wet in wet scenario, especially when compared to the Copic ink that seemed to slide across the paper with ease.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST OPAQUE WHITE INK

Overall, both inks performed fairly close to one another. But there was an overall winner for the best opaque white link – well, actually two winners. Hear me out now…

If you desire an opaque white ink for intricate detailing and line work – Copic Ink is the right supply for you. It’s easy to use and makes life so much easier for those final crucial details. It’s also great for wet on wet wispy textures, especially when compared to the Ph. Martin’s.

That being said – if you desire a more abstract paint look that is easy to control and versatile (meaning it can be used for line work with a bit of practice) – Ph. Martin’s is a better fit. It also helps that the price is nearly half of Copic.

So hopefully this helps you in decided which white opaque ink is actually the right fit for you.

SUPPLIES USED IN THIS “BEST OPAQUE WHITE INK” POST
PH. MARTIN’S BLEED PROOF WHITE INK
COPIC OPAQUE WHITE INK
FABRIANO’S BLACK BLACK PAPER
WATERCOLOR FLOWER PALETTE
BLACK VELVET SCRIPT BRUSH
BLACK VELVET ROUND BRUSHES SET
GRUMBACHER 1IN FLAT WASH BRUSH
WATERCOLOR CONCENTRATES & COLORED INKS LIST BELOW
PH. MARTIN’S BOMBAY INK – BRIGHT RED
PH. MARTIN’S HYDRUS LINE – HANSA YELLOW MEDIUM
PH. MARTIN’S HYDRUS LINE – CHROME YELLOW

About Author

Hi there! My name is Carrie and I'm a Watercolor Misfit! What's a Watercolor Misfit? Well, anyone who is willing to try new things and not afraid to get their hands covered in paint! So what do you say, are you a Misfit-ian?

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