Comparing Ink: Pigment-Based Ink vs. Dye-Based Ink

Comparing ink

You have the creative ideas, you have the skill, but do you know what your art medium is made of? Inside your favorite markers and pens is quality ink specifically chosen for that medium. Dye-based ink and pigment-based ink are the most common types of ink to create with. Learn the difference between the two and determine which ink is the best fit for your art.

 Albrecht Durer Watercolor Markers

Pigment-Based Ink vs. Dye-Based Ink: Dye vs. Pigment

To understand the difference between pigment-based ink and dye-based ink, first...let’s get into the difference between the two.

Dye-based ink is created by using fully dissolved colorant. As This means the dye color is completely mixed into the ink, creating a color lay-down that will bind itself and sink into your paper.

Pigment-based ink is created through particles not fully dissolved in their base. This means that rather than sinking into your paper, the color lay-down binds itself to the surface of your paper.

What does this mean for your art? Although both dye and pigment can create beautiful ink, pigment-based ink is lightfast, meaning the ink will not fade or discolor over time whereas dye-based ink can fade over time from exposure to light.

Goldfaber Aqua Dual Markers and watercolor painting

Pigment-Based Ink vs. Dye-Based Ink: Range of Colors

If pigment-based ink offers the security of lightfastness you might be asking yourself, why would I choose to create with dye-based ink? As we develop dye-based ink products, we have been able to obtain a wider and more vivid color selection.

Pigment-Based Ink vs. Dye-Based Ink Similar Qualities

Although the composition of pigment-based and dye-based ink is very different, they also have similarities. Both inks through Faber-Castell are permanent, acid-free, and pH neutral.

Pitt Artist Pens with a sketch

Pigment-Based Ink vs. Dye-Based Ink with Faber-Castell Materials

Faber-Castell offers a wide range of markers for artists of all interests to enjoy. Our Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Markers and Pitt Artist Pens are made of highly pigmented water-based ink, where our Goldfaber Aqua Dual Markers are created with water-based dyes. Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens are created with pigmented India ink. You can learn more about India ink, here.

Now that you have learned the differences of pigment-based ink and dye-based ink, you can create with the pen or marker that is the best fit for you and your art!

Shop Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Markers

Shop Goldfaber Aqua Dual Markers

Shop Pitt Artist Pens


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