Fountain pen inks are susceptible to fading, much like watercolour paints. But you shouldn't let this deter you in any way. What I do to improve and protect my artworks created using fountain pen ink is as follows:
Paper: Use substantial paper stocks that are of a high grade (Bockingford, Arches, Waterford Saunders). The greater the thickness, the better. The inks will be absorbed even farther into the fibers of the paper if you use them. It takes thinner sheets longer to fade.
What are the wettest fountain pen inks?
When an artwork is complete, I cover it with a coat of water-based varnish and let it dry. Be careful not to lose your mind! Applying the varnish should be done very carefully, and the artwork should be kept at least 50 centimeters away from the can. Let a tiny amount of fine spray settle, then let it to dry. Repeat the technique five to seven more times. Gradually build up the varnish, and make sure it never completely covers the artwork! If this does not happen, the ink may return to the solution and begin to flow. There is a choice between a matte and a glossy finish. A sample for testing that was made in 2012 is seen in the larger image. The section on the left has had the varnish applied to it. The part on the right has not been varnished, and as a result, it is beginning to lose its color. (Today's picture was taken). Take a look as how the varnish maintains the stunning gold effect that the bleach produced.
Because the heat and humidity of the tropical climate may damage a quality piece of artwork in a matter of months, a dear friend of mine who lives in tropical Queensland puts a two-part epoxy varnish on her watercolors.
Avoid exposing works of art to light by never leaving them out in the sun. Your artwork should be hung on the walls in such a way that it will never be exposed to light from directly behind it.
Over the years, I have experimented with a wide variety of approaches, but the three recommendations made above have proven to be the most successful for me. I really hope this helps.
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