Have you ever found shimmery duochrome inks to be a little disappointing in real life action? Like, your written lines don’t shimmer, your painted wash doesn’t glisten? I’ve avoided these inks a while, because it just seemed some didn’t deliver what was promised.

Spoiler alert: USER ERROR. LOL!

I received another lovely package from Ferris Wheel Press – and one of the inks, Emerald Gardens, has a lovely shimmer to its duochrome. There’s also a more subtle, desaturated green called Dancing Thyme and – a ballpoint pen with waterproof ink!


Use code ALLNOCK at checkout to
receive 10% off on your entire order!

Tutorial: How to work with shimmery inks

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Duochrome, shimmery inks

The word duochrome literally means “two colors.” But it’s not always easy to get all the second color – the gold or other-colored shimmer – to show up.

  1. Mix the ink well – and if not having good results, check that the bottle gets swirled between each dip of a pen or brush.
  2. If putting the ink into a fountain pen, stir it just before drawing ink into the pen. Also – don’t leave a duochrome in your pen for a long time unused; the mica could clog things up.
  3. The ink needs to be applied heavily enough for the mica to show up. Use a fountain pen that pours out enough ink onto the paper; some pens are stingy, some are more generous.
  4. Pro tip: if working on a big project and dipping a brush into water, use a SMALL water jar. Any excess micah could collect at the bottom of that jar! Let it settle, pour off a bunch of the excess on top. You can use that for adding shimmer to other projects – paint it like a glaze!

When creating a drawing that you want to shimmer, plan out which areas will be dark enough to have enough ink to shine. Then when adding ink with a brush, stir it as you load the brush each time, to be sure you get the mica moving and onto the brush!

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About community

My little story might have stirred up a desire in your own artist’s heart for an art community, too. It can be lonely working alone in our studios or at our kitchen tables! You’re not the only one having those feelings.

Being WITH others can make a huge difference. January and February, two months of 2024 when we had the most activity at Artventure because a bunch of us were taking the Whimsical Sketching and 30 Days to More Confident Sketching classes together. Not everyone posted on “the” day and that’s just fine – but seeing all the work at once, and everyone being refreshed on what was in that lesson…all that made our feedback incredibly helpful and specific for each other.

(Note: you can participate in Artventure whether or not you join us for one of those courses!)

Friday night is a great chance to come join us for a good time. Set up your art, whatever you’d like to work on, grab something to drink (safely so you don’t spill!) and log onto zoom to join us for a little while or the whole two hours! I always come away from those days being encouraged and feeling stronger.RSVP at Artventure in the Events tab, or if you just can’t do Artventure, email me and I’ll send you the zoom link. It’s free!


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  1. Ferris Wheel Press – use coupon code ALLNOCK for 10% storewide -inks:
    1. Emerald Gardens
    2. Dancing Thyme
    3. Ball point penScribe (comes in various colors)
  2. Swatches:
    1. Arches Cold Press Pad: 
    2. Plastic sheets for swatches
    3. Fountain Pens:
      1. TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen EF
      2. TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen F
      3. TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen M
    4. Hexagonal sketchbook no longer available


  1. Gabi Sugate

    Thank you so much for this video Sandy. It certainly made me think. I find that it’s so easy to isolate yourself from an online platform. So, this was timely. I need to make more of an effort too. I will definitely be there for your next open studio. As to the music…to be honest, I wasn’t aware of it until you mentioned it, but it was actually really nice. Also, I will definitely buy a zipper pouch with your tiger! And it’s different to what you normally do for World Watercolor Month.

    • Sandy Allnock

      I think we need to choose a social media that suits us—I’m on so many and I get burnt out on screens! But Artventure scratches my itch because there’s no ads or algorithm Plus we get to hang on zoom! See you then!


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