Ink as an art medium has been around for a long time. Technically speaking, even the early hieroglyphs and cave drawings used a form of ink to create their images. As evidenced by the fact that we can still appreciate their beauty, ink can last quite a long time. However, those drawings exist primarily on stone, which breaks down rather slowly. Artists who use paper need to use archival pens in order to ensure their work lasts as long as possible. Some artists prefer to work in black ink only, while others prefer a palette as diverse as any painter. Fortunately, pens with archival-quality ink are now available in a full spectrum of colors. Of course, color isn’t the only quality an artist should consider when choosing these pens. The term “archival” means the pens must also be fade-resistant and lightfast. No amount of exposure to light should diminish the intensity of the color or fade the artwork, assuming archival-quality paper was also used. As ink artists work close to the paper with their hands, smudging can be a problem. The ink should also be smudge-proof and quick drying in order to help reduce instances of smudging. Most archival inks are also waterproof and bleed-proof. Should water get on the paper, the colors won’t leach away or be washed out. Controlling the bleed of the ink is important. Paper tends to be absorbent, and ink can spread into other sections of the artwork, which can ruin a piece. When choosing medium for the ink artist, archival pens are an excellent choice. They help to create artwork that will last for years.