Stephinka’s Reviews: Hero Arts Shadow Ink Mid-Tone Ink Pads Review

A few weeks ago I received my stash of the Hero Arts Shadow Ink Mid-Tone ink pads in all the colours that are out (currently, anyway!). I had given them a go then and then promptly put them away- however, they are one of those products that I believe I should share with the stamping community what I thought of them because I had lots of fun just play-stamping with these.

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First thoughts are that there is a pretty nice selection of colours, great for florals, with two nice neutrals to go along. The cover is a little flimsy so you gotta make sure you close them tight, or hold them carefully because the cover will fall off if you drop the ink pad. Don’t ask me how I know!!

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Here they are, stamped with a red rubber stamp also from Hero Arts. Click to enlarge the picture- you can see that they really stamp very evenly although it may look a bit splotchy at first. I have found the best way to use the ink is to go from pad-to-stamp and then once you get ink all over the image, use light and quick tap-tap motions to even out any ink bubbles or uneven coverage.

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Thinking it was perhaps the red rubber that was helping it along, I used two other dye inks in comparison, the new PTI dye ink, and the Jenni Bowlin dye ink…. As you can see… The JB one really paled in comparison, but the PTI one looked pretty all right:

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.. okay, still not better than the shadow ink!

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I decided to see if I could get an even coverage on a clear stamp- usually dye inks tend to pool and bead on photopolymer/acrylic stamps even if you prep them. Here I used an image from PTI’s Rosie Posie stamp set. Looks like it stamps very beautifully huh? Let’s have a closer look:

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In comparison to another dye ink (PTI’s Raspberry Fizz latest formula dye ink), it stamps way better no matter how carefully I inked the stamp up with the PTI ink. What a champ! Just a warning though: it can stain your clear stamps. Probably quite heavily too, if you don’t clean it and wash it immediately after use. But the PTI ink stained as well… I think it’s just the way it goes for clear stamps!

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Not too bad for using with sentiments although it’s not as sharp as I would like… like Versafine sharp.. That’s a bit too much to ask for though ;P

I also decided to put it to the faux letterpress test- no faux letterpress technique has ever worked for me…

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Until now. ;) The coverage is SO even! Loving this Shadow Ink thingy… It’s water-based but you will be able to see the consistency seems to be thicker than usual dye inks. I wonder what chemistry is behind this!

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Finally, I am sure some people are wondering the different between this and the earlier-released Shadow Inks from HA. These ones are all darker shades, and since I don’t own all the older Shadow Inks with softer colours, I just did a little comparison for the Soft Pool Shadow Ink with the Shadow Ink Mid-Tone in Pool– they look like they will work so perfectly together! I am in love!

These are inks I totally recommend… They are really one of the best inks I have tried, and I have many inks! Unfortunately I don’t think they work well with Copics even if they had a black colour (or if you used the Cup O’ Joe shade) – I just ran the colourless blender through one of my stamped images and the colours started to run.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little review and comparison photos. Would you like to read more review posts from me? Comment and let me know! xx Stephinka

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26 responses to “Stephinka’s Reviews: Hero Arts Shadow Ink Mid-Tone Ink Pads Review

  1. I would love to read more reviews from you Stephinka! You did a really great job answering all my stamper type of questions and having an unbiased reviewer is priceless!

  2. I love reviews from real users, especially when they are this thorough! I had seen the inks but didn’t know if they would be worth trying out; now I know they are!

  3. Thank you so much! This has been so informative. I had these beauties on the way but am now doubly excited to try. I wondered if they would work with copics better if heat set or left to thoroughly dry first? Bit of a nuisance but maybe. I wonder how they would work with a Glimmer Mist or Mr. Huey like product? Much the same? Questions. Questions.

    Thanks again for this! :-)

  4. Thanks so much for this review! Your review answered all the questions I had about these new inks, and it was good to read about the results from someone who is unaffiliated with HA. Now, I think I will go ahead and buy them.

  5. thanks, I was wondering about these. sigh, I do NOT need more ink, but I know I will get these eventually!

  6. Thanks for the review, Steph! That was really helpful, but now I want these inks too!

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  12. Thank you for showing differences between these inks. I really love the soft older background inks! And now I planned to buy the new inks, I’ve already bought two of them : Love them!

  13. this is super helpful! thanks for taking the time to share!

  14. Please tell me why after you got them, you promptly put them away? Your article was very informative and from reading it, I would think you would use them a lot. But after playing with them you did not continue using them, there must be a reason. Thanks.

    • Hi Denise, I kept them because I’m on a HUGE cardmaking-block and haven’t been stamping much at all! They *are* wonderful inks and the few times I did stamp nowadays, I do reach for them :)

  15. Hey, girl! Have you found they’ve stained your PTI clear stamps quite heavily?

    • Hey Cara! I didn’t have much problems with staining, but I usually clean my stamps with some sort of cleaner sprayed on wet wipes immediately and rub the ink off like crazy. I do get lazy sometimes but none of my stamps are actually heavily stained @_@ only ones i bought secondhand ;)

  16. Great review – thank you!

  17. Thank you for taking the time to do this review. I’ve been looking at different inks tonight and this really helps my decision!

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