How to Write on Black Paper

How to Write on Black Paper

If you’re interested in writing or creating artwork on black paper, you may struggle to achieve your desired results. This post walks you through some of the best pens to use for drawing and writing on black paper to create unique work for the art industry.

These principles can also be applied when incorporating hand lettering with white markers, alcohol-based ink, and water-based ink across multiple surfaces that are dark. This can be great for art as well as card-making projects.

Features To Consider When Choosing The Best Pen

When it comes to considering which markers work best for dark surfaces, there are some important factors to consider. 


The quality of the ink matters when drawing on a dark background. This is because ink that’s of low quality is more likely to fade and be lost in the darkness of black paper. Therefore, you need to make sure that you use ink with high pigments to ensure that the ink flows better when drawing on black surfaces. This will help you add details and create clean lines.

Oftentimes, these markers will state on the packaging whether they can be used for a black background. In addition to this, make sure that the ink you’re using is opaque. This prevents you from having to add multiple layers to make the color solid. 


The brightness and intensity of the colors that you’re using should be considered. If you use pens with low intensity, they won’t show up as well on black paper. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all bright colored pens will work well either. Instead, make sure that the intensity of the ink is suitable for dark paper. This means that you don’t just have to use white pens.

Instead, you can use a range of bright colors so that you’re not restricted when choosing your coloring tools.


In addition to the brightness and intensity of the ink, you want to make sure that you have a good range of colors available to use. This allows you to experiment with the colors and see which ones work best on the black paper compared to others. 

Point Sizes

The size of the tip of your marker can have an impact on how well the ink shows up on black paper. It’s best to have markers that include tips of various sizes. This is because you may find that a certain color shows up better when you use a different-sized tip.


It’s common to find art supply stores selling black papers, black cardstock and notebooks. Creatives can have a lot of fun using this paper to create a more unique contrast in their work compared to using white paper.

If your art supplies only include a regular pen, you may want to consider getting some gel inks and a fine-tip pen with smooth-flowing ink that works best for drawing on black coloring materials.

After looking at black paper reviews, you may have been feeling uncertain about using a colored pencil or white gel pens. However, we hope that, after reading through this post, you feel more assured about drawing on a black background for your art project. 


Can you use Sharpie metallic marker pens on black paper?

Yes, Sharpie’s metallic markers can be fantastic for adding shine to your artwork on black paper. Metallic pens and metallic gel pens can add texture to your art projects on a black surface. The metallic colors create a metallic finish that looks great on dark surfaces.

Can you use gel ink pens on dark paper?

Yes, gelly roll pens or ‘gel pen’ if you prefer, can be great for black paper. However, you must make sure that the ink from the gel pens has a high enough intensity to show up on the dark pages. 

Can you use acrylic paint on dark surfaces?

Yes, as long as you use opaque colors, acrylic paint can be used for these DIY projects. Make sure that you get solid coverage and let the paint dry for a while to ensure that it’s smudge-proof.

Can you use colored pencils on dark paper?

Yes. This can often give great results as you literally work in reverse, bringing out lighter colors/shades as you work, bringing it out from the black background base.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.