Ink Lab: The Difference Between VersaFine & VersaFine Clair

Ink Lab: The Difference Between VersaFine & VersaFine Clair

Welcome to the Ink Lab!

Ink… it seems like such a straightforward medium. But, is it? There are always lots of questions circulating about different inks, how they can be used and why you need them. Like, really, how many BLACK inks do you need?! (Like licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop, we may never know…) So, welcome to the Ink Lab! I’ll be working through all sorts of inks in all sorts of ways to shed light on all of those pressing questions we have to make the medium much less mysterious.

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What’s the difference between VersaFine and VersaFine Clair?

As a part of my current Artist In Residence appointment with Imagine Crafts, I’m tackling lots of the Tsukineko brand inks. I thought I’d start with VersaFine and VersaFine Clair as they definitely fall on the “mysterious ink” list.


Versafine was the first to market as an oil-based pigment ink that leaves crisp lines and beautiful, deep color. However, there was a shortcoming – bright colors were not really possible with the ink formulation. VersaFine is limited to 12 colors – all in the darker, more muted range.

VersaFine Clair

In their search for bright VersaFine colors, Tsukineko refined the formula a few years ago and VersaFine Clair was born! VersaFine Clair is the “tweaked formulation” of VersaFine and allows for amazing bright colors! So – that’s the skinny on the difference between the two. THEY ARE THE SAME! These inks can be used together for ink layering as they have the same essential properties. Of course, VersaFine Clair comes in more colors – 24 as of this post. I hope we’ll see even more in years to come!

So, if you missed it: VersaFine and VersaFine Clair are the SAME ink.


One thing I like better about VersaFine Clair is the packaging. The way the pad sits up off the platform makes inking easy. And, the lid stays on secure, keeping the pad nice and inked up. Removing the lid is easy. Overall, the form factor is excellent! VersaFine Clair only comes in one size – perhaps it will be released in the small ink cubes someday.

VersaFine comes in two sizes – the full-size flip-top pad (which I find a bit cumbersome), and the mini 1″ cubes. Except for black, I prefer the cubes.

VersaFine vs. VersaFine Clair in the Ink Lab

Let’s take a deeper look into these two great inks in today’s Ink Lab video. (Remember, I film and voiceover in real time, so you can speed up the video and still get great, clear instruction! I prefer to watch my videos on 2x speed!)

A Must Have Ink Line

I’m sure you have at least one black ink pad from the Versafine / Clair line. I encourage you to spread your wings and try some of the other amazing colors. They are great for more than just outline stamping! Because of the oil pigment formulation, they have exceptional coverage for solid stamps, and they work well for layer stamping – though you might not get the results you expect. But, more on that in another post!

You can find the VERSAFINE line of inks at A Cherry on Top

You can find the VERSAFINE CLAIR linke of inks at

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Ink Lab: The Difference Between VersaFine & VersaFine Clair

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10 thoughts on “Ink Lab: The Difference Between VersaFine & VersaFine Clair”

  1. I have always wondered what the differences of these two inks was so thanks for clearing that up. I really love the crispness of VF clair when you use it to stamp a sentiment. I too couldn’t find a link for a video, but would love to see one.

  2. Thank you for clarifying the differences and non-differences between the two inks! I wil feel much better buying more of them now. 🙂

  3. Wonderful video full of information for ink differences. Thank you for sharing this information. Blessings for health and safety for you and your family.

  4. Thank you for the video, nice to know, as all these brands can be a bit overwhelming and an expensive exercise if you don’t know the difference. PS. One can never have too many black ink pads….lol

  5. I just loved your video explaining the versafine and the Versafine Clair. I spent several hours this evening looking for a site to explain and there were none…and then I found you. No other site even went into any explanation comparing both nor they tell you they’re basically the same.

    After reviewing your video I decided I had to subscribe to your newsletter and blog. Looking forward.

    Thank you Thank you.

    I hope in the future they make Versafine Clair in smaller pads

  6. So happy to find such a clear explanation of Versafine and Versafine Clair ink pads!
    Now I know I can use my Versafine with Copics to color, too, without smearing!
    Thanks so much!


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