Composite materials based on plasmonic nanoparticles allow building metamaterials with very large effective permittivity (positive or negative) or ε-near-zero; moreover, if clustered or combined with other nanoparticles, it is possible to generate also effective magnetic permeability (positive or negative), and an ad-hoc design would result in the generation of double negative materials, and therefore backward wave propagation. However, losses are usually significant and affect the metamaterial performance. In this work, we report on the possibility of adopting fluorescent dye molecules or quantum dots, optically pumped, embedded into the dielectric cores of the employed nanoshell particles, and provide loss-compensation in ordered 3D periodic arrays at optical frequencies. Each spherical nanoshell is modeled as an electric dipole. We consider nanoparticles with gold and silver shells. We then find the modes with complex wavenumber in the metamaterial, and describe the composite material in terms of homogenized effective material parameters (refractive index and permittivity). Furthermore, in case of loss-compensation, we compare the results obtained from modal analysis with the ones computed by using two different homogenization methods: (i) Maxwell Garnett homogenization theory and (ii) Nicholson-Ross-Weir retrieval method. We show the design of two ε-near-zero metamaterials with low losses by simulating gain material made of dyes or quantum dots with realistic parameters. A brief discussion about the employment of the two kinds of active gain materials adopted here is given in the end.