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Diamine Indigo - Old English Fountain Pen Ink


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32 replies to this topic

#1 Sandy1

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 06:10

Kindly adjust the brightness & contrast of your monitor to accurately depict this Gray Scale.

As the patches are neutral gray, the colour on your monitor should also be neutral.


Figure 1.
Posted Image


Figure 2.

  • HP 1124 24 lb. Laser Copy paper.
  • Swab & Drawn Swatches
  • Scale
  • Written samples: A selection from Treasure Island was transcribbled.
* Note: It appears that a selection from McCarthy's The Road might've been more appropriate.
Posted Image
Figure 2A.
  • Rigid-Firm nibs only.
  • To other Esti fans: I spilled the beans!
  • HP 1124 24 lb. Laser Copy paper.
  • Written samples: A selection from Double Tap by S. Martini.
Posted Image
Figure 3
  • Clairefontaine 'Triomphe' paper.
  • Written samples: Treasure Island
Posted Image

Figure 4
  • Rhodia Lined paper.
  • Written samples: Treasure Island
Posted Image
Figure 5
  • Pulp paper from a one-a-day cartoon calendar.
  • Written sample: Grocery list
Posted Image
Figure 6
  • Boxed text from Figure 2. Hi-Res Scan: 1200 dpi
Posted ImageFigure 7
  • Boxed text from Figure 2A. Hi-Res Scan: 1200 dpi
Posted Image

Figure 8
  • Boxed text from Figure 3. Hi-Res Scan: 1200 dpi
Posted Image

Figure 9
  • HP 1124 24 lb. Laser Copy paper.
  • Smudge Tests
  • Wet Tests
  • Swirlies (Straight & Diluted 50%). From the back of a dip pen nib. Intended to show range of possible densities from this ink.
Posted Image

Figure 10
  • Shingle Sample: 11 pen+nib combos on 4 papers.
Posted Image
Figure 11
  • Boxed lines from Figure 10 - HiRes Scan.
Posted Image

Presentation :
  • Boxed 80 ml. bottle.
Country of origin:
  • UK.
Type:
  • Dye-based fountain pen ink.
Smudge Results:
  • OK at 8 seconds.
Flow Rate:
  • OK with all sampled nibs & feeds.
Nib Dry-out
  • Iffy at 10 minutes uncapped.
Start-up:
  • CoughVroomVroomPurrPurr
Lubrication:
  • Adequate; nothing special.
Nib Creep:
  • None.
Staining:
  • Nope.
Clogging:
  • Nah.
Saturation:
  • Straight-up: Seems variable, but barely enough actually.
  • 50% Solution: Nearly transparent. A HiLite ink?
Feathering:
  • No.
  • A nice very very nice line on all papers.
Bleed Through:
  • None on any of the papers.
Shading:
  • Very much dependent on nib.
Variance in pens used:
  • Far more than expected.
Smell:
  • Ink. Unscented.
Hand oil sensitivity:
  • Not apparent.
Archival:
  • Likely no more or less than any dye-based FP ink.
Waterproof:
  • Not bad! :-)
Bulletproof:
  • Unlikely to withstand even small arms fire.
Lovely papers:
  • 'Triomphe' does it again.
Trip-wire papers:
  • With the tight line, I think Indigo will run well on most 'sane' papers.
Tinted Papers:
  • Doubt that Indigo would handle a colour-tinted stock; ivory, cream, champagne would be the limit, but don't envision any magic.
  • Ditto for Whitelines.
Postcard / coated card stock:
  • OK on lightly coated stock.
Similar Colours:
  • Not that come to mind, but they'd be forgettable, like Indigo. Hmm. Hmm. Certainly not a Blue-Black.
Clean Up:
  • Quick & thorough with plain water.
Bottle:
  • A squat 2" square-bottom bottle, with sloped shoulders rising to a 5/8" threaded neck ending a lofty 2 1/2" above base with a centred 3/4" opening. When the ink level is within the shoulders, the meniscus is obscured.
  • The 'Bakelite' screw cap does not have pronounced grippy nodes, material or texture. (Hon, where's the slip-joint pliers?) Tsk.
  • The cap seal is a low-rent bit of coated card stock. Tsk Tsk.
  • Colour name is stated on a fine-print label - on the cap of all places. Tsk Tsk Tsk.
  • Single tank, no filling aids, no sediment collector. Ah me...
Box:
  • Flip top.
  • Well coated, gold-ish colour.
  • Colour name labelled only on top. What the *#%@?? (>_<)
Eco-Green:
  • All bits easily recyclable.
  • Cap likely benign.
Availability:
  • Not uncommon. Widely available online.
  • Unlikely to be flying off the shelves or on B/O.
  • If discontinued, I don't think anyone would notice, or if they did notice, they wouldn't care, or if they did care, it would be half of a rodent's rump worth of caring. A grass-roots movement to replicate Diamine Indigo would be highly unlikely.
General Description:
  • A rather disturbingly nondescript ink.
  • Reminds me of automotive primer coat.
  • The surprising range of density and shading make astute pairing of pen & paper essential to get the desired appearance.
  • I would never suggest Indigo as a 'Must Have' to anyone except bphollin.
  • I cannot see it being a go-to ink: one doesn't know where it may in fact go to.
  • Those properties make it undesirable as an ink for your daily writer - which is too bad really: it performs well on a wide range of paper, and has an impressive line quality.
*** I would dearly love to hear from those who use this ink on a routine basis. My Objectivity is taking a beating!!!

Uses:

Business:
  • Rather too indecisive.
  • The appearance can shift, making it unstable; the colour has no innate power, authority, energy or animation.
  • Nope, not a business ink. But it really wants to be! But 'wanna be' doesn't cut the mustard.
Illustrations / Graphics:
  • A perfect ink for use on Charts to represent 'Other & Misc.' (No one will question just what's in 'Other & Misc.' Your Black Ops are safe: hiding in the open.)
  • Also, the tight line makes it suitable for teeny tiny writing; and the density reduces optical edge effect, hence increasing legibility of small text. (See line labels on the Shingle Sample. The lines are 3/16", 0.5 cm., apart.)
Personal:
  • Seems quiet. Too quiet.
  • May be a good ink to use if one wants their words to be the most important thing on the page : zero distraction or emphasis from the ink or pen.
  • Not the colour to splash great swaths across a lustrous white page.
Billet Doux:
  • Huh?
  • Only if your beloved is pretty much colour blind.
  • Good for doggies' birthday cards. :-)
Alt Use:
  • Writing grocery lists for those on a slimming diet.
Most Well-Known User:
Yickity Yackity:
  • For personal use, a very neutral round smooth nib would be good. Somehow, I think even the Cursive Italic nib shown may be inappropriate.
  • The Prera M and Pelikan F nibs do OK.
  • I felt that a shift to more firm/rigid nibs might do the trick.
  • See Figure 2A for written samples using four firm-nibbed pens. This was done after the main Review, so written samples are on one paper only.
  • For a flex-ish nib, I tried my old Waterman 52 RR with the #2 Ideal nib. It would take a finer hand than mine to make it showcase this ink. (Result not shown - too embarrassing.)
  • Of the eleven pen+nib combos, I prefer the results from the Parker 25 with its M steel nib. Boring, yes?
  • So, how did Diamine 'Indigo' come to be in my ink array? Well, I have a good friend who's a textile artist & Prof. She does her own dye-ing, and I was fascinated to learn and even got to help from scratch with making the indigo dye and using it. No aniline dyes in her studio, boyo.
  • The true indigo colour at was not found in the Diamine bottle, which initially I thought was mis-labelled, spoiled, etc. (Apparently poor/inaccurate naming is a Diamine trait. Tsk)
  • Diamine 'Indigo', like the Lamy 'Green', goes firmly into the For Mixing Only portion of my ink array.
=.=.=.=.=.=.=

Implements & Papers Used:

These pen+nib combos:
  • Pilot 78G, Fine nib.
  • Pilot Prera, Medium steel nib.
  • Pelikan M200, M600 series Fine 18K nib.
  • Pelikan M200, M200 series Medium gold-plated steel nib.
  • Pelikan M200, M600 series Broad 18K nib.
  • Sheaffer Prelude, Sheaffers Fine Cursive Italic steel nib.
  • Pilot 78G, Bodacious Broad nib.
  • Waterman Carene, Medium 18K nib.
  • Parker 25, Medium steel nib.
  • Esterbrook J, #1554 Firm Fine Clerical steel nib.
  • Parker 21, Medium steel nib.
On these papers:
  • HP 1124 24 lb. Laser Copy.
  • Clairefontaine 'Triomphe'.
  • G Lalo 'Verge de France' white. (No written samples.)
  • Rhodia Lined.
  • Pulp one-a-day cartoon calendar page. (Only written sample.)
=.=.=.=.=


Scanner Densitometer Readings: Generated from the Drawn Swatch
  • Red 128; Green 149; Blue 172; Luminosity 149.

-30-

EDIT - To add: Paper type.


Edited by Sandy1, 04 April 2010 - 18:16.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#2 Sandy1

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 07:43

Hello Again,

I could use some feedback on the narrow nibs:
  • I've mostly been using a fixed row height for written samples, and that row height suits my large hand - which reflects my personal preference for M & B nibs.
  • At the office, if I need to write smaller than my M nib normally generates, I use the 'top' or wrong side of the nib to get a more narrow line.
  • Outside the office, I'll use Asian Fine nibs & Estie F Posting nibs for special purposes.
  • SO I'd like to hear from people who use F & XF nibs on a routine basis: How my written samples may be improved to encompass more realistic use of those narrow nibs.
  • At the very least, on the next Review, I plan to use some rows about 3/8" high. I need to be careful that I keep these ink reviews, so it need to write in my usual manner at close to my normal cadence & pace. If not, I start to draw my letters, which makes the ink look odd.
Best Regards
Sandy1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#3 Ed Ronax

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 11:56

Excellent review, thanks.
And how can this be, because he is the Kwisatz Haderach.


#4 orangeaurora

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 13:16

Sandy1,

This was the most thorough and entertaining review that I have read in a long time. I must now buy some of this ink!

Great job! Thank you.

#5 Hetty

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 15:27

I, too, was very disappointed with this ink, but am very impressed with your excellent review, Sandy. I didn't give my ink such a run-out with different pens, nibs, and papers. I thought it dull, and not indigo in colour.

hetty

#6 fuchsiaprincess

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 16:04

Fantastic review, Sandy. Well done!

I too, found the ink to be rather ho-hum, and very disappointing.

Posted Image Posted Image


#7 shadowsforbars

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 17:02

Great review. Like you, I can't think of much of a use for this colour.

#8 bjornhansson

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 23:24

A very good review! I like this ink. It is very unobtrusive (some might call it anonymous), and I prefer it to Prussian Blue (which is less blue and even greyer).

#9 fuchsiaprincess

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 02:07

Hi Bjorn,

If you would like another bottle, PM me and I'll send it over to you :)

Posted Image Posted Image


#10 Sandy1

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 06:31

I, too, was very disappointed with this ink, but am very impressed with your excellent review, Sandy. I didn't give my ink such a run-out with different pens, nibs, and papers. I thought it dull, and not indigo in colour.

hetty

Hi Hetty,

With some of my other Ink Reviews, those that address an ink which I enjoy, are usually not run-out as much - it's obvious that the stuff's great: my Review of Parker Penman Sapphire was done with one pen+nib, then I relented and ran another slightly wetter and more broad nib. Yup - that ink didn't need a Review - just a swab & a swirlie to show that its wonderful.

But with this stuff, it was so variable that I persisted in trying to find the combo that would bring out the best in this ink. Well, after 11 pen+nib combos & 5 papers : no joy. So I can say 'Not for me' with some confidence. As with most things, there will be some who'll have a taste for that which others leave behind.

Ah, perhaps it could be used to write about something that one would rather ignore. e.g. A brief reprimand to a staff member for something that really was more of an accident than the recipient's fault. (First written warning, that expires in 3 months.)

Best Regards,
Sandy1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#11 Sandy1

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 06:47

A very good review! I like this ink. It is very unobtrusive (some might call it anonymous), and I prefer it to Prussian Blue (which is less blue and even greyer).

Hi,
Thanks!
I'm glad that we agree that the ink is unobtrusive, and I would agree with 'anonymous'.
As I mentioned to Hetty, I think this could be used to write about things which one would rather ignore, or wishes they'd never have happened.
Ah, an alt version of an 'invisible' ink perhaps? Maybe I should try to edit the sub-Title of the OP to read: 'An invisible ink?'

Who makes the Prussian Blue to which you refer? (I assume Diamine??)

Best Regards,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#12 bjornhansson

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:49

Yes, I was thinking of Diamine's Prussian Blue.


A very good review! I like this ink. It is very unobtrusive (some might call it anonymous), and I prefer it to Prussian Blue (which is less blue and even greyer).

Hi,
Thanks!
I'm glad that we agree that the ink is unobtrusive, and I would agree with 'anonymous'.
As I mentioned to Hetty, I think this could be used to write about things which one would rather ignore, or wishes they'd never have happened.
Ah, an alt version of an 'invisible' ink perhaps? Maybe I should try to edit the sub-Title of the OP to read: 'An invisible ink?'

Who makes the Prussian Blue to which you refer? (I assume Diamine??)

Best Regards,
S1



#13 Sandy1

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:24

ACTUAL INDIGO -+- ACTUAL INDIGO -+- ACTUAL INDIGO -+- ACTUAL INDIGO -+-
I received samples from Wendy of her actual indigo dye works.
The white figures are created through a 'tie-dye' process according to a traditional Japanese method.

Posted Image


Posted Image

Edited by Sandy1, 06 April 2010 - 01:29.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#14 encremental

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 17:52

And to be fair to Diamine, the paler parts of the fabric do look a bit like the ink. They may have been thinking of washed out worn denim, you know ...

Great review though!

John

#15 Sandy1

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 18:22

Hi,

It sat in the Mixing area for a while, so here's a few very basic mixes to give some indication of possibilities.
I really rather like the mix with Azur, and may pursue that at some point.
All the others are rather ho-hum predictable - which does make them an OK way to use-up the Indigo.

Bye,
S1

EDIT - To add:
Top: 2 parts Diamine Indigo + 1 part Visconti Red.
2nd: 2 parts Diamine Indigo + 1 part Visconti Blue + 1 part water
3rd: 2 parts Diamine Indigo + 1 part Visconti Green
Last: 2 parts Diamine Indigo + 3 parts Herbin Bleu Azur

Swabs for all but the DI+VR mix are in 3 densities: 1, 2 & 3 passes of the swab.

Posted Image

Edited by Sandy1, 06 April 2010 - 19:38.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#16 Sandy1

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 19:24

And to be fair to Diamine, the paler parts of the fabric do look a bit like the ink. They may have been thinking of washed out worn denim, you know ...

Great review though!

John

Hi John,
Glad you enjoyed the Review!
I'd never even speculate as to what's going on in Diamine's 'mind'. (Yikes!!!)
All in good humor & good faith of course.
While I did ask the question 'What is it?' that was in a way of doing two things: Exploring the ink to see what it is actually : from the pen onto the page. AND to elicit replies such as yours, as to what you see it to be.
Thank-you very much.
Best Regards,
Sandy1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#17 gigipurple

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 00:36

Thank you for the review. Very funny! :D

You left me convinced that I might be one of the very few that really enjoys using this ink. But then again, I like many, many inks, and they are very different from each other. I love to use Indigo with an extra-fine nib, preferably a Lamy Safari, and write with it on a Moleskine. There is a vintage quality to it that I find very calming and lets me concentrate on my thoughts and not on the paper. Gigi

#18 Possum Hill

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 02:43

Thank you for the review. Very funny! :D

You left me convinced that I might be one of the very few that really enjoys using this ink. But then again, I like many, many inks, and they are very different from each other. I love to use Indigo with an extra-fine nib, preferably a Lamy Safari, and write with it on a Moleskine. There is a vintage quality to it that I find very calming and lets me concentrate on my thoughts and not on the paper. Gigi


I get a similar feeling using Diamine Registrar's Ink. I think it's the ink-as-time-machine effect.
"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." -- Winston Churchill

#19 Sandy1

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 02:15

Hi,

I apologise for the dead links for the samples of actual natural dye-stuff Indigo.

I have resurrected the links; or they've been re-incarnated. Your pick.

Well, one of them anyway - Schrödinger's cat
gets a half bowl of kibble.

Bye,
S1

Posted Image

Edited by Sandy1, 17 November 2010 - 02:20.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#20 Uncle Red

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 19:43

I realize this is an old post but I just wanted to say that I just tried the Indigo in a BCHR ringtop in my Whitelines notebook and I think it looks pretty good. No feathering or show-through except where I flexed the nib. Quite legible. ymmv

#21 Sandy1

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 12:56

I realize this is an old post but I just wanted to say that I just tried the Indigo in a BCHR ringtop in my Whitelines notebook and I think it looks pretty good. No feathering or show-through except where I flexed the nib. Quite legible. ymmv

Hi,

Many thanks for adding your positive experience to this Review. :thumbup:

I can certainly see that if a wet nib is used on the tinted paper, Indigo may acquire a bit of character. Or at least be less wishy-washy.

Ah yes - Whitelines: I tried it when it first came to market, and found it was excellent FP friendly paper, with a nice grey tint. I was very happy with my purchase.

But it had lines! :doh:

And it is very rare that I need to use lined paper, so it was relegated to my 'go bag', where it might come in handy. Sometime. Somewhere.

There is the G Lalo 'Velin de France' which has a pale grey tint, is likely to withstand the wetness of a flex nib, and is without lines . . .

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#22 Sandy1

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 13:16

Hello,

Recently a comparison of Indigo, Prussian Blue and Denim was posted. LINK

At that time, additional samples were generated that support ad hoc comparison with the current Reviews of Blue inks.

For convenience of the reader, those samples are included below.

Bye,
S1

Written Sample:
Paper: HPJ1124
Pen: Sheaffer 330 +
steel M nib.
Scanned at 200 dpi.

Posted Image

Hi-Res:
Scanned at 300 dpi

IMG-Thumb:

Posted Image


Other Stuff:
Smear/Dry Times - Five second increments.
Wet Tests
Posted Image

-30-

TAGS: Fountain Pen Ink Review Diamine Indigo Sandy1


Edited by Sandy1, 13 November 2011 - 16:33.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#23 Phormio

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 13:39

Sorry for coming late to this review. I bought some of this ink a year ago and I think it was a waste of money. Not only did I have the same 'ho-hum'experience with its colouring, I found the ink flowed poorly in my pens. Perhaps I got a bad batch but this ink sits on my regrets pile.

Excellent review though Sandy.

P
Lots of wants, limited funds!

#24 Sandy1

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:10

Sorry for coming late to this review. I bought some of this ink a year ago and I think it was a waste of money. Not only did I have the same 'ho-hum'experience with its colouring, I found the ink flowed poorly in my pens. Perhaps I got a bad batch but this ink sits on my regrets pile.

Excellent review though Sandy.

P


Hi,

Thanks for sharing your experience with this ink :thumbup: - even if it wasn't enjoyable! :(

I do try to separate my personal preferences from the more objective performance aspects of an ink. Alas, this one fell short on both counts. And as your purchase was a year after this Review was posted, (and you bought it anyway!), I reckon you have ink from a different batch, making it likely that the ink depicted here is what one would receive in current/future purchases.

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#25 mturk

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 20:10

Sandy, I loved your review. My two favorite colors are Murky and Indistinct, so obviously, when I read your review, I rushed an order for this ink. It is now my official journal ink.
Your produce alone was worth the trip...

#26 DanielCoffey

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 20:47

mturk - if you like the Indigo you may also like the Diamine Prussian Blue. It has the same easy to read but gentle on the eyes feel as the indigo does.

#27 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 09:51

very good review :thumbup: thanks for sharing
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time
Posted Image

#28 Sandy1

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 20:58

Sandy, I loved your review. My two favorite colors are Murky and Indistinct, so obviously, when I read your review, I rushed an order for this ink. It is now my official journal ink.


Hi,

I checked the Ink Review Index, but got no hits on my search for both 'Murky' and 'Indistinct'. Who makes those inks? :rolleyes:

I can go for 'Subtle' and/or 'Nuanced' - MB Blue-Black being my favourite.

Thanks for letting us know that there are those who really do like Indigo; and hope that you can overlook my behaviour when I poke fun at it.

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#29 Sandy1

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 21:00

very good review :thumbup: thanks for sharing


Hi,

Thanks! and you're welcome!!

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#30 caco

caco

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 23:01

Although not a favorite of mine, I find myself coming back to Diamine Indigo every now and then.

 

I wonder why it didn´t enjoy a very favourable - even though remarkably thorough, as usual from Sandy1 -  review...

 

What I like about this ink is its very vintage look and its shading.

 

Below is a humble attempt to show these attributes... I am aware my cursive italic handwriting has a lot to improve and I welcome criticism...

 

Actually on close looking I think I can even recognize some Indigo colour on this ink with this pen and these papers... but hallucination or delusion are always possible...

 

 

 

07bl.jpg

 

ekul.jpg

 

3zn3.jpg
 
11d.JPG
 

 

 

 


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