The ink I use most often is Magic Color, a "pigmented liquid acrylic color. Highly lightfast, waterproof, mixable with water for watercolor effects, non-toxic and acid-free (archival). Layers of color can be built up safely. Because these inks are shellac free, they can be used in a fountain pen or airbrush without clogging. Eyedropper cap makes application and color mixing easy; will adhere to many surfaces. 1oz, 28 ml, eye dropper bottles." I do believe that Magic Color bought out the old Rotring ArtistColor ink company (another ink that I've used for years, but is no longer available. However, you can find bottles on eBay occasionally). The Magic Color and Rotring ArtistColor inks are very similar in properties and colors, so I wouldn't doubt it is the same ink. Magic Color can be purchased from Paper & Ink Arts for $5.95 for a 1 oz. bottle (with an eyedropper in the lid). The opaque line is not safe for fountain pens so use the transparent ones (which I actually find quite opaque). Before Noodler's, Magic Color and Rotring ArtistColors were the only inks I'd found that were both waterproof, very permanent and safe for fountain pens (I conducted my own water and lightfastness tests and can vouch... I don't know if they are forgery-proof, however.) The flow of these inks has always been dependable in my fountain pens, with no clogging (even when set down for a few days). I usually use these inks in a Rotring ArtPen. Paper & Ink Arts has a free color sample sheet available for Magic Color (see below).
I've also used Calli inks. These are waterproof, pigmented inks. Not all the colors are equally permanent. The company uses a 4-star permanence rating, with 4 stars being the most permanent. Their Jet Black India, Blue and Green are rated 4 stars. The Scarlet, Burgundy & Brown inks are rated 2 stars. They're very pretty inks. This is an ink that needs to be used daily, however, because it does dry and clog the nib if you set your pen down for a few days (I usually dip the nib into the same bottle of ink it came from and wipe it with paper towel to get it flowing again). It flows dependably in my Jinhao X750 fountain pen, better than my Rotring ArtPen. Paper & Ink Arts sells it for $4.90 in 1-ounce bottles or for $26.60 for a set of all 6 colors. John Neal Bookseller also sells it for $5.25 per bottle or for $29.95 for a set of all 6 colors. It is available on Amazon as well.
Finally I'll give a brief mention to Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Inks. "Lightfast, brilliant colors are safe for fountain pens as well as for dip pens and brush. This color range is a double primary palette, excellent for mixing clean colors. The crimson makes a particularly nice Christmas red. Colors: Lemon Yellow, Winsor Yellow, Scarlet, Crimson, Dark Blue, Light Blue, Violet, Leaf Green, Green, Indian Red, Sepia, Blue-Black, Black. Although W&N rates all but Blue-Black & Black as transparent, we found colors to be quite opaque. 30 ml. each." Paper & Ink Arts sells it for $5.50 per bottle, or $37.55 for all 6 colors. They have a free color sheet available as well. They are not labeled as being waterproof, but my own waterproof test shows that the one I tested (Sepia) held up very well with little blurring and the writing was still very legible after a good dunking. The Sepia ink had a permanence rating of A by Winsor & Newton (AA is the most permanent and C is fugitive).
By the way, I am not affiliated with any of these companies. I have been ordering and using these inks from Paper & Ink Arts since the early '90's, however, and am very happy with them. Below are my ink color comparisons. I apologize in advance for doing most of the samples with a glass dip pen... I'm not terribly adept and get inconsistent flow with it at times, but it was a convenient way to make these samplers (which were done on Strathmore paper).
Continued on the next post...
Edited by fiberdrunk, 12 June 2010 - 23:27.