Robert Oster Signature - Blue Night
Robert Oster is an Australian ink maker that is well-known for its unique range of colours. On his website, he describes our shared love quite eloquently: "Robert Oster Signature originates from one of the most famous wine producing regions of the world, the Coonawarra district of South Australia, an idyllic setting with great influence on the senses. There is my inspiration. It's a joy to share it with you." Well, we are certainly fortunate to have inspiring ink makers like Robert Oster to satiate our thirst for glorious inks.
In this review, the spotlight is centered on Blue Night. Catherine from Sakura provided me with a sample of this ink to play around with - much appreciated! This particular incarnation of a Robert Oster ink is a glorious dark blue. Definitely not a blue-black, but also definitely leaning to the dark side of the blue spectrum. The name "Blue Night" is well-deserved in this case. The ink provides good contrast with the paper, which is good. It also wrote pleasantly with good lubrication and a decent wet feeling, even with finer nibs.
Blue Night shows nice and aesthetically pleasing shading, especially in broader nibs. With finer nibs, the shading is barely visible though. Personally, I found the expressive shading that this ink displays very pleasing to the eye. Well executed.
To show you the impact of saturation on the ink's look & feel on paper, I made some scribbles where I really saturated portions of the paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range.
Like most Robert Oster inks, Blue Night has zero water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. As the chromatography shows, only some purplish residue remains on the paper. This residue runs all over the place, meaning that there remains insufficient detail to reconstruct your writing. Smudge resistance is acceptable - there is quite some smearing, but the text itself remains totally readable.
I've tested the ink on a wide variety of paper - from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. On every small band of paper I show you:
- An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip
- 1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturation
- An ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain pen
- The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib
- A small text sample, written with an M-nib
- Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)
Blue Night behaved impeccably on most paper types, with no visible feathering. Only with lower quality paper (like Moleskine and HP printing paper) there appears some minor feathering. The colour looks great across the different paper types, which I also appreciate. The ink dries quite quickly within the 5-10 second range.
I also show the back-side of the different paper types at the end of the review. No troubles there, except with the Moleskine paper, which shows significant bleed-through. The GvFC paper also shows a bit of bleed-through. All in all, a well-behaving ink.
Inkxperiment – Blue Night Cityscape
As a personal experiment, I try to produce interesting drawings using only the ink I'm reviewing. I find this to be a fun extension of the hobby, and have found these single-ink drawings a nice challenge. For this drawing I used 90 gsm sketch paper. This time, I had a very limited amount of ink available, so the drawing was made using the same Q-tip cotton swabs I used for the writing samples. The night sky background was created by colouring the page with the Q-tip, and then using lots of water to wash out the ink. This brings forth the purple components in the ink, resulting in a glowing late-evening sky. The cityscape itself was drawn with undiluted Blue Night ink, rubbed on with a Q-tip swab. For the details, I used my Lamy Safari fountain pen to scribble in the building details on the drawing. I'm pleased with the results I obtained with this ink. The end result also gives you a good idea of the colour span that Blue Night is capable of in a more artistic setting.
Robert Oster Blue Night is a gorgeous dark blue ink, that manages to look good on all of my test papers. The ink shows some prominent but still subtle shading, that is very pleasing to the eye. I really like this ink for writing. A pity that it has zero water resistance. This Blue Night ink is also great for drawing, looking quite beautiful. All in all, I'm quite taken by this creation from the Australian ink maker. I'm seriously considering getting a full bottle of Blue Night - even though my rational self keeps saying that I already have enough inks in my collection ;-)
Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib
Back-side of writing samples on different paper types