Robert Oster is an Australian ink maker that is well-known for his 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 on Direct Sun. Catherine from Sakura provided me with a sample of this ink to play around with - much appreciated! Direct Sun, to my eye, is a slightly brown-leaning blood-red type of colour. It represents the Australian summer sun at sunset, when it is just above the horizon. The ink is well-saturated, and writes pleasantly in medium nibs and above. With fine nibs in my Lamy Safari, the ink feels a bit dry with subpar lubrication. Just something to be aware of. I quite like the appearance of this red ... not too vibrant, and just enough off-red to draw your attention, and give it a second look... "Oh nice looking red!".
Direct Sun is not what I would call a great shading ink, but with broad & italic nibs a subdued type of shading appears, just enough to let you know that you're looking at the writings of a fountain pen. I would have liked a bit more expressiveness with the finer nibs, but overall I like what I see.
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, Direct Sun has zero water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. As the chromatography shows, only a faint pale-red residue remains on the paper. Smudge resistance is also bad, with terrible smearing of the text. The text itself remains perfectly readable though.
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)
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. All in all, a well-behaving ink.
Inkxperiment - Sunny Circles
As a personal challenge, I try to create interesting drawings using only the ink I'm reviewing. I find this to be a fun extension of the hobby, and these single-ink drawings present a real challenge at times. With these small pictures, I try to give you an idea of what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. For this drawing I used Original Crown Mill Cotton Paper. I had only a few drops of Direct Sun left from the sample, so I had to be really conservative with ink use. I took a fine brush to draw in the circles, and used a felt tip brush to paint in the lighter coloured accents. Overall, I'm pleased at what I could achieve with a very limited amount of ink.
Robert Oster Direct Sun is a rich red ink with slightly brown undertones, that manages to look good on all of my test papers. The ink is a timid shader though - shading only appears when broader nibs are used. I quite enjoyed Direct Sun for both writing and drawing. My personal opinion: a good-looking ink, different enough from a standard red to make it interesting.
Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib
Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
Edited by namrehsnoom, 25 August 2018 - 11:57.