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Why Do Ink Colors Inspire You?

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19 replies to this topic

#1 goodpens

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 12:39

I'm curious about why you're inspired to try/use new colors. 

 

Right now, as the leaves start to change (a bit prematurely) to their autumn colors, I'm looking for inks that match the colors around me in nature.

 

I'm currently craving a particular shade of blue that would match a sweater I'm making. It is somewhere between Diamine Cornflower, Lapis, Tudor, or J. Herbin Blue Ocean (if I feel like going shimmery). I want to track down samples of each of those. It isn't necessary, as I have plenty of blues and plenty of inks in general. I don't always go for matchy matchy. There's no need to match a sweater and my pen's ink, but I'm inspired by the color of this beautiful yarn. 

 

Other times, I crave a contrasting, but complementary, color. A deep burgundy ink to go with some deep teal items a close friend gave me, for example. 

 

I've used a particular shade of pink (Diamine Carnation) because it reminded me of my grandmother. A particular red (Diamine Monaco Red) because my mom would like it in the pen of hers that I have. Quick Blue-Black reminds me of my dad and of my intro to fountain pens. I rotate varying purples in a pen that was a gift from someone who loves purple (though in general I'm neither someone who must match inks to barrel color nor someone who avoids it entirely).

 

From other posts, matching seasonal colors is something that many people here seem to do. Others look for colors that match logos or team colors. I always enjoy reading these threads, but I haven't found a broader discussion of this topic.

 

Why are you motivated to look for a particular shade of ink?

If you're looking to match something else, what is that item? 

If you have a signature color or usually use only a particular color family, when/why do you branch out?

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.



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#2 Studio97

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 15:53

Black and blue ink alone gets boring after a while. Color adds visual variety to your writing and stimulates my thought process. Keep it interesting.

I found the new J Herbin Orange shimmering ink interesting but somehow I have classified it to users who are not my senior age. A similar color is great in my artwork but out of character for writing in my journal. I could be missing out for not trying it.

Edited by Studio97, 07 September 2018 - 16:00.


#3 Black-Ink

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 15:57

I don't find the ink. The ink finds me.



#4 Corona688

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 16:05

In January of this year I made Prussian Blue from my grandfather's old chemicals, sparking an obsession with Prussian Blue, colors, and pens in general. I've been here ever since, posting terrible art and failed experiments.

I can't entirely explain it, but clearly color can be very inspiring.

#5 SenZen

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 17:26

I have no idea why, but it makes me happy to write with specific inks: Tsuyu Kusa, Équinoxe 6, Kon Peki, Ama Iro, Vert Empire, Mandarin, Bleu Austral, Ajisai, Asa Gao... While other inks are nice but don't have that same effect: Lie de Thé, Ina Ho, Souten; and others slowly grow on me: Ambre de Baltique.

 

If you made Tsuyu Kusa and Kon Peki coloured sweaters / jumpers you would have an international following! V-neck and raglan sleeves please :lol: . Or Verdigris :puddle:


Edited by pseudo88, 07 September 2018 - 17:27.

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#6 minddance

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 18:53

Tsuyu Kusa and Diamine Royal Blue always put a smile on my face :) And, for different reasons, Diamine Green-Black and Chocolate Brown too.

#7 goodpens

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 01:49

Thank you for all the great responses!

 

Black and blue ink alone gets boring after a while. Color adds visual variety to your writing and stimulates my thought process. Keep it interesting.

I found the new J Herbin Orange shimmering ink interesting but somehow I have classified it to users who are not my senior age. A similar color is great in my artwork but out of character for writing in my journal. I could be missing out for not trying it.

That's an interesting distinction--between artwork and written work. If you're drawn to it, I'd vote for giving it a shot. That shimmering orange does look worth a try ...

 

 

I don't find the ink. The ink finds me.

Great summary!

 

 

In January of this year I made Prussian Blue from my grandfather's old chemicals, sparking an obsession with Prussian Blue, colors, and pens in general. I've been here ever since, posting terrible art and failed experiments.

I can't entirely explain it, but clearly color can be very inspiring.

That's very cool--a meaningful ink and fun experimenting. 

 

 

I have no idea why, but it makes me happy to write with specific inks: Tsuyu Kusa, Équinoxe 6, Kon Peki, Ama Iro, Vert Empire, Mandarin, Bleu Austral, Ajisai, Asa Gao... While other inks are nice but don't have that same effect: Lie de Thé, Ina Ho, Souten; and others slowly grow on me: Ambre de Baltique.

 

If you made Tsuyu Kusa and Kon Peki coloured sweaters / jumpers you would have an international following! V-neck and raglan sleeves please :lol: . Or Verdigris :puddle:

Haha! The color I'm using is very much in the color family that seems to appeal to you most strongly. The sweater does have raglan sleeves, though a crew (not V) neck, and is a very cozy alpaca. You can see the pattern at https://www.ravelry....rary/chalkstone

 

 

Tsuyu Kusa and Diamine Royal Blue always put a smile on my face :) And, for different reasons, Diamine Green-Black and Chocolate Brown too.

 

A smile is an excellent reason. Diamine chocolate does that for me, too.



#8 LizEF

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 02:15

When I was still a newb, a very generous soul here gifted me 15 ink samples!  A few others have done similar (truly FPNers are the most generous of people).  These included inks I would never have chosen myself.  Much to my amazement, I now love some of those colors - orange, grey, and most especially, murky greens (I have 4 bottles of murky green ink - the most in any one color except blues).

 

Because of that experience, I second guess my prejudices against ink colors and am now willing to try almost anything - particularly if it's distinct from what I've already tried, or yet another shade of a color I really like.

 

And I just love the variety samples give me - I can fill with a different color every time I ink. :)



#9 minddance

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 03:52

Celebrate colour! Life ought to be colourful! :)

#10 Barkingpig

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 04:47

I wanted to try colors when I began to discover & use pens 40 years after first using them.  When I was growing up there were limited colors used & I didn't see anything very exciting about blue, black or combination of the two & RED had it's own set of issues as it was always used to mark "corrections!"

 

I have enjoyed using color in paint for my house's interior, gardening & even ordered new cars with chosen colors for upholstery & body.  MANY pieces of furniture in my life have been given "second lives" thru changing their fabrics; I used a pair of club chairs in college that had been used first by my Great Grandmother, later given to my Parent's for their first house & after my turn in several houses went to college with my Goddaughter for her use.

 

I think that my chosen colors for ink have been just a succession of my interest in changing parts of my environment to please me. A bottle of ink costs a LOT less than paint; I once had to pay a painter to apply SIX coats of paint to a bedroom to achieve the "melon" color I wanted.  



#11 crahptacular

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 06:59

If I'm actively seeking out a particular ink, it's usually for a particular application--I recently bought a bottle of R&K SketchINK Thea because I wanted a grey ink that wouldn't budge under water, specifically for sketching linework. Generally, these aren't inspired by any particular thing, but are purpose-driven instead.

 

On the other hand, the inks I impulsively purchase are those that catch my interest (usually while browsing the Ink Reviews forum...) because I find them particularly attractive or because they're unique or novel colors (compared to the other inks I own, not necessarily compared to all the inks in existence). I've managed to drastically cut down on these kinds of impulse buys, though.

 

I do like inks that have their own inspirations--for example, the Birmingham inks based on locations around Pittsburgh, or Sailor's Kobe Nagasawa inks based on the sights of Kobe. I always enjoy researching the subjects of these inks to understand the ink maker's intentions.

 

All that being said, I very rarely see something in my life that makes me think "Boy, I really need an ink that matches this color!" Much more often, it goes the other way--I use an ink and feel inspired to find something to connect it to. Maybe it means I don't look for colors to reflect my life; I want them to take me further than my own experiences. Maybe that's a stretch.

 

On a slightly related note, since I've started doing reviews, each color I've reviewed gets matched with a picture for me to doodle and a work of prose for me to use as a writing sample. The picture is usually straightforward, but connecting the "feeling" of an ink to a particular book I've read is sometimes challenging, and makes me consider colors in a new way. Sometimes I can't think of a good match, but it's a fun exercise either way.



#12 alexander_k

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 08:39

I'd been quite happy with the few colours that used to be available back when I started using fountain pens. Flow was always a concern but that related mostly to the pens I could afford and some inks came out rather washed out but beyond that blue was blue, red was red and black was black, and Parker was the safe choice. The Penman inks woke me up but nowadays there's simply so much on offer that one cannot disregard the possibilities for: 

  1. more moody or expressive colours, like a dusty purple or a bright blue: a page filled with writing with such an ink has a completely different character to one written in plain black or blue-black; somehow it makes me enjoy my own effort much more
  2. matching colours: matching a bright orange to a dusky teal, the former for headers and page numbers, and the latter for body text, makes the page even livelier and readable - as a result, I'm writing more and more in long-hand drafts, which I'm reluctant to discard after typing the text in the computer 
  3. matching colours to pens: that may seem trivial but what comes out of the nib must in some way agree, complement or contrast with what I'm holding in my hand; admittedly, this comes from having too many pens - and therefore too many inks, too 


#13 RoyalBlueNotebooks

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 08:55

Why are you motivated to look for a particular shade of ink?

If you're looking to match something else, what is that item? 

If you have a signature color or usually use only a particular color family, when/why do you branch out?

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I think I'm motivated to try new inks in general, not particular shades. I like colors, I like colorful notebooks filled with doodles, notes and random scribbles, I like color-coding notes though I'm really bad at it. Simply I want to try new colors and I don't trust my monitor to pick up shades faithfully, I want to see them with my own eyes, see how they shade on paper, see if there's sheen, try various combinations and exploring on my own. Even for very similar colors, I want to see for myself in which minute ways two or more colors differ. This curiosity fills me with enthusiasm about each and every new color.

 

I try not to match my pens and inks since there are some colors in which I wouldn't want to own a pen, not even if it was gifted to me, whereas there are very very few colors that I'm not willing to try. So I don't look to match anything when I shop for inks.

 

The third question doesn't apply to me I think, since I mostly used Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue cartridges in middle school and high school, but not because of choice, but because they were available at the local supermarket more often than Pelikan Black or Green. This is why Pelikan Royal Blue was my 'signature' color let's say. I branched out because I finally discovered that fountain pen inks were still produced, and thriving even, so I could finally try out different brands.


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#14 inkstainedruth

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 00:55

I studied art in college, so I was always interested in color.  And when I found my way here, and discovered that there was more to ink than just blue and black, I was fascinated and entranced (I had used a couple of low-end Parker c/c pens before I found my way here, but had always used Permanent Blue cartridges up till that point).

What motivates me?  Pretty much the same thing that motivates me when I buy a pen -- it's usually a combination of "Ooh, shiny...." and "I liked X [brand/color] so I'll probably like Y as well."  

Matching?  Occasionally I'm trying to match some other ink -- several years ago, for instance, I was trying to find a Burgundy/red-violet ink that gave me the same red sheen as on a card I had received from someone (which was probably written with a gel pen); I failed in that attempt, but found some really interesting inks in the process.  Likewise when I found a 3/4 pint bottle of vintage Skrip Peacock in an antiques mall, and then started to look for modern equivalents for color and shading.

I'm not sure I have a signature color at this point -- I do have more blue and blue-black inks than anything else, but there's only a few colors (such as orange) which I don't like -- or at least haven't found one I do; and I haven't really found a legible yellow (although I do have some gold and gold/brown inks).  But while I'm a blue/purple/pink/silver grey ink person for the most part, I have some that fall way outside that range, like Noodler's El Lawrence, which just fascinated me for some reason.

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#15 5Cavaliers

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 04:55

Great topic and thought provoking questions!  Thank you! 

 

Many times I am very methodical about the ink I fill my pens with - one that will pair well with that pen. 

 

But then there are other times when I crave certain colors.  Right now, I seem to crave yellow-orange shades.  This is unusual for me since I generally do not favor yellows or oranges.  But I am craving shades like Stipula Calamo Sapphron and DeAtramentis Mahatma Gandhi.  I am not a fan of Noodler's Apache Sunset - not because of the color, but because of the formulation.  But my craving might have something to do with the changing colors of light as summer moves into autumn. 

 

Other times, I just like to be surrounded with vivid colors. They make me feel happy.  I will likely choose Pilot Iro. Momiji, J. Herbin Eclat d' Saphir, Callifolio Blue Atlantique to name a few. 

 

I do not have a signature color, but I love vivid blue, and have more ink in that color family than others.  And I am not much of a person who "matches" color to pens or other things.  And many times I care more about the formulation of the ink than the exact color.  I also go through "stages" where I favor some colors over others for a period of time, then I will switch to some other color family. 

 

But overall, my usual pen rotation will have a variety of colors. 


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#16 goodpens

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 18:13

Thank you, all. I'm really fascinated to read the different responses from everyone. I appreciate you engaging with this topic!

 

 

I do like inks that have their own inspirations--for example, the Birmingham inks based on locations around Pittsburgh, or Sailor's Kobe Nagasawa inks based on the sights of Kobe. I always enjoy researching the subjects of these inks to understand the ink maker's intentions.

I've spent significant time in Pittsburgh and want to try the Birmingham inks for that reason. I haven't branched out to them yet.

 

 

 

 

But then there are other times when I crave certain colors.  Right now, I seem to crave yellow-orange shades.  This is unusual for me since I generally do not favor yellows or oranges.  But I am craving shades like Stipula Calamo Sapphron and DeAtramentis Mahatma Gandhi.  I am not a fan of Noodler's Apache Sunset - not because of the color, but because of the formulation.  But my craving might have something to do with the changing colors of light as summer moves into autumn. 

Since I see that you're in/near Colorado, and given these cravings, you might like Noodler's Golden Aspen, which was a limited edition for last year's Colorado Pen Show. https://www.mountainofink.com/blog/noodlers-golden-aspen 

PM me if you'd like me to send you a sample (or if you're going to the show next month, maybe we could meet up?).



#17 Olya

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 18:38

Your questions are interesting, but I think the answer(s) might be hard to pin-point, because it's a bit in the realm of arbitrary, subjective whims of our own crazy minds and inspiration that comes from the strangest places.... But I'll try.

 

Why are you motivated to look for a particular shade of ink?

 

I love sapphires, so the name "sapphire blue" has me almost instantly buy an ink. Sometimes it's as simple and stupid as that. I find that often well chosen names influence use a lot, at least for me, and marketing agrees: make-up sells best when it has names about sex, love and romanticism (NARS "orgasm" blusher anyone?).

 

I mostly use blues, but sometimes I like greener blues, other times I like blurples, sometimes I can't even pinpoint why.. Whims!

 

 

If you're looking to match something else, what is that item? 

 

The pen itself (not necessarily blue ink in blue pen, sometimes a particular shade of blue in a pink pen, so kind of going with complementary colours rather than being matchy-matchy), clothes, jewellery... But I don't do this often, it's actually rare.

 

 

 

If you have a signature color or usually use only a particular color family, when/why do you branch out?

 

I use almost exclusively blue ink (any shade of blue (incl blue black)), and at times black. Other colours I use for emphasis or annotations, but I use those rarely (or not often enough, to buy whole bottles and fill my fpens with them), so use gels for that.

 

When I branch out to black, it is an illogical urge to write in a "longer lasting" colour, and black usually wins when testing colours and longevity and is also usually "naturally" more water resistant than blues (speaking in widely general terms!).

 

Though in the last couple of months I've started to use black more and more (usually gels, I still prefer all the blues in my fpens!), because I enjoy the good contrast on white paper, the good & crisp black line and ease of reading (not that I have bad eyes or find other colours hard to read, but the contrast really is somehow wonderful and makes things easier!).

 

I've actually always loved higher pigmented inks and good contrast, so much so that when I started going to school I wrote with the black wax colour pencil instead of the (to me) "washed out" HB pencil and had to be told a few times to stop doing that and use the pencil meant for actual writing! :blush:  Maybe I should just let go and write in black all the time, clearly the penchant has been there since forever!



#18 5Cavaliers

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 18:49


 

Since I see that you're in/near Colorado, and given these cravings, you might like Noodler's Golden Aspen, which was a limited edition for last year's Colorado Pen Show. https://www.mountainofink.com/blog/noodlers-golden-aspen 

PM me if you'd like me to send you a sample (or if you're going to the show next month, maybe we could meet up?).

 

Thank you for your great comment.  Generally I don't care for Noodler's inks but I may see if I can find this one. 

 

I guess I need to update my profile.  I no longer live in Colorado.  I had two "residences" for awhile, but found it to be too expensive.  I am back in Reno, Nevada permanently.  BUT, there is a slight possibility I might be going to the Colorado pen show.  It depends on if I am still working on my current consulting project or not.  if I do go, I will PM you.


"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours.  When it is gone, it is gone.  Be wise, but enjoy!  - anonymous today

 

 

 


#19 Bobje

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 19:13

Ink colors are fascinating because they teach us how to make distinctions among the barely discernible. When Sailor creates a line of inks designed to show reflections on moonlit water, that’s a pretty subtle activity.

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#20 A Smug Dill

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 08:26

I'm curious about why you're inspired to try/use new colors. 
   ⋮
Why are you motivated to look for a particular shade of ink?
If you're looking to match something else, what is that item? 
If you have a signature color or usually use only a particular color family, when/why do you branch out?

 
I have a tragically obsessive personality, and I like imagining or pretending that I have the ‘best’ gear on the market for a particular application or use case, that is available to me (as in I can either buy it locally or order it online and have it shipped here to Australia, which Amazon.com has stopped doing) and within my budget for such. Thus, I end up with too many pens, inks, jackets, pairs of running shoes, etc. as I come across more and more information in ongoing ‘research’ or just browsing, and of course new product releases don't help me control my spending.
 
With regard to inks in particular, I'm not generally so against any colour that I wouldn't try/test it out, even if I cannot think of a frequent application of such, and I'm still intrigued by questions such as, “Which is the (subjectively) ‘best’ pink ink for me?” even if I have no particular desire to write either in pink, or gold, or grey in journals or on documents, even as annotations.
 
As far as ‘matching’ something goes, it is usually one of two things: an (evolving) ideal, say of teal ink, or the colour of the barrel of a pen which is something of a known, unchanging quality. Yes, I like my pens to write in colours that are somehow logically connected to some feature of the pen, with the barrel colour being the most obvious attribute, then the motif, and then the brand or ‘origin’. For example, Iroshizuku yama-budo, De Atramentis (scented) Red Roses, and Diamine Oxblood have been used in my ‘cheapie’ Sailor Lecoule pen in garnet, until I settled on Sailor Jentle okuyama as the best match. My Platinum #3776 Century shoryu (‘Ascending Dragon’) pen is inked with Diamine Red Dragon, but its sibling the fu-jin and rai-jin (‘Wind God and Thunder God’) kanazawa-haku (gold leaf) pen is inked with Iroshizuku ina-ho. (Sailor Jentle hama-sichifukukin 浜七福金 could be a better match, but it's not easily available, so I haven't tested it out in order to be sure.)
Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. We're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but not necessarily any shared values, and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative or position.
 

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