Robert Oster Signature - Eucalyptus Leaf
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, I take a closer look at Eucalyptus Leaf. Catherine from Sakura provided me with a sample of this ink to play around with - much appreciated! Eucalyptus Leaf is an enchanting mossy green, with a slightly brownish streak to it. This is definitely my kind of green! It looks absolutely beautiful on all kinds of paper. This ink shows tons of shading, without too much contrast between the light and darker parts, exactly as I like it. It really enhances your writing, and clearly shows that your words have been written with a fountain pen. Nicely 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. As you can see, Eucalyptus Leaf strikes just the right balance in its colour spectrum, with not too width a gap between the light and darker parts. This explains its expressiveness, and the aesthetics it shows off in its shading.
Like most Robert Oster inks, Eucalyptus Leaf 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-pink residue remains on the paper. Smudge resistance is acceptable: although there is lots of smearing of the ink, the text itself remains perfectly 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)
Eucalyptus Leaf is a well-behaving ink on most paper types, with no visible feathering (except on Moleskine paper, which should not come as a surprise). With lower quality paper you can experience some bleed-through. The colour looks great on both white and more yellowish paper, which I also appreciate. The ink dries quite quickly within the 5-10 second range (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.
Writing with different nib sizes
The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. All samples were written with a Lamy Safari, which is typically a dry pen. I also added a visiting pen - a wet-writing Parker Sonnet with F-nib. With this pen the ink leaves a very saturated line, which diminishes the expressiveness of its shading. In my opinion, this is an ink that looks at its best with drier pens (like the Safari), where you get more contrast between light and darker parts, which improves the aesthetics of the shading.
To compare Eucalyptus Leaf with related inks, I use a nine-grid format with the currently reviewed ink at the center. This format shows the name of related inks, a saturation sample, a 1-2-3 swab and a water resistance test - all in a very compact format. I hope that you'll find this way of presenting related inks useful. It's a bit more work, but in my opinion worth the effort for the extra information you gain.
Inkxperiment - Fawlty Flowers
As a personal challenge, I try to create interesting drawings using only the ink I'm reviewing. For me, this brings some extra fun to 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 Moleskine 200 gsm Cold-Pressed Watercolour Paper. I soaked the outline of the rectangle with water, and applied a line of ink, letting it bleed out. Here the brownish streak in the ink really comes to the surface. I then drew the flowers using ink diluted with a bit of water (in different ratios). The stems and leafs were painted in with pure Eucalyptus Leaf. This mini-picture gives you an idea of what can be achieved with this ink in a more artistic context.
Robert Oster Eucalyptus Leaf is a beautiful mossy-green writing ink, that really excels when used for drawing. The ink shows great shading with drier pens, that leave a not too saturated line. Overall, I enjoyed using it. I only got a sample, but this is an ink that definitely deserves a full bottle.
Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib
Back-side of writing samples on different paper types