L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Havane
L'Artisan Pastellier is a small company in southern France that specialises in natural pigments, and offers customers authentic and reliable products in beautiful colours based on mineral or vegetable pigments. In a collaboration with Loic Rainouard from Styloplume.net, the chemist Didier Boinnard from L'Artisan Pastellier created the line of Callifolio fountain pen inks. These pastel-coloured inks are traditionally crafted, and can be freely mixed and matched. Overall these inks are only moderately saturated, and have low water-resistance. The inks were specifically designed to work well with all types of paper, and all types of fountain pens.
Being pastel-tinted, these inks have a watercolour-like appearance, and are not only fine inks for journaling, but are also really excellent inks for doodling & drawing. I only recently discovered them, and they are already the inks I gravitate towards for personal journaling.
In this review the spotlight shines on Havane, one of the many ochre-brown-orange tints in the Callifolio line. Havana is a light-brown ink without much of a red undertone... you could call it cigar-brown, to stay in line with the ink's name. Brown inks are often constructed from a mixture of primary colours, but this one seems to be based on light-brown dyes, as shown by the chromatography. The colour is subdued, and stays in line with the pastel-like character of most Callifolio inks.
Havane works well with all nib sizes, providing excellent contrast with the paper even in the finer nibs. The ink also provides subtle but still very visible shading, which is aesthetically very pleasing. The shading is mostly absent in the finer nibs of my dry Lamy review pen, but shows up really nice in broader nibs, or wetter pens (like the visiting pen in the nib-size sample below). The ink looks good on both white and more yellowish paper. It writes smoothly and with good lubrication - even in my dry Lamy Safari test pen.
To show you the impact of saturation on the ink's look & feel on paper, I made some scribbles where I fully saturated portions of the Tomoe River paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. Havane has an average colour span - with not too much colour difference between light and dark parts. This reflects in the shading the ink exhibits, which stays in the background but is definitely present. Quite nice, actually.
[Edited] When posting the review, I noticed that the colour looked much redder than I see it with my eye. Turns out that this is another example of a "chameleon" ink, i.e. an ink that changes tone with the wavelength of ambient light. Below you find two other saturation photos of exactly the same ink swab: the first one is taken in daylight, the second one under artificial light. Under artificial light, this ink really turns into an orange-brown (that I quite like, but that is alas only a disguise).
On the smudge test - rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab - Havane behaved really well, there is smearing but this doesn't impact the readability of the text. Water resistance is not great though. A faint orange-brown residue remains on the paper, which can still be deciphered with some effort. But I wouldn't go so far as calling this ink water-resistant.
I've tested the ink on a wide variety of paper - from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. For the Callifolio reviews, I'm using a format that shows you the ink's appearance and behaviour on the different paper types. 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 Safari fountain pen
- The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib
- A small text sample, written with the M-nib
- Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)
Havane behaves really well on most paper types: no feathering, and very limited show-through. Moleskine paper is the exception: here the ink exhibits some minor feathering, and very prominent show-through and bleed-through. Drying times are in the 10 second range on most papers. The ink works well with both white and yellow paper. I quite like the way it looks on Paperblanks, which I use for daily journaling. At the end of this review, I also show you the back-side of the different paper types, which gives you an idea of the amount of show-through / bleed-through.
[Edited] On scans, the writing samples show a bit more red than in daylight. Below I show you a photo taken in daylight of some of the same writing samples. These show a lighter brown that the one captured by the scan:
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 - my wet Pelikan M400 Brown Tortoise with an F-nib. Here the ink leaves a very saturated line, which shows off the subtle shading that is exhibited by Havane. You can also see that this ink works well in all nib-sizes, even the finer ones.
[Edited] And again, here is the same writing sample, but now as a photo taken by daylight:
To compare Havane 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. Bringing the reviewed ink in close proximity with eight related inks makes it easy to spot the sometimes subtle differences.
Inkxperiment - flying the tardis
As a personal challenge, I try to produce interesting drawings using only the ink I'm reviewing, keeping things simple and more-or-less abstract. I find this to be a fun extension of the hobby, and these single-ink drawings usually provide a nice challenge. It also gives you an idea of what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. My inspiration in this case came from the Doctor Who intro, which shows the Tardis spinning into a spiral. For the drawing I used 300 gsm rough watercolour paper. I thoroughly soaked the paper with water, and then applied Havane with a brush, adding some highlights with a 20% bleach solution. This forms the background for the drawing. On a separate piece of paper, I saturated the surface with pure ink, giving a nice dark-brown shade. This paper I cut into squares, and glued them in a spiral shape on the painted background. Et voilà... flying the tardis. The end result gives you a good idea of what can be obtained with Havane when using the ink for doodling & drawing.
Callifolio Havane from L'Artisan Pastellier is a cigar-coloured light-brown ink with a pastel-like character. The ink works great in all nib sizes, looks good on any paper type and exhibits some very sophisticated shading. I quite liked reviewing this ink, although it's not one of my favourite colours (I prefer my browns much darker than this). If you enjoy light-brown inks though, this one might well be worth your attention.
[Edited] Be aware that this ink shows a totally different character depending on the lighting conditions. In daylight, the ink is more of a true brown, while under artificial light it turns into a much nicer orange-brown.
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, 24 December 2018 - 09:47.