Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies

Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team


L'artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Equinoxe(5)

lartisan pastellier callifolio equinoxe(5) blue-black

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 namrehsnoom



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 747 posts
  • Location:Leuven
  • Flag:

Posted 06 September 2019 - 19:37

L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Equinoxe(5)


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 center stage is taken by Equinoxe(5), one of the many blue inks in the series. You could say that Equinoxe(5) is a blue-black, but that would be selling it short. This is not your typical run-of-the-mill blue-black. This one is gray-leaning and has a faded look straight out of the nib, resulting in a nice vintage look. I like it a lot. And on top of that, the ink has a beautiful red sheen, that is always there right beneath the surface. It gives a special twist to the ink’s appearance. Really nice!  I can safely say that I loved this ink on first sight. Let’s see if this ink can also convince me on the technical front.


I found the ink to be a bit on the dry side in my Lamy Safari test pens, with lubrication being somewhat subpar. A wet pen solves this problem. Saturation is very good though, even with finer nibs. The wetter your pen, the darker the colour and the more the red sheen surfaces. The ink shades very prominently: there’s quite some contrast between light and darker parts, but not so much that it becomes too harsh.




To show you the impact of saturation on the ink’s look & feel on paper, I made some scribbles on Tomoe River 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, this ink has a moderately wide colour span ranging from a dark blue to a true blue-black.




On the smudge test – rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab – Equinoxe(5) starts to show its weakness: this is an ink that has absolutely no water resistance. It smudges very badly, though the text remains quite readable. Bring it in contact with water though, and all ink quickly disappears. Both the droplet test and the running tap-water test result in a fail. This is not an ink to use if any form of water resistance is on your list. For personal journaling, I couldn’t care less. But this is definitely not an ink to use in the workplace. 


Don’t let the chromatography fool you – from the lower part, it looks like quite some ink remains on the paper, but unfortunately what remains are unreadable smudges. Not readable at all.




I’ve tested the ink on a wide variety of paper – from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. I recently added a number of fine writing papers to my test set, bringing the total to twenty.  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)

Equinoxe(5) behaved perfectly on all the papers in my test set, with no apparent feathering even on the lower quality papers. Even the Moleskine paper behaved flawlessly with this ink (which is quite unusual). Drying times are mostly around the 5 to 10 second mark. The ink looks beautiful on both white and more yellowish paper. A fine grey-blue-black with a classic look & feel. This ink truly has a vintage vibe!


At the end of the review, I show you the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order.  None of my papers had problems with show-through or bleed-through. Equinoxe(5) can cope really well with a wide variety of paper types. 







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 Pelikan M205 Demonstrator with an M cursive italic nib. While writing with this ink, I noticed a small hiccup with fine nibs. Here the ink is prone to drying out on the nib. If you don’t write with it for a short while (a minute or so), you might experience a hard start. I could consistently reproduce this with a number of F-nibs. Starting with M-nibs or using wetter pens (like Pelikans) makes this behaviour disappear.




Related inks

To compare Equinoxe(5) with related inks, I use my 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.




Inkxperiment – pine tree mountain

As a personal challenge, I try to create interesting drawings using only the ink I’m reviewing. I love to experiment with inks outside the usual writing frame, and these single-ink drawings are great for stretching my drawing skills. 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 300 gsm watercolour paper. I started off with heavily water-diluted ink to paint the sky background. I then used a Q-tip and multiple water-ink ratios to draw in the mountain section. The cracks in the mountain and the pine trees were added with pure Equinoxe(5) using my B-nib Safari. As a finishing touch, I added the birds in the sky. The final picture gives you a good idea of the colour range that Equinoxe(5) is capable of when used as a drawing ink.





In my opinion, L’Artisan Pastellier produced a very fine ink with Callifolio Equinoxe(5). This ink is a beautiful grey-leaning faded-looking blue-black, with a definite vintage vibe. It also shows a really nice red sheen, that lifts this ink above the crowd. Equinoxe(5) has zero water resistance, and some technical shortcomings. Nevertheless, I am totally enamored by its looks, and heartily recommend it.


Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib




Back-side of writing samples on different paper types 







Sponsored Content

#2 lapis


    medium rare

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,512 posts
  • Location:West Berlin
  • Flag:

Posted 06 September 2019 - 20:44

You did it again!!!

Thanks for the excellent review. The pine trees show it all. I.e. drawing and sketching needs this type of ink. OTOH I can imagine using it in a really broad nibbed and wet pen like my beloved M900. Pastel-tinted is the best description!!

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

#3 Tas


    Graphophile . . .

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,192 posts
  • Location:London
  • Flag:

Posted 06 September 2019 - 22:06

Supurb. Again. A real road test of a review. Thank you. :)

#4 Tom Kellie

Tom Kellie

    From EEF to BBBB Small Signature

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,400 posts
  • Location:Southern China
  • Flag:

Posted 07 September 2019 - 04:30

~ namrehsnoom:


Like you, I'm a regular sketcher and writer with L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio inks.


Your illustrated review is useful in so many respects.


As lapis commented above, drawing and sketching need this type of ink.


Thank you so much!


Tom K.

#5 alexander_k


    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,395 posts
  • Location:The Netherlands

Posted 07 September 2019 - 08:43

Thanks for the excellent review. Every Callifolio ink I try impresses me favourably and this one has now been added to the shopping list. 

#6 Lgsoltek


    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,462 posts
  • Location:Paris, France (previously Beijing, China)
  • Flag:

Posted 07 September 2019 - 08:53

Amazing review as always! I do think this ink looks quite lovely.  :wub:  (Tas will be shocked to hear this.)

#7 Tas


    Graphophile . . .

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,192 posts
  • Location:London
  • Flag:

Posted 07 September 2019 - 11:49

Amazing review as always! I do think this ink looks quite lovely.  :wub:  (Tas will be shocked to hear this.)

Youre coming over I the dark side. I can feel it young padawan. You seen to own far more blue blacks and unsaturated blues lately. 🤔

#8 Karmachanic



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,948 posts
  • Location:Tralfamador

Posted 07 September 2019 - 13:28

Thank you once again for another of your enchanting reviews. And for the comparison grid. I was set on Aionobi for my Winter blue, but now .................

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: lartisan pastellier, callifolio, equinoxe(5), blue-black

Sponsored Content