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  1. Brownish red inks as I try to find the right one for a particular pen. Not so scientific, so feel free to move this thread if another forum is more appropriate. N.B. I think the Hopjesbruin and the Cognac are doppelgängers. I'm leaning towards one of the two of the inks tested here, though I do like the Oster.
  2. From the album: Ink review

    (right-sized to match the screen resolution of my MacBook Pro's built-in display panel at ~115dpi)

    © A Smug Dill

  3. From the album: Ink review

    (original scan at 300dpi)

    © A Smug Dill

  4. A Smug Dill

    Robert Oster Sydney Lavender

    From the album: Ink review

    Chromatograms produced using Loikaw medium-speed qualitative filter paper (grade 102). Drips and splat done on Arttec Como Sketch Pad 210gsm paper.

    © A Smug Dill

  5. A Smug Dill

    Robert Oster Sydney Lavender

    From the album: Ink review

    Drips and splats done on Canson Drawing 220 Pad 220gsm paper.

    © A Smug Dill

  6. This collection has been made in an intensive attempt to find the most ideal and complete shades of brown color fountain pen inks over the internet and as long as writing with a medium size fountain pen is what I'm concerned of, the "infinity symbol" on a regular paper is the thing I've considered saving these samples. I've also benchmarked the index card samples for those which were not available in infinity sample. All the top-rated fountain pen inks – even those which are not mentioned here probably for the lack of a quality brown ink – have been taken into account. ~ Here's the list ~ Akkerman Hals Oud Bruin Akkerman SBRE Brown Chesterfield Antique Copper Colorverse #25 String Colorverse Coffee Break Daytone Havana Brown De Atramentis American Whisky Brown Gold De Atramentis Havanna De Atramentis Scottish Whiskey Diamine Ancient Copper Diamine Chocolate Brown Diamine Desert Burst Diamine Golden Brown, Carter's Harvest Brown, Diamine Raw Sienna Diamine Ochre Diamine Terracotta Diamine Tobacco Sunburst Faber Castell Hazelnut Brown J. Herbin Café Des Iles J. Herbin Caroube De Chypre J. Herbin Lie de The J. Herbin Terre d'Ombre KWZ Honey KWZ Iron-gall Aztec Gold KWZ Iron-gall Mandarin (Corrected Version) KWZ Old Gold L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Cannelle Leonardo Sepia Classico Monteverde Copper Noir Monteverde Joy Sepia Monteverde Scotch Brown Noodler's Golden Brown Noodler's Kiowa Pecan OMAS Sepia Private Reserve Chocolate Private Reserve Copper Burst Private Reserve Sepia Robert Oster African Gold Robert Oster Antelope Canyon Robert Oster Caffe Crema Robert Oster Gold Antique Robert Oster Toffee Sailor Kobe #22 Shinkaichi Gold Sailor Storia Lion Light Brown Scribo Classico Seppia Standardgraph Maisgelb by @lgsoltek Taccia Tsuchi Golden Wheat Vinta Heritage Brown Vinta La Paz Diplomat Caramel Krishna Bronze Leaf, Krishna Yellow Valley L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Anahuac L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Itzamna L'Artisan Pastellier Encre Classique Ocre Jaune Maruzen Athena Kinkan PenBBS #135 Beijing PenBBS #269 45th POTUS PenBBS #504 Vernal Equinox Platinum Mix-Free Earth Brown Taccia Ukiyo-e Hokusai Benitsuchi Tono & Lims Kela Nuts Vinta Terracotta Vinta Ochre Note: the absorption of the ink to the paper could vary. Before purchasing any of the inks above be aware some of them are dry while the others are wet. Plus, based on the fountain pen model and paper you use, the colors could look different. Make sure to use fountain pen inks only, otherwise your fountain pen will clog. Stay away from drawing, calligraphy, lawyer, and India inks. They are not designed for the fountain pens. Platinum and Sailor have some pigmented-based inks; avoid them. Take all these into account.
  7. Robert Oster Signature - Gold Antiqua Robert Oster is an Australian ink maker that is well-known for its 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 Gold Antiqua – a yellow-gold-brown with a very pleasing appearance. Yellow-leaning inks often suffer from insufficient contrast with the paper, making them less suitable for writing. But this Gold Antiqua also leans towards brown, which enhances the contrast. As it turns out, this makes it a very pleasant-looking colour that looks great on paper. A playful ink for happy times. Gold Antiqua came to my attention through one of LizEF’s excellent Efnir video reviews. Turns out I had a small sample I received from Catherine of Sakura – just enough to give it a test drive. 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, Gold Antiqua has a rather broad tonal range, with quite a bit of contrast between the light and dark parts. This translates to a strong shading ink. Like most Robert Oster inks there is zero water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. The chroma for this ink is definitely interesting, and shows some amazing complexity. I see a multitude of component dyes, that miraculously combine to form the ink’s golden glow. Master mixer at work! 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 Lamy Safari fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib Lamy Safari A small text sample, written with an M-nib Lamy Safari Origin of the quote, written with the B-nib Safari Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Lamy) Gold Antiqua behaves well on most paper types. I didn’t notice any feathering, and only a tiny bit of show-through and bleed-through on the Moleskine. Drying times are quite low in the 5-second range with the Lamy Safari M-nib. The strong shading is very present on all papers, but a bit less pronounced on more yellow paper. The yellow paper seems to reduce the contrast between light and dark parts of the writing – the yellow background darkens up the light parts a bit. As a result, I personally like this ink best on the more yellow paper. I’ve also added a few photos to give another view on the ink. In the scanner samples above, the shading contrast in the written text is a bit exaggerated, making it look too harsh. The photos below show a more realistic view of the ink’s shading. 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 Lamy Dialog 3 with M-nib. I personally find the ink a bit weak in the EF/F nib – if you use fine nibs, you’re advised to use a wet pen (the dry-writing Safari is no good match). The ink is clearly a very heavy shader. Normally, I don’t like this, but with Gold Antiqua the interplay between light and dark gold works, and results in an interesting look. It makes for a great ink to use on greeting cards – my guess is it will look just stunning in a wet pen with a broad stub. Related inks To compare Gold Antiqua 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 – In Flanders Fields With every review, I try to create an interesting drawing using only the ink I’m working on. Limiting myself to one ink allows me to showcase its colour-range nuances. For me, this is the fun part of every ink review. Having only a 2.5 ml ink sample meant that I had to make every drop count. So I reused the Q-tips from the text-sample swabs to paint the drawing. I started with a 10x15 cm piece of HP photo paper, and used the Q-tips to draw the sky and Flanders Fields. A Q-tip with my last drop of pure Gold Antiqua was used for the sun. The trees and the accents in the field are added with the M/B nibbed Lamy Safari. Yellow inks are often amazing for drawing, and Gold Antiqua is no exception. This one is born for creating your own greeting cards. I enjoy the way it looks on the photo paper – add a “Happy New Year” and you’ve got a greeting card with a personal touch that beats any you can buy in stores. Conclusion Robert Oster Gold Antiqua truly is a beautiful golden ink, with good contrast on paper and very strong shading. Although I’m not in general a fan of strong-shading inks, this one manages to pull it off. A fine ink for personal correspondence or for use on greeting cards. I really liked this ink for drawing – it just looks amazing! A playful ink that I loved experimenting with. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
  8. I have recently been testing some of the Rhodia Touch products. Until now, the products tested just couldn’t fully cope with fountain pen ink art with bleed through being an issue... until now! The Rhodia Ink and Wash book is just a delight. See what you think. Ink used is Robert Oster Australian Opal Mauve. Amazing chromatography, no show through, no bleed through and silky smooth for writing! Incredible!
  9. Ink Shoot-Out : Robert Oster Purple Rock vs kyo-iro Soft Snow of Ohara I recently did a review of kyo-iro Soft Snow of Ohara, and noticed that Robert Oster Purple Rock has a similar colour in writing. Both inks are really nice soft & elegant grey-blurples that look great on paper. Time to do a detailed comparison, and find out which of these inks I like the most. Enter... the Ink Shoot-Out. A brutal fight spanning five rounds, where our champions engage in a formidable battle to determine who is the winner. Today's fighters are Tai Chi masters that excel in elegant moves to bring down their opponents. In the left corner, from Australia, the well-known master Robert Oster Purple Rock. In the right corner, from the city of Kyoto in Japan, comes the relatively unknown fighter Soft Snow of Ohara. Both champions take their places in the ring under a thunderous applause from the crowd. The gong signals the start of the first round. Let the fight begin and may the best ink win… Round 1 – First Impressions The fighters start circling each other, showing soft & elegant moves and countermoves. Some exploratory attacks & feints to seek out weaknesses in their opponent's defences. Both champions make a great first impression. These inks are greyed-down blue-purples, with a faded look that is both tranquil and elegant. They are well-saturated, even in finer nibs, and provide excellent contrast with the paper. Shading is just perfect, without too much contrast between light and darker parts, which adds to the aesthetics of the inks. Both are worthy champions, but there are some differences: Soft Snow of Ohara is more of a muted indigo-violet, while the Robert Oster ink has more of a purple look. This is most obvious in swabs, but also in writing when both inks are put side-by-side. Purple Rock is definitely the drier ink. It writes with sub-par lubrication in my Lamy Safari test pen. Soft Snow of Ohara seems a very wet ink in comparison. Both inks make a great first impression. Personally I find the grey-blue-violet of Soft Snow of Ohara a more pleasing colour. Both inks look great though. Worthy opponents that showed their skill during this round. A pity that the Robert Oster ink made a false move at the start... its dryness is not something that you will easily forget. A minor failure, but enough to grant this round to the Japanese ink from the TAG Kyoto stable. The chromatography clearly shows that the kyo-iro ink has more blue in its composition, whereas the Robert Oster ink is built from a more purple base. From the bottom part of the chroma you can already see that not much ink remains when water is added. Round 2 – Writing Sample The writing sample was done on Rhodia N°16 Notepad with 80 gsm paper. Both inks behaved flawlessly, with no feathering and no show-through or bleed-through. The Robert Oster ink is really dry, and feels very scratchy when writing. But this is not reflected on the page - the ink still lays down a well-saturated crisp line with the EF nib. With broader nibs, the dryness disappears and both inks glide fluently across the paper. Both inks are excellent shaders, even with the finer nibs. It's not often that you encounter inks that manage to exhibit shading in an EF nib. Both Purple Rock and Soft Snow of Ohara can pull off this nifty feat. The shading remains aesthetically pleasing as you move to broader nibs. Due to the low contrast in the saturation range of these inks, there is no harsh difference between light and darker parts. Shading thus remains soft and elevates the elegance of your writing. Really well executed! For this round, the focus is on writing, and here both inks look equally well on the page. As such this round ends in a draw - not because the champions were weak... not at all. They both entertained the public showing off excellent punches and counter-punches, executed with great style. The crowd is loving it! Round 3 – Pen on Paper This round allows the batlling inks to show how they behave on a range of fine writing papers. From top to bottom, we have: FantasticPaper, Life Noble, Tomoe River and Original Crown Mill cotton paper. All scribbling and writing was done with a Lamy Safari M-nib. Both champions did well, with no show-through nor bleed-through. But this round is not about technicalities, it is about aesthetics and beauty. Are the fighters able to make the paper shine ? Both inks can handle both white and more yellow papers with ease, looking good on both types of paper. The kyo-iro looks the more beautiful of the two - to me it seems to have more depth to it, and the grey-violet looks a bit more pleasing to the eye. Purple Rock shows a definite weakness on the Tomoe River paper. Look closely at the scribbles below the text, and you'll notice that the ink has lost its purple character, and even takes on a bit of a green undertone. There is something in the composition of Purple Rock that can clash with chemicals in the paper. Below is a much more extreme example on Moleskine paper: here all the purple in Purple Rock is lost and replaced by a sickly green undertone. When the chemistry doesn't undermine Purple Rock's looks, both inks look great, although I prefer the bluer tones of Soft Snow of Ohara. But when the chemistry goes wrong, Purple Rock completely caves, and loses all of its appeal. Gone is the elegance and beauty... the champion now becomes a stumbling wreck. The crowd hasn't failed to notice this, and neither has the judge. The advantage in this round goes to the kyo-iro ink. A deserved win! Round 4 – Ink Properties Being dry and scratchy, you'd expect Purple Rock to be a fast-drying ink. But that is not the case. On the Rhodia paper it took over 15 seconds to dry (using a Lamy Safari with M-nib). And although Soft Snow of Ohara feels much wetter, it is still a fast-drying ink at around 5-10 seconds. The Japanese champion scores a solid hit on its opponent in this area. Both inks smudge when rubbed with a moist Q-tip cotton swab, but the text itself remains crisp and clear. The smudging is a bit more pronounced with Purple Rock. Neither ink shows any water resistance. Drip water on your writing, and all that is left is an unreadable mess. Here both inks are weak, and neither of them can impress the public. For this round, neither ink did much to impress the crowd. But at the start of the round, the Japanese ink managed a surprise attack that really hurt its opponent. Soft Snow of Ohara is surprisingly fast-drying for a wet-feeling ink. Not exactly a knock-out, but a definite win on points. The stadium roars its approval for the TAG Kyoto champion. Round 5 – The Fun Factor Welcome to the final round. Here I give you a purely personal impression of both inks, where I judge which of them I like most when doing some fun stuff like doodling and drawing. The drawing was done on HP photo paper, that typically brings out the best from inks. Both inks do well, and allow for some nice effects. They both have a fairly medium colour span, that results in subtle colour differences between areas of lower and higher saturation. The contrast is never harsh, which translates to a soft-toned image that looks pleasing to the eye. I really enjoyed using them. In the picture, I used different water/ink ratios to draw in the background. The trees were drawn in with my fountain pen and pure ink. I also used the fountain pen to add some texture to the mountainside. Both champions show their best moves: lightning-fast strikes and intercepts, an elegant dance of warriors. The stadium shakes with the applause of the crowd. What a fight! Both inks work superbly as drawing inks. It's really a question of personal preference: do you prefer the more purple tones of the Robert Oster ink, or the bluer violet of Soft Snow of Ohara? Myself, I liked Purple Rock just a tiny bit more. It's easier to bring out some of its undertones: if you look closely, you can see some red in the mountainside, and a subtle hint of green in the air. But objectively speaking, both champions did equally well, and showed off their immense potential. As such, this round ends with a draw. The Verdict Both inks are muted, soft & elegant beauties, that work well on both pure white and more yellow paper. They are sell-saturated, and look great in all nib-sizes. These inks even show shading in EF-nibs! Purple Rock has a big weakness though: with some paper types, the chemistry clashes and the ink is reduced to an ugly green-grey mess. If you can avoid these circumstances, Purple Rock definitely is a beautiful writing ink, although a dry & scratchy one. Counting the points, the outcome is obvious: Soft Snow of Ohara is clearly the winner of this exciting fight!
  10. namrehsnoom

    Robert Oster 1980 - Whisper Red

    Robert Oster 1980 - Whisper Red Robert Oster is an Australian ink maker that is well-known for its unique range of colours. With this mini-series he gives us a conglomeration of colours inspired by the anything goes world of the 1980s. The inks include muted pastel-type colours along with some eye-popping disco-style hues. Definitely an interesting series. In this review the spotlight is on Whisper Red - a muted pastel-like rose-red that is easy on the eye and works quite well as a writing ink. Personally, the colour brings back memories of plastic toys that looked exactly this shade of muted red. For a Robert Oster ink, it feels well-lubricated and lays down a sufficiently contrast-rich line with all nib sizes, even with the finer ones. That being said, I personally don't see much use for this ink. I occasionally use it in my journal, and have also used it as an ink to mark-up and annotate reports at work. But I don't see myself using it on a daily basis. 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 Tomoe River 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, Whisper Red ranges from a faint wispy rose to a well-saturated rose-red at the dark end of the spectrum. This relatively broad tonal range reflects in the shading properties of this ink - Whisper Red shows some really nice aesthetically pleasing shading, especially in broader nibs. Like most Robert Oster inks, Whisper Red has zero water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. This is also apparent from the lower part of the chromatography. The chroma clearly shows that the dyes migrate away with the water, with only some smudges remaining on the paper. Definitely not a water-resistant ink. 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 Lamy Safari fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib Lamy Safari A small text sample, written with an M-nib Lamy Safari Origin of the quote, written with a Pelikan M101N Bright Red with F-nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Lamy) Whisper Red is a well-behaving ink on most paper types, with only a little amount of barely-visible feathering on lower quality paper. The ink dries quite quickly around the 5 second mark (with the M-nib Lamy Safari). Saturation and contrast are really good across all paper types in my test set. The ink also shows some nice shading, even with finer nibs. All in all a very pleasing writing experience. 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 M101N Bright Red with F-nib. Whisper Red can effortlessly handle the complete nib-range, from EF to broad and italic calligraphy nibs. Contrast with the paper is excellent, and the ink retains its muted character across this broad range of nibs. Nice and consistent, making it a fine writing ink. Related inks To compare this Whisper Red 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 – gladiator fight With every review, I try to create an interesting mini-painting using only the ink I'm working on. This really forces me to explore all colour-range nuances that are present within the ink. Often quite challenging, but always real fun and my favourite part of every ink review. For this drawing I used HP Photo Paper. To create the background, I put a wet paper towel on the photo paper, and painted ink on top of it with a brush. The ink then migrated through the paper towel to the photo paper below, resulting in a nicely textured background. The photos of the drawing phases were taken with my phone under artificial light, and definitely show a much too orange hue. I next drew the arena with the fighting mouse and mousetrap using my M-nibbed Safari. The cats in the audience were painted in with fountain pen and brush. The resulting mini-picture shows what can be obtained with Whisper Red as a drawing ink. My personal experience: red inks are really difficult to draw with. The result is - well - too red and busy and in-your-face. Definitely not my favourite drawing colour. Conclusion Robert Oster 1980 Whisper Red is nice muted rose-red, that works really well as a writing ink: nice shading and good contrast with the paper in all nib-sizes. Personally, I'm not a red ink fan, and don't typically use this colour for daily writing. I can see myself using this ink mainly for annotating reports and papers. A nice ink to try, but by no means an extraordinary one. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
  11. essayfaire

    Inks And Intrinsic Beauty

    Has anyone else had difficulty deciding whether or not to hold onto an ink because the ink works for a pen but not for personal aesthetic value? I was lucky enough to be given the Estie Icicle pen shown below; I inked it up with a sample Robert Oster that looked close to the pen color. I am pleased with the pairing of ink color to pen color (see attached photo), but not with the ink color itself; I tend to prefer deep rather than smoky colors of my ink. Now I'm at my wits end deciding whether to keep this nice pen inked with a color that suits it, or change it to a color that suits me. I do realize this is a rather superficial problem to have, but it irks me nonetheless. Anyone else similarly torn?
  12. namrehsnoom

    Robert Oster 1980 - Clearwater Rain

    Robert Oster 1980 - Clearwater Rain Robert Oster is an Australian ink maker that is well-known for its unique range of colours. With this mini-series he gives us a conglomeration of colours inspired by the anything goes world of the 1980s. The inks include muted pastel-type colours along with some eye-popping disco-style hues. Definitely an interesting series. In this review I take a closer look at Clearwater Rain - an eye-popping electric cyan-blue, reminiscent of the blazing disco-lights on a 1980's dancefloor. To be honest, this is not my type of colour, but I will do my best to give it an honest review. For a Robert Oster ink, this one feels well-lubricated, and it lays down a wet and well-saturated line, even with my dry-writing Lamy Safari test pens. No complaints there - this ink works really well for writing, even with the finest nibs. If you like your inks vibrant with popping colour, this Clearwater Rain certainly fits the bill. You can't go much more vibrant than this ;-) 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 Tomoe River 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, Clearwater Rain is well-saturated at the light end, and becomes a darker cyan-blue on the most saturated parts. The ink doesn't have a very broad tonal range, which already gives a clue that it is less suited for single-ink drawings. Like most Robert Oster inks, Clearwater Rain has zero water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. This is also apparent from the lower part of the chromatography. The chroma clearly shows the blue & green components of the ink. I wouldn't call it a teal though, cyan-blue is a better term. Personally, I would describe this as the result you get when you move a sky-blue cerulean-type colour towards the green - not a scientific expression, but that's how I consider this Clearwater Rain. 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 Lamy Safari fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib Lamy Safari A small text sample, written with an M-nib Lamy Safari Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Lamy) Clearwater Rain is a well-behaving ink on most paper types, with no visible feathering. The ink dries quite quickly around the 5 second mark (with the M-nib Lamy Safari), which surprised me because it writes really wet. With Moleskine paper, there is a tiny bit of feathering, and a fair amount of see-through and bleed-through. Saturation and contrast are really good across all paper types in my test set. The ink also shows some nice shading, even with finer nibs. All in all a very pleasing writing experience. This is my first ink review for 2020, and with a new year comes a new set of quotes. The quotes below come from Terry Pratchett novels. If you love English tongue-in-cheek humour, you can't go wrong with Pratchett's writings. I'm a big fan of his Discworld novels ! 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 M-nib. As you can see, Clearwater Rain has no problem with even the finest nibs, exhibiting good contrast, saturation and shading with the EF-nib. This excellent performance remains across the complete nib-range, making it a really fine writing ink. Related inks To compare Clearwater Rain 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 - row, row, row your boat With every review, I try to create an interesting drawing using only the ink I'm working on. Limiting myself to one ink allows me to showcase its colour-range nuances. It's often quite a challenge, but always great fun. For this drawing I used 300 gsm rough watercolour paper. I painted in the sky with heavily water-diluted ink. The boat uses pure Clearwater Rain, drawn in using the tip of a cotton-swab. I then added the waves and the sun with a Q-tip, using multiple water/ink ratios. The resulting picture gives you an idea of what can be achieved with this cyan-blue as a drawing ink. The limited tonal range of this ink made it a difficult one for drawing. I personally appreciate it much more as a writing ink. Conclusion Robert Oster 1980 Clearwater Rain is an eye-popping cyan-blue, that works really well as a writing ink. It is well-saturated, provides great contrast with the paper, and shows prominent shading even with the fines nibs. Personally I'm not a fan of the colour, but if you happen to like it I'd say go for 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
  13. namrehsnoom

    Robert Oster 1980 - Honey Bee

    Robert Oster 1980 - Honey Bee Robert Oster is an Australian ink maker that is well-known for its unique range of colours. With this mini-series he gives us a conglomeration of colours inspired by the anything goes world of the 1980s. These inks fit my personal preferences: muted pastel-type colours with great shading. In this review I take a closer look at Honey Bee - a yellow-orange-sepia chameleon of an ink. This ink substantially changes colour depending on the type of lighting. It's more of an orange-sepia colour in daylight, but a dark yellow under artificial light. Honey Bee is not a bad name, given that honey comes in a broad colour range, that is nicely captured by this ink. The ink feels dry - and I mean really dry - in my Lamy Safari test pens, and even in wetter pens with fine nibs. Saturation is also relatively low, meaning that you need wet pens to take full advantage of this ink. All this doesn't sound very promising, I know. But pair this ink with broad nibs in a wet pen, and the result looks really nice. And for drawing, this ink simply looks gorgeous. 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, Honey Bee is quite faint at the lower saturation end, but reaches a much darker sepia-brown colour when fully saturated. The colour remains dusty and muted across the saturation range, which I personally like. To prove the chameleon quirks of this ink, I took a photo of the same saturation sample under artificial light. Here the ink transforms into a dusty dark yellow. Compare this to the more orange-sepia tones of the saturation sample above (my scanner uses light with a daytime colour temperature). To be honest, I personally prefer its nighttime appearance under artificial light. Like most Robert Oster inks, Honey Bee has zero water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. This is also apparent from the chromatography. Smudging is not a problem though - which is what I typically care about. 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 Lamy Safari fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib Lamy Safari A small text sample, written with an M-nib Lamy Safari Origin of the quote, written with a Kaweco Sport with M cursive italic nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Lamy) Honey Bee is a well-behaving ink on most paper types, with no visible feathering. The ink dries quite quickly around the 5 second mark (with the M-nib Lamy Safari). The ink reacts weirdly with Moleskine paper, but works just fine with the other paper types in my test set. Due to the yellow-orange colour, the ink works best with pure white paper. Personally, I don't really like its looks on more yellowish paper. As can be seen from the quote origin texts written with an M cursive italic, Hoeny Bee works best with broader nibs or wet pens, where saturation improves, and the horrible dry-ness more or less disappears. 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 (if you avoid the Moleskine where the chemistry gets weird). 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 couple of visiting pens. The ink's shading really starts showing up once you go to M-nibs or broader. With wet pens, the ink becomes much more saturated, while still keeping its toned-down muted appearance. Personally I think Honey Bee should only be used in wet pens with broader nibs. Below is a writing sample on Paperblanks journal paper, showcasing the difference between a Lamy Safari M-nib (dry pen) and a wetter-writing Kaweco Sport with M cursive italic nib. With the wetter pens, saturation and dryness are no longer a problem. Related inks To compare Honey Bee 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 – radiant madonna As a personal challenge, I try to create interesting drawings using only the ink I'm reviewing. Limiting myself to one ink allows me to creatively showcase all its colour-range nuances. It's often quite a challenge, but always great fun. For this drawing I started off with HP Premium photo paper. I created a background by pressing the photo paper on a water-soaked kitchen towel on which I splashed some ink. Next I used pure Honey Bee to paint in the subject. The radiant halo surrounding the madonna was added with Q-tips and different water/ink ratios. The resulting mini-picture gives you an idea of what can be achieved with this yellow-orange Honey Bee as a drawing ink. Conclusion Robert Oster 1980 Honey Bee is a pastel-toned yellow-orange-sepia chameleon, that mostly excels as a drawing ink. Personally, I didn't care much for its chameleon nature, which results in a completely different look under day- or artificial light. The ink also has technical issues, being dry and undersaturated. You really need wet pens and broader nibs to get a good-looking result. Overall, I'm not impressed by this ink - I've seen nicer ones with better behaviour. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types From idea to drawing Although Honey Bee disappoints as a writing ink, I found it to be a beautiful ink for drawing. In this appendix to the review, I'd like to give you a bit of insight into my drawing setup & process. This inkxperiment was born with some doodles, started during a lazy weekend-afternoon. I liked parts of different doodles, so I decided to combine them. I'm really bad at drawing, so I put together parts of different doodles on my computer, printed out the result, and used a light-box to transfer the resulting pic to the HP photo paper. The photo paper was already prepared with a Honey Bee background, created by pressing the paper on a water-soaked kitchen towel to which I added some splashes of ink. After finishing the Madonna picture with a fine brush and pure Honey Bee, I used Q-tips to draw in the radiant halo with multiple water-ink ratios. The end result is the inkxperiment drawing. Oh... and to protect my writing desk, I use a plastic kitchen placemat (white backside up) as a drawing surface - no accidents yet ;-)
  14. namrehsnoom

    Robert Oster 1980S - Dusky Pink

    Robert Oster 1980s - Dusky Pink Robert Oster is an Australian ink maker that is well-known for its unique range of colours. With this mini-series he gives us a conglomeration of colours inspired by the anything goes world of the 1980s. These inks fit my personal preferences: muted pastel-type colours with great shading. In this review I take a closer look at Dusky Pink, a dim muted purple with a definite vintage feel. The ink feels sub-lubricated in dry pens like the Lamy Safari. Saturation is very low here, but there is still enough contrast with the page to make for easily legible writing. What this ink really needs is wet pens and broader nibs. It will then reward you with a beautiful well-saturated - but still toned-down - purple colour that exhibits great shading. Simply superb! 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, Dusky Pink is quite faint at the lower saturation end, but reaches a much darker purple colour when fully saturated. The colour remains muted across the saturation range, which I personally like. The ink has a definite vintage vibe to it. Like most Robert Oster inks, Dusky Pink has zero water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. The chromatography seems to suggest that a faint rose-red residue remains, but don't let this fool you. What is left on the page after water damage is completely unreadable. Smudging is not a problem though - which is what I typically care about. 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 Lamy Safari fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib Lamy Safari A small text sample, written with an M-nib Lamy Safari Origin of the quote, written with a Pelikan with M cursive italic nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Lamy) Dusky Pink is a well-behaving ink on most paper types, with no visible feathering. The ink dries quite quickly around the 5 second mark (with the M-nib Lamy Safari). For some reason, Dusky Pink reacts weirdly with some types of paper, a.o. the Moleskine and HP printing paper. Here the ink looks just sick ... ugh! As can be seen from these writing samples, Dusky Pink looks at its best with broad nibs or wet pens, where you get nicely saturated writing with beautiful shading. I also show the back-side of the different paper types at the end of the review. No troubles there, except with the Moleskine and Generic notepad paper, which show significant bleed-through. All in all, a well-behaving ink (if you avoid the few papers where the chemistry gets weird). 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 couple of visiting pens - a TWSBI VAC mini with M-nib, and a wet-writing Pelikan with an M cursive italic nib. The ink's shading really starts showing up once you go to M-nibs or broader. With wet pens, the ink becomes much more saturated, while still keeping its toned-down muted appearance. Personally I think Dusky Pink should be combined with wet pens and broader nibs. Below is a writing sample on Paperblanks journal paper, showcasing the diffence between a Lamy Safari M-nib (dry pen) and a wet-writing Pelikan with M cursive italic nib. For me personally, the writing with the wet Pelikan looks simply great. Related inks To compare Dusky Pink 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. Dusky Purple fits nicely with my other muted purples, and is different enough to warrant its own place. Inkxperiment - zen at the lake As a personal challenge, I try to create interesting drawings using only the ink I'm reviewing. For me, this brings quite 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 started off with HP Premium photo paper. I then painted in a background with heavily water-diluted ink. Next I used Q-tips and multiple ink/water ratios to draw the lake. The horizon line, and the rowing boat were painted with pure Dusky Pink. As a final touch, I added the pine trees on the mountain slope with a B-nibbed Lamy Safari filled with Dusky Pink. The resulting mini-picture gives you an idea of what can be achieved with this muted purple as a drawing ink. Conclusion Robert Oster 1980s Dusky Pink is a pastel-toned muted purple that totally fits my personal tastes - no wonder I like it ;-) Be aware that the ink looks quite unsaturated when using dry pens, and shows sub-par lubrication in fine nibs. Pair this ink with a wet pen and broader nibs, and the result is pure joy. In my opinion, Robert Oster produced a fine ink with this one. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
  15. namrehsnoom

    Robert Oster Signature Lemon Grass

    Robert Oster Signature Lemon Grass 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 center stage is taken by Lemon Grass - a soft grass-green colour. Catherine from Sakura provided me with a sample of this ink to play around with - much appreciated! I quite like the looks of this ink, but its physical properties leave much to be desired. For my reviews, I use Lamy Safari fountain pens, which are known to be on the dry side. With these pens, the writing experience is horrible: the ink feels extremely dry, with sub-par lubrication. My pen scratches over the paper - it almost feels like writing on a chalkboard. Even with a normally wet-writing Lamy Dialog 3, the ink felt just wrong. Ugh! Really a pitty, because the ink's colour is not bad at all. 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, Lemon Grass has a moderately wide colour range, moving from light to darker green. This also means that the shading is not too extreme, and remains aesthetically pleasing. Shading is most pleasant is M-nibs and above. With fine nibs, there's just a hint of it. Like most Robert Oster inks, Lemon Grass has zero water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. As the bottom of the chromatography shows, almost no ink is left on the page. The ink smudges a lot, but the text remains readable. I've tested the ink on a wide variety of paper - from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. I have recently expanded my paper testbed to include 20 different paper types. As such, you will get a good idea of the performance of this ink. On each scrap 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) Lemon Grass is a well-behaving ink on most paper types, with no visible feathering. Only with the lower quality papers did I notice some feathering (Moleskine, HP printing paper). The ink dries quite quickly within the 5 second range (with the M-nib). Lemon Grass looks good on both white and off-white paper. At the end of this review, I also show the back-side of the different paper types at the end of the review. No troubles there, except with the Moleskine and GvFC paper, which shows significant see-through and even some 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 normally wet-writing Lamy Dialog 3 with M-nib. Despite being a wet pen, the ink still feels dry and sub-lubricated. I guess you need really broad nibs or ink-gushing pens to get a pleasant writing experience. Related inks To compare Lemon Grass 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 – oak tree in summer field 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. These small picture give you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. And they are simply fun to do! For this inkxperiment, I got my inspiration from a picture I saw on Pinterest. Only a tiny amount of ink remained from my ink sample, so I had to be creative and use the Q-tips I used for the writing sample swabs to do most of the drawing. I started off with 300 gsm watercolour paper, on which I first painted a light background with water-diluted ink. Next I added ever saturated layers to draw in the summer field. Finally, I used my Dialog 3 with pure Lemon Grass to pencil in the tree, and to add line accents to the field. I quite like the end result, which gives you a good idea of what can be achieved with Lemon Grass as a drawing ink. Conclusion Robert Oster Lemon Grass has an interesting soft grass-green colour. But it disappoints as a writing ink, feeling horribly dry with all of my Safari nibs. You probably need extremely wet pens with broad nibs to get a pleasant writing experience. I enjoyed the experience of testing it, but in my opinion this is not an ink to get a full bottle of. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
  16. namrehsnoom

    Robert Oster Signature - Khakhi

    Robert Oster Signature - Khakhi 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 shines on Khakhi - a murky green-brown camouflage colour. Catherine from Sakura provided me with a sample of this ink to play around with - much appreciated! Khaki is a bit of a chameleon ink. Depending on the light source it shifts from a dirty green to a yellowish brown. I like the way the ink looks under artificial light, less so the more yellow-brown colour it shows in daylight. The ink is really dry in finer nibs, and feels rather unpleasant to write with. You really need wet pens and/or broad nibs to bring the best out of this ink. But under these circumstances it looks beautiful, and writes like a dream. Being a typical F/M nib user, this is definitely not suitable for my pens. 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, Khakhi moves from a wispy haze to a rather dark green-brown. This is also seen in writing - this ink is a heavy shader. Like most Robert Oster inks, Khakhi lacks any water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. As the lower part of the chromatography shows, almost no ink is left on the page. The ink smudges a lot, but the text remains 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) Khakhi is a well-behaving ink on most paper types, with no visible feathering. The ink dries quite quickly within the 5-10 second range (with the M-nib). The ink works well with both white and off-white paper. Only with Moleskine did I notice a tiny amount of feathering. Anyway... do yourself a favour, and reserve this ink for wet pens with broad nibs. The writing experience with my Lamy Safari M-nib was not pleasant at all... scratchy and dry. 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 Pelikan M200 with a broad nib. With the broader nibs the ink writes like a dream. Add a wet pen, and you get a pretty dark yellow-brown colour. Related inks To compare Khakhi 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. To show the chameleon effect - I also add the picture below, which is a photo taken under artificial light. I added the Jekyll & Hyde mix to the related inks chart - this is an extreme chameleon ink that looks similar to Khakhi under artificial light. Inkxperiment – sleeping madonna 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. These small picture give you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. Lately I have been experimenting with HP photo paper as a medium - I quite like the way it makes inks look more vibrant. Having little inspiration for this inkxperiment, I started off with some random lines. From these I extracted the image of a sleeping madonna with child, using different saturation levels of the ink. This small 10x15 cm picture gives you an idea of what can be achieved with Khakhi as a drawing ink. Not bad ! Conclusion Robert Oster Khakhi is an interesting murky yellow-green-brown chameleon, that works great as a writing ink, but only if you use wet pens and broader nibs. With finer nibs, this ink feels horribly dry - as such, this is not an ink for me. I enjoyed the experience of trying it, but this is not a full-bottle ink for me. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
  17. Help! I really love the Robert Oster inks. Where can I get them in India? Have you guys used Robert Oster?
  18. RudraDev

    Help! Robert Oster Inks

    Hi, I am in love with the Robert Oster signature inks and I want to them. I live in India. Where can I get Robert Oster inks in India?
  19. namrehsnoom

    Robert Oster Signature - Green Olive

    Robert Oster Signature - Green Olive 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 Green Olive. Catherine from Sakura provided me with a sample of this ink to play around with - much appreciated! This is in essence a yellow ink - not the type of colour I think about when hearing the name "Green Olive". As expected, saturation is low, and contrast with the paper is almost non-existent - especially in drier pens and finer nibs. As a writing ink, this one is only tolerable when using wet pens and broad nibs, in order to achieve maximum saturation. Being a typical F/M nib user, this is definitely not suitable for my pens. 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, Green Olive is really really faint at the lower saturation end, and only achieves some kind of olive-like hue when fully saturated. Like most Robert Oster inks, Green Olive has zero water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. As the chromatography shows, almost no ink is left on the page. Smudge resistance is acceptable: although there is lots of smearing of the ink, the text itself remains eadable. Better said: you start off with barely readable low-saturation text, and smudging does little to make this worse. 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) Green Olive is a well-behaving ink on most paper types, with no visible feathering. The ink dries quite quickly within the 5-10 second range (with the M-nib). Because of the colour, this is not an ink to use with yellow-tinted paper. With my Lamy test pens and M/B nibs, the ink is barely readable, and totally unsuited for note-taking. I don't own BB or BBB wet pens - maybe the ink is usable for writing in these cases. Anyway, if you insist on writing with a yellow ink, you're better off using one that is more saturated to start with. 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 Lamy Dialog 3 with gold M-nib. But even with one of my wetter pens, the ink remains almost unreadable. I therefore added a line written with a glass dip pen - here you get maximum saturation, and a readable line with acceptable contrast. With smaller nib sizes, this is an ink to avoid. Related inks To compare Green Olive 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 - petites danseuses 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 started off with HP Premium photo paper, and zero inspiration. So I used a variant of the random line-drawing technique (drawing random lines on paper, and then try to lift something meaningful out of the messy randomness). In this case I submerged the photo paper in water, and added drops of ink. From the random ink blobs that formed on the paper - and using my imagination - I extracted the figures of two dancing children. I then used a glass dip pen to trace "les petites danseuses" - using maximum saturation of the ink. This mini-picture gives you an idea of what can be achieved with Green Olive as a drawing ink. And I must admit - as a drawing ink, Green Olive has lots of potential. Conclusion Robert Oster Green Olive is a yellow ink that is totally unsuitable for writing. The only way to get readable results is to use broad and broader nibs in wet pens, so that the ink reaches maximum saturation. As a drawing ink though, this one shows lots of potential. I enjoyed the experience of trying it once, but this is an ink that's not for me. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
  20. 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-tip1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturationAn ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain penThe name of the paper used, written with a B-nibA small text sample, written with an M-nibDrying 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 sizesThe 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. Related inksTo 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 FlowersAs 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. ConclusionRobert 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
  21. namrehsnoom

    Robert Oster Signature - Direct Sun

    Robert Oster Signature - Direct Sun 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-tip1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturationAn ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain penThe name of the paper used, written with a B-nibA small text sample, written with an M-nibDrying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)Direct Sun behaved impeccably on most paper types, with no visible feathering. Only with the Moleskine paper a tiny amount of feathering is barely visible. 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. 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. Conclusion 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
  22. JustWrite Pen Company

    The Australian Fountain Pen Community

    The Australian Fountain Pen Community is a small one and pen makers, ink makers and retailers are part of that community. They play their role in the community by providing products and services that enable and enrich the passion we all follow. When I first became interested in making ink back in 2013, there were no Australian made fountain pen inks available and the range of imported inks was limited and expensive. Now we have Robert Oster with his amazing array of colours, Bookbinders, Van Diemens and Blackstone. And now, there is a steadily increasing number of enthusiastic pen makers, making unique hand made pens and James Finniss of Pensive Pens is one of them. James is the guy who worked with Robert Oster to develop the Serendipity Pen, a unique, Australian designed and made pen. Recently James took a bad hit when his workshop was flooded and Yagan Kiely (Macchiato Man), another well known figure in the Australian Fountain Pen Community has started a GoFundMe Fundraiser to help James replace his equipment so he can get back to making pens. As Yagan pointed out, James isn't the kind of guy to ask for help but we're a small FP community here in Australia and we should support each other to help keep our passion and our industry alive and flourishing. If you can help by supporting the GoFundMe Fundraiser or by patronising Pensive Pens, either would be great. Here is what Yagan said on the GoFundMe website: Good friend of the Australian Fountain Pen community, James Finniss, owns the business that many of us have enjoyed and used, Pensive pens in the NSW Southern Tablelands. Flooding this year in his region has caused the destruction of the equipment he uses to turn pens. James was insured but the insurer won’t pay for the specific machinery to be replaced. While James is saving to replace and repair as much as he can, there is still a long way to go to make right was was destroyed which he puts at a little over AU$50,000. James isn’t the person to ask for help but the fountain pen community is a great community and I’m sure we can help James recoup the costs. If the funding goal isn’t reached, James will still get what is raised. There’s no obligation for James to immediately replace the equipment but it was his goal to eventually do so; whatever is donated will hasten that end.
  23. Got this ink almost on a whim. I'm kind of a sucker for ocean theme inks. There is another RO ink in my collection, Australian Sky, which I'm not super pleased with the performance. This ink, however, has very good performance especially for a lefty like me. It's fairly saturated but dries fast and does not smear. Yeah! Paper for this review is Staples Bagasse. Like most inks this looks wetter and more vibrant on Tomoe River paper, but it does not sing on Tomoe like some inks. This ink is beautiful on basic papers. I really like this ink. Good color for work without being boring. Not for security as it easily washes away with water.
  24. Robert Oster Signature - Blue Water Ice Robert Oster is an Australian ink maker that is well-known for its 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 Blue Water Ice. Catherine from Sakura provided me with a sample of this ink to play around with - much appreciated! This particular incarnation of a Robert Oster ink is a cerulean-style blue, that is quite similar in colour to Pelikan Edelstein Topaz or iroshizuku kon-peki. It's a nice vibrant sky-blue, that provides good contrast with the paper in all nib sizes. The ink also writes pleasantly, with a wet and well-lubricated feel to it. Blue Water Ice shows nice and aesthetically pleasing shading, especially in broader nibs. But even with finer nibs, the shading is present, although less pronounced. Personally, I quite like the expressive shading that this ink displays - not too much contrast between light and darker parts, just as I like it. 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 Blue Water Ice is capable of in terms of colour range. Like most Robert Oster inks, Blue Water Ice 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 blue residue remains on the paper. Smudge resistance is also bad, with terrible smearing of the text. One more thing I noticed: although not water-resistant, the ink clings to your pen's insides, and it takes a lot of rinsing with clean water to remove all traces of ink. 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-tip1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturationAn ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain penThe name of the paper used, written with a B-nibA small text sample, written with an M-nibDrying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)Blue Water Ice behaved impeccably on most paper types, with no visible feathering. Only with the Moleskine paper a tiny amount of feathering is barely visible. The colour looks great across the different paper types, which I also appreciate. Despite feeling wet & lubricated when writing, this 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. Inkxperiment – Triangle SeaportAs a personal experiment, I try to produce interesting drawings using only the ink I'm reviewing. I find this to be a fun extension of the hobby, and have found these single-ink drawings a nice challenge. For this drawing I used OCM cotton paper, which has a nice texture to it. The background of the picture was painted with heavily diluted ink (20:1 water/ink ratio). For the scene itself, I used 5:1 diluted ink for the lighter blocks, and undiluted ink for the others. The dynamic range of this ink's colour is not very broad, but it's still possible to get an interesting result. At least you get a good idea of what Blue Water Ice is capable of in a more artistic setting. ConclusionRobert Oster Blue Water Ice is a nice cerulean-blue ink, that manages to look good on all of my test papers. The ink shows some prominent but still subtle shading, that is very pleasing to the eye. I really like this ink for writing, because it works very well with my usual F/M nib sizes. A pity that the ink has zero water resistance. My personal opinion: a good-looking ink, but no threat for Pelikan Edelstein Topaz, which remains my king of the cerulean blues. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
  25. namrehsnoom

    Robert Oster Signature - Blue Night

    Robert Oster Signature - Blue Night Robert Oster is an Australian ink maker that is well-known for its 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 centered on Blue Night. Catherine from Sakura provided me with a sample of this ink to play around with - much appreciated! This particular incarnation of a Robert Oster ink is a glorious dark blue. Definitely not a blue-black, but also definitely leaning to the dark side of the blue spectrum. The name "Blue Night" is well-deserved in this case. The ink provides good contrast with the paper, which is good. It also wrote pleasantly with good lubrication and a decent wet feeling, even with finer nibs. Blue Night shows nice and aesthetically pleasing shading, especially in broader nibs. With finer nibs, the shading is barely visible though. Personally, I found the expressive shading that this ink displays very pleasing to the eye. Well 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. Like most Robert Oster inks, Blue Night has zero water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. As the chromatography shows, only some purplish residue remains on the paper. This residue runs all over the place, meaning that there remains insufficient detail to reconstruct your writing. Smudge resistance is acceptable - there is quite some smearing, but the text itself remains totally 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-tip1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturationAn ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain penThe name of the paper used, written with a B-nibA small text sample, written with an M-nibDrying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)Blue Night behaved impeccably on most paper types, with no visible feathering. Only with lower quality paper (like Moleskine and HP printing paper) there appears some minor feathering. The colour looks great across the different paper types, which I also appreciate. The ink dries quite quickly within the 5-10 second range. 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. The GvFC paper also shows a bit of bleed-through. All in all, a well-behaving ink. Inkxperiment – Blue Night CityscapeAs a personal experiment, I try to produce interesting drawings using only the ink I'm reviewing. I find this to be a fun extension of the hobby, and have found these single-ink drawings a nice challenge. For this drawing I used 90 gsm sketch paper. This time, I had a very limited amount of ink available, so the drawing was made using the same Q-tip cotton swabs I used for the writing samples. The night sky background was created by colouring the page with the Q-tip, and then using lots of water to wash out the ink. This brings forth the purple components in the ink, resulting in a glowing late-evening sky. The cityscape itself was drawn with undiluted Blue Night ink, rubbed on with a Q-tip swab. For the details, I used my Lamy Safari fountain pen to scribble in the building details on the drawing. I'm pleased with the results I obtained with this ink. The end result also gives you a good idea of the colour span that Blue Night is capable of in a more artistic setting. ConclusionRobert Oster Blue Night is a gorgeous dark blue ink, that manages to look good on all of my test papers. The ink shows some prominent but still subtle shading, that is very pleasing to the eye. I really like this ink for writing. A pity that it has zero water resistance. This Blue Night ink is also great for drawing, looking quite beautiful. All in all, I'm quite taken by this creation from the Australian ink maker. I'm seriously considering getting a full bottle of Blue Night - even though my rational self keeps saying that I already have enough inks in my collection ;-) Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types





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