Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'blue'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • FPN Community
    • FPN News
    • Introductions
    • Clubs, Meetings and Events
    • Pay It Forward, Loaner Programs & Group Buys
  • The Market Place
    • The Mall
    • Market Watch
    • Historical Sales Forums
  • Writing Instruments
    • Fountain & Dip Pens - First Stop
    • Fountain Pen Reviews
    • Of Nibs & Tines
    • It Writes, But It Is Not A Fountain Pen ....
    • Pen History
    • Repair Q&A
  • Brand Focus
    • Cross
    • Esterbrook
    • Lamy
    • Mabie Todd Research/Special Interest Forum/Group
    • Montblanc
    • Parker
    • Pelikan
    • Sheaffer
    • TWSBI
    • Wahl-Eversharp
    • Waterman
  • Regional Focus
    • China, Korea and Others (Far East, Asia)
    • Great Britain & Ireland - Europe
    • India & Subcontinent (Asia)
    • Italy - Europe
    • Japan - Asia
    • USA - North America
    • Other Brands - Europe
  • Inks, Inc.
    • Inky Thoughts
    • Ink Reviews
    • Ink Comparisons
    • Co-Razy-Views
    • Th-INKing Outside the Bottle
    • Inky Recipes
  • Paper, and Pen Accessories
    • Paper and Pen Paraphernalia
    • Paper & Pen Paraphernalia Reviews and Articles
  • Creative Expressions
    • Pen Turning and Making
    • Pictures & Pen Photography
    • The Write Stuff
    • Handwriting & Handwriting Improvement
    • Calligraphy Discussions
    • Pointed Pen Calligraphy
    • Broad (or Edged) Pen Calligraphy

Blogs

  • FPN Board Talk
  • Incoherent Ramblings from Murphy Towers
  • The Blogg of Me
  • FPN Admin Column
  • Rules, Guidelines, FAQs, Guides
  • Musings on matters pen
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Iguana Sell Pens Blog
  • Newton Pens' Blog
  • Peyton Street Pens Blog
  • holygrail's Blog
  • A Gift For Words
  • I Don't Have a Name; So This Will Do
  • Karas Kustoms' Blog
  • Debbie Ohi's Inky Journal
  • Sus Minervam docet
  • Crud!
  • Clut and Clutter

Product Groups

  • FPN Pens
  • FPN Inks
  • FPN Donations
  • Premium/Trading/Retailer Accounts

Categories

  • Fonts
  • Tools & Software
  • Rules for Notepads & Paper

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

  1. Hello my fellow fountain pen lovers. I love rich, vivid, deeply saturated fountain pen inks, particularly those that shade. My favorite inks are Colorverse Supernova, that shades gorgeously from a rich blue to a lighter blue, and Diamine November Rain, which in my green-and-black Pelikan M600, shades (you guessed it) from green to black beautifully. For my Lamy 2000, which I just bought to be my daily-use pocket pen, I’m searching for a waterproof ink for a specific reason: so when I sign restaurant checks with it, there is no danger of the waiter losing his tip because his check slip got wet and the ink disappeared. But my dillemma is that I love saturated, vivid inks. With one exception, all the waterproof inks I’ve tried are cloudy and unsaturated and unsatisfying. I just bought a bottle of Sailor Seiboku. To me, this is a pale, cloudy ink, the opposite of the rich, saturated colors I love. And iron gall inks are generally dry writers, so that’s a nonstarter. Got to have a wet ink. The exception is Noodler’s Baltimore Canyon Blue, which is saturated and beautiful, and in my own tests is fully waterproof, but… when I write on restaurant checks with this ink, the pen simply stops writing and has to be primed. The ink seems to react to the thermal paper restaurants use and it clogs right up. Thanks in advance for your advice! GNL
  2. Mont Blanc - Petrol Blue For the past few years, Mont Blanc has followed the tradition of bringing out a Limited Edition "Colour of the Year" ink. These come in a 50 ml square bottle, and are typically available for a limited time only. In this review, I take a closer look at Petrol Blue, the colour of the year 2019. The ink's packaging is both stylish and functional, and gives an idea of the ink's colour. In the box you'll find the nice square bottle, with a decent amount of ink (50 ml). Not so nice is the ink's price point - at about 35 EUR for a bottle, this definitely is an expensive ink. To my eye, Petrol Blue is a teal-leaning blue, and one that looks quite nice. Also well saturated - which is quite a relief after some of the more recent watered-down MB colours. I personally like teal-style colours, and this one is different enough from my other teals to make it interesting. The ink writes rather wet, even in my typically dry Lamy Safari test pens - no complaints there. The ink shades strongly... very noticeable even in finer nibs. The contrast between light and darker parts is prominent, but still aesthetically pleasing. Overall, I quite like what I see. Petrol Blue has a rather broad dynamic colour span. To illustrate this, I did a swab on Tomoe River paper where I really saturated portions of the paper with ink. This beautifully illustrates the ink's colour range. The ink moves from a light-blue to a very dark teal. You'll also notice a reddish sheen in very saturated parts. On the smudge test - rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab - the ink behaved reasonably well. There is quite some smudging, but the text itself remains perfectly readable. Water resistance is totally absent though. All colour quickly disappears from the page, leaving almost no residue. Definitely not an ink to use in the workplace. A word of warning: this ink will stain your fingers, requiring quite some scrubbing to remove it. On the positive side, I found it easy to clean from the syringe-filled cartridges that I used for my test pens. Petrol Blue is a fast-drying ink - with typical drying times in the 5-10 second range with my Lamy Safari (M-nib). As such, this ink is also suitable for lefties (when using finer nibs). 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 a broad range of papers. 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 a Lamy Safari M-nib fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a Lamy Safari B-nib A small text sample, written with an M-nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib) This Mont Blanc ink looks really nice on all my test papers. This is an ink that looks good on any type of paper, both the white and more yellow ones. With the exception of Moleskine and the HP 80gsm printing paper, I didn't notice any feathering. With lower-quality paper, you get some see-through and even a bit of bleed-through. All-in-all though, this is 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 Classic Green-Marbled with an F-nib. Here the ink leaves a much more saturated line, with somewhat less pronounced shading. The ink works well with all nib sizes I tested it with. Related inks To compare Petrol Blue 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 - the eagle has landed (celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landing) As a personal experiment, I try to create interesting drawings using only the ink I'm reviewing, keeping things simple and more-or-less abstract. For me, this broadens the scope of the hobby, and allows me to stretch my drawing skills. It is great fun to explore an ink's colour range in a more artistic context. For this drawing, inspiration comes from the first moon landing fifty years ago, with Neil Armstrong announcing that "the Eagle has landed". So in this drawing, you also get an eagle ;-) I started off with a 10x15cm piece of HP Premium photo paper, on which I painted multiple layers of ever more saturated ink to create the background. I then used my Lamy Safari with pure Petrol Blue to pencil in the trees and the eagle. Overall I'm quite pleased by the use of the photo paper as a medium for ink paintings - the ink's character shows off really well. Conclusion Mont Blanc's Petrol Blue "Colour of the Year 2019" LE ink is quite a good-looking teal-leaning blue, that is at home with all types of nibs and all types of paper. I really enjoyed using it. My only real complaint is that the ink is too expensive - it's not different enough from similar inks like Diamine Eau de Nil to warrant the hefty price tag. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Backside of writing samples on different paper types
  3. Hello Fellow FPNers, I have been away from fountain pens for about 10 years after many years using them almost exclusively. Now that I’m back in the fold, I’m wondering if there are any well behaved, beautiful waterproof inks out there I might not know about. I remember that most of the waterproof or bulletproof inks I used (Noodler’s Luxury Blue comes to mind) tended toward nib creep and were very hard to wash out of pens. I’ve recently received a sample of Noodle’rs Zhivago and have been very impressed by its good behavior, lack of nib creep and good flow. But it basically looks black (barely a hint of green) and I’d prefer something in the blue-teal-green spectrum. MUST be a well behaved ink. Thanks for your insights! GNL
  4. Recently, DCWaites sent me a sample of Faux Parker Penman Sapphire #9, and a matching sample of the real Parker Penman Sapphire. I inked up a MB 149 on loan to me from fellow FPNer, Steve D. I then wrote 40 pages for this CRV. So, here's the plan, Sign up here for one of the 40 spots. Send $5 to Sinistral1 as a GIFT to cover the shipping costs. Be sure to send your address so that I know where to send the package. I will mail to you the following: 1 Sample of Blue ink - NOT PPS.1 Paper with my writing sample of PPS.4 Sheets Fountain Pen Friendly Paper1 Postage Prepaid return label. You write or doodle with the blue that I send you and any other blue inks you want. Scan or photograph your comparison sheet and then mail the original back to me in a regular envelope. The remaining ink and sheets are yours to keep. Though you can feel free to send back the sheets with doodles for other CRVs. The goal is for us to compare at least 40 different Blue inks to the grail ink - PPS. I look forward to hearing from you.
  5. Cursive Child

    Krishna Inks-Moonview

    Nice ink from Kerala, India. https://krishnainks.com/ Apologies for the poor handwriting, and wrong name in the review.
  6. I've just got this ink and I love it so much that I'd like to share with you, although I know there've been a lot of reviews of this ink already. I used a Lamy Vista 1.9 nib on Rhodia paper for this simple review. The colour is a bright ocean/cerulean blue well worth its name. The shading is amazing (plus this nib tends to bring out the shading of an ink), from a bright clear blue to a deep ocean blue. It runs very wet on this nib, so the drying time is not accurate. The water-resistency is basically none, as can be seen from the drip test and the smear test, in which I ran a wet finger through it twice. This is my first ink in the turquoise/blue range and I love it. The photo doesn't do it much justice, because it's more vibrant and less green than it's shown in the photo. In fact I had wanted to go for Iroshizuku Kon-peki, but the price made me hesitate. After reading a post here where a FPN member compared these two inks and I was not able to distinguish one from the other, I ordered this, and I don't regret this choice! I have been eyeing Noodler's Navajo Turquoise or Turquoise Eel as well. I wonder how they compare with Mediterranean Blue.
  7. Rohrer and Klingner Isatis Tinctoria (2021 Limited Edition) Rohrer and Klinger – founded in 1892 in Leipzig, Germany – is a company that is mainly focusing on inks for all purposes, including fountain pen inks. Like every self-respecting company these days, they have started the tradition of releasing a limited edition ink every year. In 2021, they introduced this splendid Isatis Tinctoria, a dusty blue with purple undertones. The ink comes in a 50 ml bottle presented in a stylish box. Isatis Tinctoria is already quasi impossible to find, and has reached “unobtainium” status. Fellow member @JulieParadise was so kind to provide me with a generous sample of this ink, with the request to compare it to kyo-iro Soft Snow of Ohara (resulting in an ink shoot-out). Afterwards, enough of the sample was left for a complete review of this wonderful ink. Thank you Julie for providing this opportunity. This Limited Edition R&K ink is a soft dusty blue with definite purple undertones. A really elegant & beautiful ink that totally fits my tastes. According to Wikipedia, Isatis Tinctoria (also called dyer’s woad) is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae. Since ancient times, woad was an important source of blue dye and was cultivated throughout Europe. Rohrer & Klingner definitely succeeded in translating this inspiration into a fantastic ink colour. The chromatography shows a mix of blue, purple and grey. The dusty looks of the ink are clearly present. This combination of dyes translates to a soft and muted grey-blue with purple undertones. Definitely not a vibrant colour! But nevertheless an elegant ink – soft, quiet, shy. Part of my education comes from the 5-year old in the family, so I’m fluent in Frozen… for Isatis Tinctoria, think Anna, not Elsa. Isatis Tinctoria looks best in broader nibs, where it shows some really nice shading. But it can handle the complete nib range with ease – even with the EF nib, you already get hints of shading. 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 a piece of 52 gsm Tomoe River paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. Isatis Tinctoria has a fairly narrow colour span, with limited contrast between light and darker parts. This translates to soft shading, that is very present but remains delicate and aesthetically very pleasing. The shading on this ink is really well executed! Technically, the ink felt a bit dry-writing in my Lamy Safari test pens, especially with the finer nibs. Not so much an issue of wetness, but more of lubrication. With the finer nibs, you definitely feel more feedback from the paper while writing. With broader nibs, lubrication improves, and the ink starts writing much more fluently. In the writing samples below, I added a new paper to my test-set: Clairefontaine Smart Print Paper 60 gsm – a very fine fountain pen-friendly paper (Tomoe River-like in weight, but not as smooth but with some feedback while writing). 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 Safari fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with B-nib Lamy Safari A small text sample, written with the M-nib Lamy Safari Source of the quote, with an Edison Collier 1.1 stub Drying times of the ink on the paper, with the M-nib Lamy Safari I’ve also added a few photos to give you another view on the ink. Scanned images and photos often capture different aspects of the ink’s colour & contrast. That’s why I present them both. In this case, both scan and photo capture the ink’s colour well. Isatis Tinctoria looks good on all types of paper, both white and more creamy ones. I personally prefer it on pure white paper, where its soft and delicate character is best presented. The ink prefers high-quality paper. On lower quality papers (Moleskine, printing paper) you can see a tiny bit of feathering, and you also get some see-through and bleed-through. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. Isatis Tinctoria writes a well-saturated line in all nib sizes, notwithstanding its softness. The saturation sample already showed the limited contrast range of the ink. As a result, this R&K ink manages to look really consistent in colour across the complete nib range, both in wet and dry pens. Personally, I like this ink best in the broader nibs, where the soft shading is a bit more prominent. Related inks To show off 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. Isatis Tinctoria has a quite unique colour. It sits somewhere between kyo-no-oto keshimurasaki (which is greyer) and kyo-iro Soft Snow of Ohara (which is more purple). Inkxperiment – neuromancer 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 often present a real challenge. It also gives you an idea of what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. Inspiration for this inkxperiment comes from the book “Neuromancer” by William Gibson. This book from 1984 is considered one of the earliest and best-known works in the cyberpunk genre. In the book you are presented with a drab and dystopian physical world, with the characters spending most of their time in the matrix of cyberspace. The whole book is written in adrenaline-high turbo-language – a quote: “He’d operated on an almost permanent adrenaline high, a byproduct of youth and proficiency, jacking into a custom cyberspace deck that projected his disembodied consciousness into the consensual hallucination that was the matrix.” I started with an A5 sheet of 300 gsm watercolour paper, and used heavily water-diluted Isatis Tinctoria to paint in the light-blue background. The data towers in the matrix were coloured with a felt-tip pen, dipped in pure ink. The code in the matrix flows from the data towers, and was written with a 1.1 stub Edison Collier. Gravity has no place in the matrix – so the people living in it can assume any position. The reality in the upper-left corner was drawn with a fine brush and Q-tips. The main character is ready to leave reality, and dive into the vortex of cyberspace. The end-result gives you an idea of what can be achieved with Isatis Tinctoria as a drawing ink. Conclusion With this 2021 Limited Edition, Rohrer and Klingner delivered a beautiful soft & muted blue with purple undertones, that is already reaching “unobtainium” status. If you thrive on vibrant inks, this one will not be for you. But if you enjoy dusty and toned-down inks, then Isatis Tinctoria is sure to please you. In my opinion, it sits among the great ones in this category. If you can still get hold of a bottle, don’t hesitate and buy it immediately. You will not be disappointed! 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. essayfaire

    MB Honore du Balzac Ink

    The brown ink from shipping made the sample label unreadable, I thought, but I have finally determined that the ink inside is MB Honore du Balzac. The se BJ page is in an Endless Notebook, the ink writes slightly wetter there (better and thicker paper). @amberleadavisplease move this to the right thread if I have it wrong. Thanks. @TheMustard, have I id'd correctly?
  9. namrehsnoom

    TACCIA Ukiyo-e Hiroshige asahanada

    TACCIA Ukiyo-e Hiroshige asahanada TACCIA is a Japanese stationery company, that - as far as I know - is now part of the Nakabayashi group. They offer high-quality fountain pens, inks, pen-rolls, notebooks, etc. More specifically, TACCIA produce a line of inks, inspired by the unique look of Ukiyo-e paintings from Japan’s Edo period (17th century). Ukiyo-e prints are woodblock prints where the work of an artist is carved into wood by woodworkers, and pressed onto paper by printers. This allows the production of multiple prints of an artwork with some different colours as well. In this review, I take a closer look at asahanada, a pale indigo-blue that is inspired by the painting “Dye House at Konya-cho” of the artist Utagawa Hiroshige (1857). In Hiroshige’s day, anybody who knew Edo could recognize the city’s three most prominent landmarks: distant Mount Fuji, Chiyoda Castle, and Nihon Bridge. This particular painting features both the castle and mountain, leaving no doubt that this is an Edo scene. Hiroshige positions the viewpoint for this drawing amid the windblown textiles of a dyer’s drying platform. This woodprint is part of the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Asahanada’s pale light-blue is modeled after the colour present on the banners. Asahanada is a soft pale blue, with a bit of a green undertone. The ink feels delicate, and caresses the paper with a soft line that exhibits beautiful shading. On its own, you might be reminded of a cerulean blue like iroshizuku kon-peki or Pelikan Edelstein Topaz, but this asahanada is a much softer ink that definitely stands on its own. This is not really an ink suited for the workplace, but I most certainly enjoyed using it while writing in my daily journal. Asahanada prefers wetter pens/nibs, where it looks at its best. With finer nibs in dry pens (like the Lamy Safari), the ink becomes a bit to pale with too little contrast with the paper. I quickly switched to wetter pens (Pelikan, Edison) to fully enjoy this ink. The ink comes in a 40 ml bottle, that is packaged in a beautiful box showing the corresponding Ukiyo-e painting. Lovely packaging for an excellent ink. 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 a strip of 52 gsm Tomoe River paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. Asahanada has a fairly narrow dynamic range, ranging from a very soft indigo-blue to a more saturated almost sky-blue. The contrast between the light and dark parts is fairly low, which translates to beautiful soft shading. The shading appears in all nib sizes - just a hint with the EF nib, but really present with F-nibs and above. The aesthetics are superb, adding lots of character to your writing. The ink’s chromatography clearly shows the green undertones within the ink. These green dyes are very water-soluble, and will readily surface when using asahanada for drawing. The bottom part of the chroma also indicates that this is a fairly water-resistant ink, which is confirmed during water tests. TACCIA’s ink makers Hiroshi Ishiguro and Hanse Matsumoto know their craft, and created a beautiful soft ink with a relatively simple mix of dyes. 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 The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib Lamy Safari A small text sample, written with a Pelikan M101N with F-nib Source of the quote, written with an Edison Collier 1.1 stub Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the F-nib Pelikan) Asahanada looks gorgeous on pure white paper, where its shading and soft elegance really shine. I personally don’t like its look on more yellow/cream paper, where the ink gets a bit of a green tinge. The ink shows a tiny amount of feathering on lower quality paper, together with some show-through and bleed-through. Drying times with the F-nib Pelikan are in the 5 to 10 second range. I’ve also added a few photos to give you another view on the ink. Scanned images and photos often capture different aspects of the ink’s colour & contrast. That’s why I present them both. In this case, I find that the scans capture asahanada’s softness best – the photos make the ink look a bit too vibrant. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. The EF-nib already shows a hint of shading. But it is with the F-nib and above that the ink’s elegant shading really comes into play. Look e.g. at the shading with the Edison 1.1 stub – that’s why I use a fountain pen! I personally prefer to use this ink with the wetter pens (Pelikan, Edison), where the ink gets a bit more saturated while preserving its soft and delicate nature. Related inks To compare asahanada 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. Among the inks I already used, I found nothing that compares to asahanada. But in my mind, it’s similar to the sky-blues (kon-peki, topaz) if you tone them down quite a bit. Inkxperiment – air elemental With every review, I try to create an inkxperiment using only the ink I am presenting. These one-ink drawings are great for showing the colour-range nuances that can be achieved with the ink. And it’s great fun to experiment with inks in a more artsy context – I love doing these inkxperiments, even if they don’t always come out the way I wished them to be. In previous reviews, I introduced the elements water, earth and fire. For this inkxperiment, the blue asahanada represents the element “air” in the form of an air elemental. HP photo paper usually brings out the best in inks, so I decided to use it for this drawing too. In retrospect, this was not the best choice. The green components of the ink really come to the front, and the delicacy of the pale indigo-blue has been lost. Watercolour paper might have been a better choice for this inkxperiment. Also, the air elemental didn’t come out the way I imagined… too clunky and certainly not airy enough. Well… inkxperiments are fun to do, even if they fail. And it’s from such failures that you learn. Based on this inky experiment, I would conclude that asahanada is best reserved for writing – where the component dyes get separated, the soft pale-indigo beauty of the ink gets lost. Conclusion TACCIA Ukiyo-e Hiroshige asahanada is a very fine writing ink – on pure white paper, this pale indigo-blue produces soft & elegant writing that is great for personal journaling. And with a wet pen, the ink exhibits some truly beautiful shading! The ink looks gorgeous with the right combination of pen/nib/paper – in this case: wet pens, broader nibs, pure white paper. Leave this sweet spot though, and the ink quickly loses its magic. You have been warned! Personally, I really enjoyed using TACCIA asahanada, and I’m looking forward to explore more inks of the TACCIA Ukiyo-e line. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
  10. L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Bleu Ultramarine 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 is on Bleu Ultramarine, one of the many blue inks of the series. From Wikipedia we learn that Ultramarine is a deep blue colour and a pigment which was originally made by grinding lapis lazuli into a powder. The name comes from the Latin ultramarinus, literally "beyond the sea", because the pigment was imported into Europe from mines in Afghanistan by Italian traders during the 14th and 15th centuries. Ultramarine was the finest and most expensive blue used by Renaissance painters. Sounds interesting, but unfortunately - for me - the ink doesn't live up to its name. I find it to be a rather standard blue, in line with the run-of-the-mill Royal Blues of other ink manufacturers. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm not exactly a fan of this type of colour. Personally I find that this ink lacks complexity, making it rather dull and uninteresting. This is not an ink that captured my attention. Technically, the ink feels well lubricated even in my rather dry Lamy Safari test pens. That's a welcome change from other Callifolio inks that often feel a bit dry on the nib, and work best with wetter pens. Bleu Ultramarine shows some nice shading in broader nibs, with an aesthetically pleasing balance between the light and darker parts. With fine nibs though, this shading is mostly absent, and makes the ink look flat and dull. 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 paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. Bleu Ultramarine disappoints a bit in this area - the ink has a rather limited dynamic range. On the smudge test - rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab - Bleu Ultramarine showed a lot of smearing, but without impacting readability of the text which remains crisp and clear. Water resistance is low: most of the dyes quickly wash away under running tap water, leaving only a faint residue, that is quite unreadable. With still water though, even a 15 minute soak leaves a perfectly readable result on the paper. Not a water resistant ink, but if you spill some fluid on the page and quickly dry it with a paper towel, your text will survive. The soak test nicely shows the purple undertones in this ink - the more water-resistant dyes are a bit purple-leaning. This subtle purple undertone can be used to good effect when drawing with the ink. For me, this under-the-surface purple component saves the ink from being a total bore. 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 small strips to show you the ink's appearance and behaviour on different paper types. On every 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)Bleu Ultramarine behaved perfectly on all the paper types, with no apparent feathering even on the lower quality papers in my test set. Drying times are mostly around the 5 to 10 second mark, making it a fast drying ink. Not really suited for lefties though, because it lays down a rather wet line, albeit one that dries super fast. The ink is equally at home with both white and off-white creamy paper. It shows a consistent look across all the papers in my test set - quite impressive.I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. With the low-end Moleskine there is some show-through and bleed-through. With the other papers, Bleu Ultramarine's behaviour is impeccable. The ink copes really well with a wide variety of paper types. Inkxperiment – Village at the LakeAs 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 certainly 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 300 gsm rough watercolour paper. The background was brushed in with water-diluted ink. I then added more and more ink to the mix, to paint the darker layers of the "Village at the Lake". Due to Bleu Ultramarine's limited dynamic range, it wasn't easy to add depth to the picture. In some parts, the purple undertones show through, adding a bit of complexity to an otherwise monotone picture. In the foreground, I painted in some plants with bleach - just to show you that this ink reacts nicely with the bleach, resulting in a golden-yellow colour. Conclusion Bleu Ultramarine is a run-of-the-mill standard blue, with a consistent look across different paper types. The ink writes really well, and can even cope with lower quality paper. Technically, this is a good ink! Personally, I'm not a fan of this type of blue, which to me lacks a certain appeal (which is a nice way of saying that I find this type of blue boring as hell ;-). But if you like Royal Blues, you owe it yourself to give Bleu Ultramarine a try. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Backside of writing samples on different paper types
  11. This 50ml bottle of Rohrer and Klingner's archival ink was not inexpensive, but performed well beyond my expectations. It writes wet, yet dries quickly. Is absolutely unfazed by water, and works on the cheapest papers. The only downside I have noticed is that while doing the crossword (yes, it works on newsprint!), it did hard start a little if I was too slow on a clue. It can hardly be faulted for that, though... Front: Back:
  12. Julia161

    Indian "Camlin" Royal Blue Ink

    Recently got by post Indian "Camlin" Royal Blue ink 60ml. It came in a box, carefully packed. I liked the cap on a bottle - it opens easily and at the same time not a drop spilled during the transportation. The quality of ink is also nice. It's a bit more liquid than "Parker", but writes great on average quality paper (not too porous). This ink doesn't colorise the pen's grip section too fast (like for ex. USSR "Raduga") and doesn't dry if left for more than a couple of days inside the pen without writing, which are additional pluses. The smell of this ink is very light and quite pleasant. Would I buy it again? Yes, and I'd like to try other colors. Here are the pictures of the bottle and writing. At the moment this ink is one of my favourites.
  13. namrehsnoom

    Jacques Herbin - Bleu austral

    Jacques Herbin – Bleu austral La Société Herbin, Maître Cirier à Paris, was established in 1670. This makes J. Herbin probably the oldest name among European ink makers. Today, Herbin produces a range of beautiful fountain pen and calligraphy inks, writing instruments, gift sets and accessories. Herbin inks are made in France, and the finishing touches on the bottles are still done by hand in Paris. Like so many others, the company jumped on the premium product bandwagon, and started to release more high-end inks under the Jacques Herbin “Les encres essentielles” label. Nicer boxes, nicer packaging, much higher price (18,50 EUR versus the 7,50 EUR for the J. Herbin inks from the “La perle des encres” series). Nevertheless, I couldn’t resist and decided to test these new inks – are they really better than the standard J. Herbin inks? In this review, the spotlight is on Bleu austral, a strong blue leaning teal. The colour is really nicely done, and looks great on paper. The ink itself is wet-flowing and heavily saturated – in broad nibs it can even turn into a gusher. In my opinion, this is more of an ink for finer nibs and/or dry pens. Technically, the ink disappointed: it has a tendency to feather on more absorbent paper (even the one of high quality). You really need hard-surface paper for acceptable writing performance. Bleu austral is a heavy shader, and this in all nib sizes. Shading is never harsh and always looks aesthetically pleasing, due to the fairly small contrast range between light and darker parts. With wet pens, the ink really tends to oversaturate, which pushes away the shading. I therefore recommend using Bleu austral in combination with drier pens and/or fine nibs. To illustrate the ink’s colour span, I did a swab on 52 gsm Tomoe River paper where I really saturated portions of the paper with ink. This clearly demonstrates the ink’s dynamic range. On the smudge test – rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab – there was lots of smearing. The text itself remains very readable though. Water resistance is fairly low. There remains a greyish residue of the text on the page, that is still easily readable, but most of the colour disappears. This is clearly visible in the chromatography: the blue colour dissipates with the water, leaving only a grey residue behind. Not what I would call a water-resistant ink. Drying times for this Jacques Herbin ink vary with the type of paper, ranging from less than 5 seconds on absorbent paper to 10-20 seconds on hard-surfaced paper (all with my Lamy Safari M-nib test pen). With the absorbent paper, I see quite some feathering – even on higher quality paper. You also get a fair amount of see-through and bleed-through. This ink is definitely picky in the type of paper it prefers. I’ve tested the ink on a wide variety of paper – from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. 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 a Lamy Safari M-nib fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a Lamy Safari B-nib A small text sample, written with the M-nib Lamy Safari The source of the quote, written with an Edison Collier with 1.1 stub Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Safari) Bleu austral looks equally good on white and more creamy paper. For my personal taste, it is way too saturated though – I definitely prefer a softer look in my inks. Since scans alone don’t tell the complete story, I’ve added some photos of the same writing samples to give you another view on the 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 Edison Collier with a 1.1 stub. With the wet pen or with broad nibs in dry pens, the ink leaves an overly saturated line, and loses much of the shading. I personally prefer this ink in combination with a dry pen (M-nib or below) – it simply looks nicer: a blue-heavy teal with subtle shading. The wetter the pen, the darker and more one-dimensional the ink becomes. Related inks To allow for a good comparison with related inks, I employ my nine-grid format, with the currently reviewed ink at the center. Each grid cell shows the name of the ink, a saturation sample, a 1-2-3 swab and a water resistance test – all in a very compact format. As you can see, there is quite some competition in this colour segment. Personally, I would rather avoid the technical issues of this Jacques Herbin ink, and go for one of the other options. Inkxperiment – river goddess As a personal challenge, I try to create interesting drawings using only the ink I’m reviewing. With these monochromatic pieces, I get to explore all the colour-range nuances that are present in the ink. This is my favourite part of the review: experimenting with the ink, and trying to be creative… pure quality time! We recently had some severe flooding in our part of Europe. Rivers, that are normally leisurely meandering in a peaceful landscape, turned into wild and angry monsters that threatened lives and property on their shores. In ancient times, such behaviour was usually attributed to the whimsical mood of the river goddess. Wild waters were a sure sign that the goddess was displeased with her people. I tried to capture this idea in the inkxperiment, that shows the goddess against the background of a wild and choppy river. For this drawing I used an A4 piece of HP photo paper, which is my favourite medium for doing inkxperiments. The photo paper really brings out the best from the ink. I first created the river background with the wood flotsam. I used painter tape to cover up the flotsam part, and used a cut-out piece of kitchen towel to paint in the choppy river. For this I sprinkled different water/ink ratios on top of the kitchen towel, which then pressed through to the underlying photo paper. I then used a piece of cardboard and pure Bleu austral to paint in the flotsam. Next, I painted in the river goddess with a fine brush, and used a small triangular potato cut-out to stamp in the different triangles. I finally used my B-nibbed Safari pen to add some finishing touches. The resulting piece gives you an idea of what can be achieved with Bleu austral in a more artistic setting. Conclusion Jacques Herbin Bleu austral is a nice blue-leaning teal. The ink is very saturated though, and – in my opinion – too much so in wet pens or with broad nibs. The ink also has technical shortcomings, and doesn’t cooperate with more absorbent paper. For a premium product, I had higher expectations. In my opinion, this ink is not really worth the premium price: there are lots of other inks to choose from in this colour spectrum. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Backside of writing samples on different paper types
  14. DrDebG

    Skb Ink-220

    This is a review of SKB Ink-220, what I call "Sky Blue" On my recent trip to Taiwan, I found a bottle of SKB Ink-220. SKB is one of the historic fountain pen manufacturers in Taiwan. The company was established in 1959 and at one time was one of the top 3 Taiwanese fountain pen manufacturers. While not widely known here in the US, they manufacture a wide range of fountain pens. While I am not certain if SKB produces their own fountain pen ink, they market it under their name. The ink comes in a number of colors. I was only able to obtain one - Ink-220. SKB Ink 220 comes in a very nice square glass bottle with a heavy plastic screw on cap. The bottle opening is a standard size, similar to DeAtramentis or J. Herbin bottles. The bottle is fairly deep and holds 30 mL of ink. I purchased the bottle for right around $7.00. According to one of my interpreters, SKB stands for: S = Smooth; K = Knowing; B = Beauty Here is my written review of the ink. The paper used for this review is Cambridge Executive spiral notebook paper - a reasonably smooth, less absorbent paper similar to HP copier paper: Positives: There is some water resistance, although the letters do spread as the paper dries. My sample was submerged for 5 minutes until the paper was fully saturated. The ink appears fairly resistant to water droplets or simple smearing. The ink dries fairly fast - even with a wet nib on Tomoe River paper. It cleans easily from the pen and converters without staining. Negatives: The color is too pale for EF nibs or possibly F nibs. There is some bleedthrough with broad or stub nibs on more absorbent papers. While SKB Ink 220 will likely not be in my regular rotation, it is well behaved, and will be an ink that I will use for special purposes.
  15. truthpil

    Schneider Bk406 Review

    Schneider BK406 Review Introduction & First Impressions I was looking for a cheap EF pen to dedicate to Baystate Blue and wanted something blue to match the ink. I had been leaning toward getting a blue-capped Pilot Kakuno (F) for this purpose, but when I came across this Schneider pen for less than half the price here in China (under US$5), I thought it was worth a try. I couldn’t find any reviews online for this model and the closest equivalent for sale in the West seems to be Schneider’s Zippy which is still quite different. Schneider makes several inexpensive pens for sale in China that have the same feed and general design as the BK406, but this is one of the few pens in the family that comes with an EF nib, something I felt essential for minimizing BSB’s infamous feathering issue on cheap paper. I was quite underwhelmed when it arrived. It came in a cheap plastic sleeve (see photo below) and had no instructions. Everything about the packaging screamed “disposable ballpoint.” I was still grateful that upon unscrewing the barrel I found a complimentary blue international standard ink cartridge (which I discovered after some testing to be quite waterproof) and a strange empty cartridge inserted into the nipple, perhaps to show the new owner that the pen was cleverly designed to have one cartridge in use and a spare behind it inside the barrel. This is quite clever and explains the length of the pen. Appearance & Design True to its German origin, this pen is as utilitarian as it gets. Everything from the ribs on the cap for ease of removal to the matted section with grip indentations says that this pen is designed for quick and easy use in the trenches of the office or classroom. There are no bells or whistles whatsoever. Even the nib is so plain that all it has on it is an encircled “EF.” If the appearance hadn’t convinced you, the two places where the cap tells you it was made in Germany leave no room for doubt. Like disposable pens, its cap is unfortunately marred by the brand logo and “Schneider Made in Germany” along the side where it can’t be missed. There is a rounded grip section with subtle indentations like is often found on student pens. This section’s matte finish and smooth corners make it quite comfortable to hold and allow for more variation in grip than on something with sharper angles like a Lamy Safari. The flat grooves are even less prominent than on a Pilot Plumix. I was very thankful for this feature because the nib and feed are not aligned with these grips like they usually are on other pens. Since the nib and feed are very tightly in place and appear immovable, I have to disregard the grooves in order to hold the pen the way I usually do. Thankfully, the unobtrusive nature of the grips makes this easy. At first I thought the odd alignment was a quality control issue, but my other Schneider pens have the same alignment, so I suspect it may be some ingenious German design feature. The pen writes perfectly if you hold it according to the grooves, but the alignment just looks odd. Construction & Quality Despite the impression given by the packaging, the BK406 is not a flimsy pen. The plastic barrel and cap have a slightly soft surface (just a little harder than on those disposable Bic ballpoints they have at a bank teller), but the material is thick and looks like it could easily take a beating in a purse or book bag. It feels soft but solid in the hand, certainly more so than similarly priced pens like the Platinum Preppy. Holes at the end prevent the roomy barrel from being used as an eyedropper. The pen has a molded plastic feed which is quite thin and fragile at the tip but seems adequately protected by the rolled steel nib that partly wraps around it. The nib is thick and looks like it could take some tumbles without any repercussions. I used the pen as my daily carry for over a week and it met the floor a few times and survived unscathed. I’m sure you can treat this pen like any cheap ballpoint and expect it to hold up admirably. As for manufacturing, the only flaw I found is the slight misalignment of feed and nib which doesn’t affect writing. The only visible external seam is on the grip section which isn’t really an issue with a pen this cheap and would be covered by one’s hand anyway when in use. Weight & Dimensions Measuring about 14.5cm capped, its length is just between that of a Pilot 78G and a Plumix. This makes it just a little too long to fit neatly in my T-shirt pockets, but a decent fit for the pockets on my dress shirts. It’s too long to fit in the pen pockets of some backpacks and messenger bags. In one bag I tried it stuck so high out of the pen pocket that the clip couldn’t grip the pocket. It measures 13cm uncapped, and 16cm posted, which for my smallish hands means this one is not a poster. Weighing in at 11.6 grams capped/posted and 7.2 grams uncapped, the pen is light and allows for prolonged writing sessions without any fatigue. Writing with it feels like a dream compared to the cramps I was getting from my chunky clunky Jinhao X750. Nib & Performance The BK406 is only available with an extra fine nib, but Schneider makes several similar pens in this price range in fine (e.g., BK400, BK402, Zippi). Some may scoff at using a rolled steel nib, but I find the BK406’s nib to be surprisingly smoother than the dubiously labeled “iridium point” nibs on many of my Chinese pens. It glides across the paper and only gives a little feedback if pressure is applied on rough paper. As can be expected for this price, it’s a true nail with no flexibility whatsoever. The nib and feed work well together to provide perfect flow which I would describe as moderate. I never once experienced skipping or hard starts, although I’ve only tested it with the juicy Baystate Blue and nothing drier. The line is a typical German extra-fine, which becomes somewhere between a Japanese fine and medium when using such a wet ink like BSB. BK406 with Baystate Blue vs. Pilot 78G (F) with Luxury Blue: Filling System & Maintenance The BK406 comes with a single blue Schneider international sized cartridge, but a converter can be purchased separately for nearly the same price as the pen. The converter is great and holds a lot of ink. This pen and converter combination creates a perfect workhorse for extensive writing. Although the pen functions well, it’s regrettable that the nib and feed cannot be removed for cleaning. This inability limits the pen to being used with low-maintenance inks that can be easily washed out or dedicating the pen to just one high-maintenance ink. Cost & Value As far as I know these pens are not available in the States, but here in China they are a little more expensive (32RMB=$4.87) than Chinese pens like the Duke 209 or Hero 359 (both 25RMB=$3.81). The Chinese pens may be better deals because they are often mostly metal and have a removable nib and feed. Nevertheless, I find the nib on the BK406 and other Schneider pens in the same price range to be sturdier and more reliable. For me it’s worth it to pay a little more for an all plastic pen that writes reliably and is more comfortable to use than the cheaper alternatives. Conclusion I’m completely satisfied with this pen and believe I got what I paid for. Although plastic, the BK406 feels sturdier than a lot of lower end Japanese pens that cost much more than it. It isn’t stylish or pretty by any means, but it feels great to write with and suits my needs—an ideal bright blue pen for Baystate Blue (it’s also available in black or white). That being said, I’d never give it to someone as a gift because it lacks eye appeal. If you want an inexpensive and extremely practical pen, this is a great choice.
  16. Well, my guess is nearly everyone has heard of Pilot Iroshizuku line of inks, if they have not had the good fortune to actually use them. Visvamitra did a review of all of those inks not so long ago. I've had this ink for some time but only recently worked through a review. Kon-peki is a fairly bright cerulean, or sky, blue. It is not light, but it is lighter in value than Asa-gao and Tsuki-yo. Some people might call this color a turquoise. I don't think it falls quite in that range, but I could understand the comparison. When I used a wetter/wider nib, I got a deeper, richer color. So this is something to consider. These inks come in both 50 ml and 15 ml bottles, and there are three bottle sets of the smaller size. Kon-peki is paired with Momiji (pink/bright red) and Yu-jake (orange) in a set. Not advertised as water resistant, so no surprise that it isn't. I've seen much worse though. This is a single dye ink. btw, dcwaites has posted a recipe for a faux PPS using Iroshizuku inks: 1 part Kon-peki 3 parts Asa-gao 0.1 part (or less) take-sumi.
  17. This is a review of the now-defunct Swedish ink manufacturer Rosendahls, their Cadet Blue fountain pen ink, of the Scrivil series, which appears to have a military theme. Since the ink is no longer in production, it can only be found vintage, although several FPN'ers have found several here & there, it is probably a challenge to acquire. Now, with that said, let's see how it looks..! The bottle looks a lot like the normal Pelikan ink bottle, and can be sat slightly on its side to allow for easy emptying when the ink level starts to get low, plus the opening is of a good size. The first writing test is with a no-name "Iridium Point Germany" pen with an EF nib, see discussions elsewhere about these pens. The ink flows very nicely, with good lubrication, and makes a potentially scratchy pen nice & smooth to write with. Color is a pale blue, I'd even call it a baby blue, which is too pale in my eyes for everyday writing. However, there is no feathering, the letters have clear definition and no shading is seen here. Second writing test is with a Jinhao X450 with the factory M nib, which is infamous for writing wet. Also here, good ink flow, nice lubrication and it just writes very well. Like the previous test, we see no feathering and each letter is clearly defined. But look at the color! This is now a medium blue instead, which is a nice surprise. It indicates a dynamic blue which will probably shade well. More on that later. If you look *very* closely, you can see shading in the letters here, but only by zooming in on a hi-res pic. Third writing test is just a quick experiment with a dip pen, which did not go super well, but still showed that the color deepens as you lay down more ink, and a little border shading is seen, but otherwise it is an example of how little I know about dip pens. Next comes the ink swab, where you clearly see color difference according to amount of ink, and border shading both in the triple layer, near bottom, plus in the circles, left. We see several shades of blue, from baby blue to navy, which is very nice to see in what you might think is just a simple, almost boring, light blue, and so it appears at first glance, but this li'l fella has more layers than an onion! 😃 The water resistance test shows that 90% of the ink goes away from having water dropped on it, making it quite the opposite of water resistant. 🤔 My conclusion is that this is an extremely well-behaved ink, fully functional despite being at least 30 years old, possibly 50, very dynamic in coloring and with great potential for shading. It dries quite quickly when writing normally, 5+ seconds, even on Rhodia paper, and in all the tests I made there was not a single bleed-thru. I had no hard starts or drying ink in the pens used. Since it's not waterproof, I wouldn't call it archival, although it might be UV-resistant, I have no data on that. What I *do* know is that this is an ink which is very easy and pleasant to use, with properties which we might wish were in more modern inks. I will finish with a writing sample inspired by Matt of The Pen Habit, showing a quote from one of my favorite authors. Stay safe, Daneaxe
  18. Gazcom

    Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire

    I like inks that I can usually bring at work, ordinary enough for documents, but with that particular tone enjoyable for the user and for the reader. I was looking for a deep dark blue when I've been reccomended (by my evil stationer) to buy Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire Blue, misled by a ink swab card which looked a lot darker than the actual ink. Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire is a quite ordinary blue ink, quite similar to the Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue, but with more shading and a hue more on the purple side of the colour spectrum. It's quite difficult to describe Pelikan Edelstein, you could just say "It's an ordinary blue" without having someone contraddicting you, but I think there's something more to be told. On white paper the Edelstein Sapphire looks intense, more like a purplish blue (you can see how much purple there is in the cromatography), with a good ammount of shading. Even if this ink clearly isn't my ideal blue, it stands out compared to the cheaper cousin of the 4001 line. It behaves well on every paper, no bleedthrough or feathering on Schizza & Strappa paper and on tracing paper, a little motr on common copy paper. Has nice shading properties with all tipes of nibs and good drying times. Almost none waterproofness. On swab test It seems unable to get darker than a certain ammount: the 2nd swab and the 3rd swab are about the same on every paper I used. In the end, is this ink worth the price? Even if I like it, even if lt leaves a noble looking colour on paper and makes your writing feel somehow "important", spending from 15€ to 20€ for an ink that can be easily mistaken with the 4€ Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue (especially to those who do not share our passion) leaves me a bit lost. I don't think this ink has the right features to be in a premium ink line like the Pelikan Edelstein. Don't mistake me, it's not a bad ink, it's not a bad colour, but in my opinion there are better and more exclusive blues in the same price range. COPY PAPER SCHIZZA & STRAPPA PAPER TRACING PAPER CROMATOGRAPHY INKDROP ON TOWEL
  19. silverlifter

    KWZ Iron Gall Blue #3

    I'm surprised this has not been reviewed yet. This is my favourite of KWZ's iron gall inks. Still close enough to a more traditional iron gall in terms of water fastness, colour change, dry time and performance, but with enough blue remaining to make it not just another blue-black. Dry time for normal handwriting is closer to 5 seconds, but a broader, wetter pen will be longer, hence the heavy swatch test. Dry swab was after 20 minutes, wet after 2-3. Paper is Rhodia dot.
  20. Ink Shoot-Out : Diamine Prussian Blue vs kyo-no-oto aonibi I have been playing around with some blue inks the past couple of weeks. Two of them are real beauties that definitely fit my taste: Diamine Prussian Blue and TAG Kyoto kyo-no-oto aonibi. Both are muted, toned-down blues that look really, really nice. They are definitely of the same family, but also totally different in character. This piqued my interest… time for a detailed comparison to find out which ink I like the most. Enter... the Ink Shoot-Out. A brutal fight spanning five rounds, where two inks engage in fierce battle to determine who is the winner. And tonight’s fight is really special: two world-class champions with diametrically opposed fighting styles. In the left corner, from the United Kingdom, the bulldog from Liverpool, grandmaster of free-style boxing … Diamine Prussian Blue. In the right corner, from the temple of Kyoto, the slender kung-fu master kyo-no-oto aonibi. Both champions enter the ring. The crowds go wild for what promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime fight. The bell rings, signaling the start of the first round. May the best ink win … Round 1 – First Impressions Both inks make a stellar first impression. Wonderful soft muted blues, that look great on paper – both in written text and in swabs. These inks have a definite vintage vibe, giving a certain “chic” to your writing. These champions have style! Both inks exhibit elegant and aesthetic shading, without too much contrast between the light and darker parts. Great looking stuff! In this first round, both champions give their best, and both throw serious punches at their opponent: Prussian Blue is definitely the better writing ink. It writes wet and well-lubricated. The Japanese ink also lays down a fairly wet line, but suffers from sub-par lubrication resulting in a scratchy feel of pen-on-paper. Kyo-no-oto aonibi shows a more delicate colour that soothes the senses. Prussian Blue also looks great but has more of a dirty purple-grey undertone… nothing delicate about it. Aonibi’s lines look sharper and more defined on the page. In comparison, Prussian Blue’s lines are spread wider. Both inks make a great first impression. Prussian Blue is a delight to write with, but aonibi manages to look seriously better on the paper – it just has that delicate softness that is missing from the Diamine ink. A fair fight with punches in both directions, but overall the supple moves of aonibi win the day. As such, the first round goes to the fighter-priest of Kyoto. 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. With the EF nib, aonibi felt really scratchy, with barely tolerable lubrication. This improved when using broader nibs, but overall the ink keeps suffering from sub-par lubrication. In contrast, Prussian Blue glides effortlessly across the page even with the EF nib. With a lightning-fast left-right, the English champion delivers a solid strike that punches through it’s opponents defenses. The crowd jumps to its feet, roaring its approval. Aonibi recovers by showing a much crisper line on the page: your writing looks sharper and more defined. And the kung-fu master’s moves are a delight, even when they fail to connect. Colourwise, aonibi just looks better! But this round is about the writing act, and here the bulldog from Liverpool certainly has the upper hand. As such, this round goes to Prussian Blue on points. The crowd cheers on the champions. A great show with superlative fighters that are closely matched! Round 3 – Pen on Paper This round allows the battling 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 ? One thing is immediately apparent: these inks are at their best on pure white paper. Muted blues are no good match for creamy paper… they just don’t look right. Diamine Prussian Blue has definite purple grey undertones that are fairly obvious. Aonibi is a much purer and richer blue, which shows more depth and has a more delicate nature. It just looks more refined next to Prussian Blue, showing superior soul and character. In my opinion, there is no competition: aonibi rules the fight. The English champion tries to hit its opponent, but the kung-fu master just glides away with supple gestures. And suddenly… aonibi hits its opponent with a flurry of four thumping strikes, stopping short of the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart blow. Prussian Blue simply crumbles to the floor. For a moment the boxing hall falls to a complete silence. Then the audience explodes and roars its approval. What a fight! Round 4 – Ink Properties Both inks have drying times in the 15-20 second range with the M-nib in my Lamy Safari. The Japanese ink dries just a tad faster than Prussian Blue. To test their smudge resistance, I rubbed the text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab. Here, both inks show definite smudging, but the text itself remains crisp and clear. To test water resistance, I dripped water on the grid and let it sit there for 15 minutes, after which I removed the water with a paper towel. Both champions can survive watery accidents. Some colour disappears, but there’s enough ink left on the page to easily read what is left. Kyo-no-oto aonibi leaves more smudges on the page though. A slight advantage for the Diamine ink. Not a great round. The champions keep circling one another, without much initiative from either side. As such this round ends with a draw. 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. And for this round, both inks are simply amazing. I did the drawing on HP Advanced Photo paper. The background uses heavily water-diluted ink. For the field I added a bit more ink, and next used a brush to paint in the lines that add texture. The trees and clouds where painted in with pure ink. Diamine Prussian Blue clearly shows its dirty grey-purple undertones. Aonibi retains its delicate muted blue nature – even when diluted with water. As far as colour goes, I definitely like the Japanese ink more. But Prussian Blue surprised me by the way the ink dries… you get a strong haloing effect that gives the drawing a cartoony feel. Really special. Both inks are great looking when used in a more artistic setting. I enjoyed using them both. For this round, both champions recovered completely, and gave their best. Lightning fast punches , elegant and graceful moves, solid kicks. A stunning display of exploding energy… The crowd can’t get enough of it. This truly is the fight of the century! Round 5 is the crown jewel of this fight, but in the end both champions are equally good, and no clear winner emerges. As such, this round ends in a draw. The Verdict Both inks are great-looking soft and muted blues, that simply look fantastic on pure white paper. They have quite different characters… and I love them both. These champions deserve their place among the greatest. But the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart move cannot be ignored, and wins the day. As such, the Belgian judge declares kyo-no-oto aonibi the winner of this exciting shoot-out.
  21. Papier Plume - Calle Real (New Orleans Collection) Papier Plume is a stationary shop in New Orleans, that's best known on this forum for their "New Orleans Inks", that celebrate the rich colours and history of the city. One of their inks in this series is Calle Real, a nice-looking member of the royal blue family. Calle Real is named after the corresponding street in New Orleans. I won't repeat the interesting history behind the name here, but refer instead to the excellent review of Jackokun (highly recommended). Personally I'm not a fan of plain blue inks, but I liked this one. It's a vivid light blue that looks great on the page, and that shows some nice non-obtrusive shading. But the ink also has its shortcomings: a tendency to feather, and drying times that can vary wildly with paper type. The ink itself writes wet and with good lubrication in my Lamy Safari test pens. Quite a contrast with some of the other New Orleans inks. Saturation is excellent, even with EF nibs. The ink itself has a medium colour span. To illustrate this, I did a swab where I really saturated portions of the Tomoe River paper with ink, pooling it on. This beautifully illustrates the dynamics of Calle Real. The range moves from a light to a darker but still vivid blue colour, without too much contrast between both extremes. This results in elegant shading that looks aesthetically very pleasing. The shading didn't show with the finer nibs, but made its appearance starting at F/M and above. On the smudge test - rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab - the ink behaved quite badly. The inks smudges easily, even after leaving it alone for a while. Water resistance is almost non-existent. The dyes disappear quickly, leaving behind a very light purplish ghost of the text. Reconstructing your writing is possible, but you will have to put some effort into it. Not what I would call an accident-proof ink. The chromatography confirms this: some light-purple dyes remain in place at the bottom part. I've tested the ink on a wide variety of paper - from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. 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 a Lamy Safari M-nib fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a Lamy Safari B-nib A small text sample, written with the M-nib The source of the quote, written with a Parker Sonnet (F-nib) Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib) Calle Real has a slight tendency to feather, most noticeable on the lesser quality papers in my test set. Not a good choice to use on cheap office copier paper. The ink manages to look equally good on white and more yellow paper. Contrast with the paper is excellent but not overdone: even a page full of text looks pleasing to the eye. Drying times are wildly unpredictable - ranging from 0 to over 30 seconds depending on the paper. Paper with a hard surface results in super-long drying times and I mean this literally... 30 seconds and above. Forget about this ink if you're a lefty. At the end of the review, I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. Some bleed-through is present on most of the lower-quality papers. You should take care when pairing paper & ink if you want a satisfying result, i.e. avoid low-quality paper, or paper with too hard a surface. Rhodia, Fantasticpaper, Semikolon and Life Noble appeared to work the best. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. Calle Real manages to look good in all nib sizes from EF up to the 1.9 calligraphy nib. With the very fine nibs shading is quasi absent, but starting at F/M and above the elegant and eye-pleasing shading is very prominently there. I am not really into blues, but I liked the vivid character of this ink that adds character without being too obtrusive and in-your-face. Related inks To compare Calle Real 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. As you can see, Calle Real looks quite good if you compare it to the other inks in the grid. Diamine Royal Blue and Blue Velvet come close, and show some of the same vivid-ness that I like so much in this Papier Plume ink. Inkxperiment – A Saucerful of Science With every review I try to do a single-ink drawing that shows what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. This is the most fun part of every ink review, and I quite enjoy brainstorming and then implementing these little pieces. Inspiration for this inkxperiment comes from the Neil deGrasse Tyson book "Welcome to the Universe" that I just finished reading. A humbling book that beautifully illustrates how small we earthlings are relative to the vastness of space and time. And my respect for the scientists that extracted this knowledge from the universe has grown substantially. So this inkxperiment is an ode to science. For this inkxperiment I started with a piece of 12x18cm HP photo paper. I applied some washi tape to divide the paper into regions that I background coloured in a number of different ways, and with different water/ink ratios. I then added some topic-specific details to some of the regions (bookcases, formulas, some mysterious-looking writing). Once dry, I removed the washi-tape to create the white dividers between the regions. The end result is not too bad, and shows what can be obtained with Calle Real as a drawing ink. Conclusion Calle Real from Papier Plume is a vivid light-blue from the Royal Blue family. A great writing ink with beautiful colour and nice shading, but only if you pair it with the correct paper. Make the wrong choice, and you'll have to deal with some feathering and really really long drying times. Make the right choice, and you'll love this ink! Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Backside of writing samples on different paper types
  22. namrehsnoom

    Colorverse Quasar

    Colorverse Quasar Colorverse is a South Korean company that produces inks that are well-known for their iconic bottles and for their astronomy-related names. The Quasar in this review is from their season 2 inks that were released under the theme “Astrophysics”. The package comes with a big 65 ml bottle and a cute 15 ml small one. Fellow member Lgsoltek graciously gifted me a whole bunch of samples when leaving Paris, giving me the opportunity to try out a range of new inks. This Colorverse Quasar was one of them. Quasar is a richly saturated purple-leaning blue. The ink writes really well in all nib sizes with very good lubrication. It’s also an ink with a serious golden sheen, especially when using wet nibs. On the other hand, no shading to speak of (probably due to the high level of saturation). Personally, this is not my type of colour and the ink is too saturated for my taste. But that’s just me, you can make your own judgement using the information below. Quasar has a very limited dynamic range, with almost no contrast between light and dark parts. To illustrate this, I did a swab where I really saturated portions of the Tomoe River paper with ink, pooling it on. This lack of contrast explains why you get little shading in your writing (especially in finer nibs - the blow-up below with a B-nib is a bit misleading in this respect). You can also see that Quasar is well-saturated. As a result, the ink works great with EF nibs, where it produces a very readable and contrast-rich line. On the smudge test – rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab – there is a huge amount of smearing, but the text itself remains crisp and clear. Water resistance is completely lacking. The still water test (letting drops of water sit on the page for 15 minutes) produces a colourful mess. With the running water test all ink simply disappears, leaving next to nothing on the page (see water test at the end of the review). I’ve tested the ink on a wide variety of paper – from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. 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 a Lamy Safari M-nib fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a Lamy Safari B-nib A small text sample, written with the M-nib The source of the quote, written with the B-nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib) Colorverse Quasar has a slight tendency to feather on the lower quality papers in my test set, most obvious when using a wet pen. I noticed no issues with better quality paper or when using finer nibs (M-nib or below). A bummer for me was that I also got some feathering on the Paperblanks paper, which is what I use for daily journaling. This is probable due to some inconsistencies during paper production. I’ve noticed that from time to time you get a bundle of paper of lesser quality. Happened a handful of times – I did a quick calculation: 11 notebooks (of 176 pages), a handful of bad bundles (5x 12 pages): that translates to 3% suboptimal paper. A bummer when it happens, but I can live with a 97% success rate. The ink writes smoothly with good lubrication, and provides excellent contrast with the page. Writing looks good on both white and more yellow paper, but I do prefer the ink’s look on the cream paper. Drying times are fairly low – in the 5 to 10 second range with my Lamy Safari M-nib. At the end of the review, I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. A small amount of bleed-through is present on some of the lower-quality papers, but nothing too bad. Since scans alone are not always enough to give you a complete picture of the ink, I also provide you with a few photos for an alternative look at Quasar blue. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. Being a saturated ink, Quasar looks good in all nib sizes from EF up to 1.9 calligraphy nib. I personally prefer this ink with the F/M nib sizes. It’s presence on the page becomes a bit too dominant with the broader nibs. Related inks To compare Quasar 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. Diamine Sargasso Sea comes close in colour. Inkxperiment – Looking Out The Window With every review I try to do a single-ink drawing that shows what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. The most fun part of the ink review, and I quite enjoy brainstorming and then implementing these little pieces. I had only a very limited amount of ink available, so I needed to maximally reuse the Q-tips used for the swabs in the writing samples. For this inkxperiment I started with a piece of 10x15 cm HP photo paper. I used the Q-tips from the swabs to draw the windows. Next, I used a kitchen sponge and heavily water-diluted ink to sponge in the background. For the window contours, I used my Lamy Safari M-nib and pure Quasar. Finally, a non-water diluted Q-tip was used to draw in the patterns, and the figure looking out the window. This little drawing gives you an idea of what can be achieved with Colorverse Quasar in a more artistic setting. Conclusion Colorverse Quasar is a very saturated blue with a strong purple undertone. The ink has a few shortcomings: prone to smudging, no water-resistance. But it works well in all nib sizes and writes flawlessly on better quality paper. I noticed a slight tendency to feather on lower-quality paper. For me personally, this ink is no good match: too saturated, and the colour doesn’t really speak to me. But that’s just me. You can draw your own conclusions with the info above. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Backside of writing samples on different paper types
  23. namrehsnoom

    TAG Kyoto - kyo-no-oto - hisoku

    TAG Kyoto - kyo-no-oto - hisoku TAG is a stationary shop in Kyoto (Japan) that produces some interesting soft watercolour-style inks. With the kyo-no-oto series they produce a line of inks that replicates traditional Japanese dye colours. According to available only info, the manufacturing process of the kyo-no-oto inks follows traditional dying techniques dating back to the Heian era between the years 794 and 1185. The inks come in 40 ml bottles, packaged in luxurious thick paper with a texture that feels like heavy watercolour paper. In this review I take a closer look at hisoku, a grey steel-blue with green undertones. An interesting colour this one, soft and pale, but at the same time delicate as the seijit porcelain from which it draws its inspiration. Another TAG Kyoto ink that’s right up my alley. Hisoku translates to “secret colour”. It is named after the mysterious beauty of the ash-coloured blue-green unique to Celadon pottery (also known as greenware). The colour of this ink catches the porcelain’s colour perfectly. Very nicely done! The ink writes really dry with my standard Lamy Safari test pens. Saturation is also quite low, especially with the finer nibs. Nevertheless, it still leaves a very readable line even with the Lamy EF nib. This may be a soft and pale ink, it still provides enough contrast with the paper to ensure very legible writing. With wetter pens, the writing experience improves significantly. I would personally avoid this ink with drier 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 Tomoe River paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. Hisoku has a fairly broad dynamic range, but being a pale ink, there is no harsh contrast between the light and darker parts. This translates to strong but still elegant shading. Be aware that my scanner tends to exaggerate the contrast, making the shading look harsher than in reality. I’ve therefore added some photo’s to the writing samples below, to allow you to get a better feel for the ink. The chromatography shows the soft and delicate nature of this kyo-no-oto ink. The bottom part of the chroma suggests a fair amount of water resistance, but this is not reflected in the real world. With water tests, there does remain ink on the paper, but it’s not easily readable and requires patience deciphering. Slightly accident-proof would be more accurate to characterise hisoku’s water resistance. 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 The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib Lamy Safari A small text sample, written with the M-nib Safari Source of the quote, with a wet-writing Lamy Dialog 3 with M-nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Safari) Hisoku looks great on all my test papers, with no visible feathering even with the horrible Moleskine paper. Show-through and bleed-through are quasi absent — only the Moleskine gets some minor bleed-through, but still not too bad. Drying times cluster around the 5 second mark with my Lamy Safari M-nib pen. I personally prefer hisoku with pure white paper, where it looks its best. A beautiful soft & delicate pale-blue that simply looks wonderful. I really appreciate the beauty of this ink. 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. Kyo-no-oto hisoku has low saturation, but still manages enough contrast with the page to make for very legible writing, even with the EF nib. Be aware that it is a dry ink, and as such no good match for dry pens like the Lamy Safari. I suggest you use this ink with wetter pens and/or broader nibs to get a more enjoyable experience. And the ink’s elegant shading is always present, enhancing your writing, no matter what pen/nib combination you choose. Related inks To compare this soft grey-blue hisoku with related inks, I use my nine-grid format with the currently reviewed ink at the centre. 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 really have no other ink that comes close in colour. J. Herbin Vert De Gris is from the same family but way more saturated. It doesn’t even try to match hisoku’s soft delicacy. Inkxperiment — angry Mother Earth With every review, I try to create an inkxperiment using only the ink I’m working on. These one-ink drawings are a great way to bring out the colour-range nuances that are present in the ink. I really enjoy doing them: it’s fun, and a good way to stretch my creativity and drawing skills. Inspiration comes from the evermore visible results of climate change: climbing temperature, melting icecaps, stronger storms, … Mother Earth is not happy! I started with a piece of HP photo paper on which I drew a sketch of Mother Earth with my fountain pen. I then used a rolled-up piece of kitchen paper as a stamp, and filled in the background with water-diluted hisoku. I then added the radiance using Q-tips dipped in multiple water/ink mixes, and filled in the goddess figure with a Q-tip dipped in pure ink. Extra accents were added with my fountain pen. I’m not totally satisfied with the result, but the resulting picture does give you an idea of what can be achieved with hisoku as a drawing ink. Conclusion I’ve tried a number of TAG Kyoto inks to date, and love them all. This line of inks really fits my taste – I’m glad I discovered them. Hisoku is an ink that totally nails it: a soft and delicate pale grey-blue with green undertones. A truly beautiful ink that works really well with all my test papers. Be aware that it definitely is a dry ink, and that it needs wet pens and/or broad nibs for a pleasant writing experience. Hisoku’s colour and toned-down appearance are probably not for everyone, but if you enjoy soft inks, this one is another winner from the TAG Kyoto stable. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
  24. I have a bottle of Noodlers Ottoman Azure and I really love the color. However I have been having a problem with the dry time of the ink on Midori Travellers Notebook Ultrathin paper. The ink can take up to 10 minutes to dry completely. Has anyone else had experience with this ink in the Travellers Notebook?
  25. Hello After I got a couple of Sheaffer Balance a few days ago I had a hot conversation with a friend talking about - when can we name a pen as (vintage)!? and which aspect is more important!? time (how long), availability, quality ......etc Thank you for sharing us your opinions H1N





×
×
  • Create New...