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L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Gris de Payne 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 watercolor-like appearance, and are not only fine inks for journaling, but are also really excellent inks for doodling & drawing. I only recently discovered them, and they are already the inks I gravitate towards for personal journaling. In this review the center stage is taken by Gris de Payne, a classy grey ink with a teal-blue undertone. I’m quite a fan of grey inks – they are subtle and subdued, not bold and harsh like black inks. And I also enjoy the slightly off-grey variety that hints at other colours in its undertones. As such, Gris de Payne delivers. It’s a cool grey colour with teal-blue leaning undertones, which clearly show in the chromatography. Gris de Payne works well with all nib sizes, providing excellent contrast with the paper even in the finer nibs. The ink also provides impressive and aesthetically pleasing shading, without too much contrast between the light and darker parts, just as I like it. I also appreciate that this shading shows up with finer nibs – really well executed! The ink looks best on pure white paper. It’s less satisfying on more yellowish paper – in my opinion. Callifolio inks are often on the dry side, but that is not the case with this ink. It wrote very smoothly and with good lubrication in my Lamy Safari test-pens (which are dry writers). That’s another plus. 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. Gris de Payne shifts effortlessly from a very light blue-grey to a more deeply saturated dark-grey. Quite nice. On the smudge test – rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab – Gris de Payne behaved really well, there is smearing but this doesn’t impact the readability of the text. Water resistance is a mixed bag. Most of the ink quickly disappears, even after short exposure to water. On the plus side, a very light-grey outline of the text remains, which is still readable without too much effort (this is not immediately obvious in the scan, but trust me – in real life I had no trouble reading what is left on the paper). I’ve tested the ink on a wide variety of paper – from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. For the Callifolio reviews, I’m using a format that shows you the ink’s appearance and behaviour on the different paper types. On every small band of paper I show you: An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturationAn ink scribble made with an M-nib Safari fountain penThe name of the paper used, written with a B-nibA small text sample, written with the M-nibDrying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)Gris de Payne behaved perfectly on all the paper types, with no apparent feathering even on the lower quality papers in my test set. Drying times are in the 10 second range, except on some of the more absorbent papers. The ink looks fabulous on Paperblanks, which I use for daily journaling. In fact, it works really well with all of the white paper types in my test set. On more yellow paper, I’m not enthralled by the looks of this ink. I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. The ink behaved very good with almost all paper types. Even Moleskine paper behaved surprisingly well – there was only minimal bleed-through. All in all a really well-behaving ink. Inkxperiment – winter walk I’ve recently started to experiment with ink drawings, keeping things simple and more-or-less abstract. I find it to be a fun extension of the hobby, and have found single-ink drawings a nice challenge. It also gives you an idea of what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. In this drawing I used 300 gsm rough watercolour paper. I started off with Gris de Payne, heavily diluted with water to obtain a very light-gray background. I then gradually added more ink to the mix, and added darker and darker layers to the drawing. With this I obtained a broad spectrum of different shades of grey… perfect for a winter landscape. The end result gives you a good idea of what Gris de Payne is capable of when used for doodling & drawing. Conclusion Callifolio Gris de Payne from L’Artisan Pastellier is a quite beautiful and subdued blue-grey ink, that is equally at home with both writing and drawing. The ink has good contrast with the paper, and works well with all paper types. I also appreciate the fact that it shows shading even with the finer nibs (F and M) that I typically use. Overall, I’ve nothing but positive things to say about this ink. In my book, this is one of the better inks in the Callifolio line-up. Well worth your attention. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types