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From the album: Shades of colourThis was spliced together as a byproduct of something else I was doing, drawn on Rhodia DotPad 80g/m² 5mm dot grid paper, and colour corrected in GIMP against reference greyscale targets that were scanned alongside the original sheets.
© A Smug Dill
J.Herbin - Gris Nuage 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. J. Herbin is probably best known for their inks in the “La Perle des Encres” series. In this review the stage is taken by Gris Nuage, one of the grey inks in the Herbin line-up. The ink is aptly named: it really looks like the rain-carrying clouds in a heavily overcast sky. To my eye, there are hints of purple and green hidden within this stormy-grey ink. Gris Nuage has a pencil-like appearance: it’s a really light graphite-grey, that only works well with certain pen/nib combinations. Good examples are a wet Pelikan with F-nib, or a dry Lamy Safari with B nib. With such combinations, the ink looks great. Choose the wrong pen/nib mix though, and the ink gets too light for my liking. J. Herbin inks are packaged in simple 30 ml bottles. These bottles are not well-suited for piston-fillers though – they are not very deep, and piston-filling from a half-empty bottle can be a challenge. My trick is to fill an ink-sample vial with ink, and piston-fill my pen that way. Gris Nuage makes a great match for my Pelikan M101N Grey Blue with F-nib, which is the beauty in the pic below. Gris Nuage has quite satisfactory lubrication, even in drier pens like my Lamy Safari. But it’s definitely a very light grey, especially in drier pens where saturation can be quite low. To illustrate the colour span of this J. Herbin ink, I did a swab on Tomoe River paper, where I really saturated portions of the paper with ink. Gris Nuage has a fairly broad colour span, but without too harsh a contrast between the light and darker parts. This translates to elegant shading when writing – providing you have selected the right pen/nib combo. Choose wisely… On the smudge test – rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab – the ink behaved perfectly, with no visible smearing. Water resistance is quite good – the ink survives even longer exposures to water, leaving a light grey residue on the paper, which remains very readable. This is also apparent from the lower part of the chromatography. This makes Gris Nuage an ink that can be used at the office. Drying times for this ink are in the 5-10 second range, depending on the type of paper (with the Lamy Safari M-nib). The only exception was Tomoe River paper (both the 52 and 68 gsm versions), where drying times climbed to 20 seconds. 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 Pelikan M101 Grey Blue with F-nib Source of the quote, written with a Platinum 3776 Century B-nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Safari) The multi-paper writing test shows Gris Nuage’s biggest weakness: this ink only works well with certain types of paper. You really need hard-surface paper for best results. Otherwise you either get ink spread (i.e. the line you write is not crisp but spreads out a bit) or some feathering. This happened on quite a number of papers in my test set, even on high quality paper. Not so good! With Moleskine and GvFC paper, there is some show-through and quite a bit of bleed-through. Technically not the best of inks. Because scans don't always capture an ink's colour and contrast with good precision, I also add a few photos to give you an alternative look 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 couple of wet-writing visiting pens – a Pelikan M101N Grey Blue with F-nib, and a Platinum 3776 Century with a broad nib. This clearly shows you need the right pen/nib combination to get a good-looking result. My favourite is the Pelikan with F-nib – with this combo Gris Nuage looks great, with good saturation and beautiful shading. Related inks To compare Gris Nuage 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. Gris Nuage sits somewhere in the middle between other greys in my collection. I can’t help but see a bit of purple/green in the ink’s spectrum… Inkxperiment – mountain lake 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. These inkxperiments allow me to explore the colour-range nuances that are present in the ink. I love doing them! This time, I’m experimenting with some landscape drawing techniques I discovered on Pinterest. Using paper cut-outs and cotton pads as drawing tools to paint a mountain lake landscape… I started with a piece of 300 gsm watercolour paper. Using different mixes of water/ink, I drew in the mountain ranges with the paper stencils and cotton pads. The lake’s border and the fisherman were painted in with undiluted Gris Nuage using a small brush. I finally added the trees and birds with my Lamy Safari M-nib pen. The end result gives you a good idea of the colour range that can be achieved when using Gris Nuage in a more artistic context. Conclusion J. Herbin Gris Nuage is a tricky ink: use the right combination of pen/nib/paper, and you get a beautiful looking colour that works really well. But deviate slightly from this optimum, and the result quickly deteriorates. In my opinion, that’s too much to ask from the user … you just want an ink that works in most circumstances. Gris Nuage can be beautiful, but it’s not a grey I would recommend. There are many more good-looking grey inks that can handle a much broader range of pens, nibs and paper. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Backside of writing samples on different paper types
http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/J.-Herbin-Gris-Nuage-nazwa.png Presenting J. Herbin ink test Gris Nuage colored diluted Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun. The ink is quite wet, not to say, the impression that the colored water. However, it is written very well and most importantly without breaks. Drying in the range of 3 to 5 seconds. The only drawback is the color. Although, as you look at the time, the text darkens. I am a fan of gray-blue, but for me it's poorly saturated color. I think that the alchemist had such a color in mind. Producent: J. Herbin Series, colour: Gris Nuage Pen: Waterman Hemisphere "F" Paper: Image Volume 80 g / cm2 1. A drop of ink smeared with a nib http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/J.-Herbin-Gris-Nuage-kleks.jpg 2. The ink smudged with a cotton pad http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/J.-Herbin-Gris-Nuage-wacik.jpg 3. Lines http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/J.-Herbin-Gris-Nuage-kreski.jpg 4. Water Resistance http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/J.-Herbin-Gris-Nuage-woda.jpg 5. Ink drops on a handkerchief http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/J.-Herbin-Gris-Nuage-chromatografia-1.jpg 6. Sample text http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/J.-Herbin-Gris-Nuage-txt.jpg Specifications: 7. Flow rate: good 8. Lubrication: weak 9. Bleed through: unnoticeable 10. Shading: noticeable (soft) 11. Feathering: unnoticeable 12. Saturation: difficult to assess 13. Ink drying time: ~ 3-5 sec. Other tests carried out: 13. Sample text in an Oxford notebook http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/J.-Herbin-Gris-Nuage-Oxford.jpg 14. Sample letters in a Rhodia notebook http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/J.-Herbin-Gris-Nuage-Rhodia.jpg 15. Chromatography http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/J.-Herbin-Gris-Nuage-chromatografia-2.jpg