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  1. InkShift - Robert Oster 1980 Opal Green to Honey Bee Just for the fun of it, I decided to do a project exploring what happens when you move progressively from one ink colour to another. For now, I'm restricting myself to inks from the same manufacturer - mainly to avoid nasty chemical surprises. My hope is that some of these "inkshifts" result in interesting colours that I can use to write/draw with. And besides... it's just fun to watch one ink colour morph into another one. Opal Green and Honey Bee are two inks from the Robert Oster 1980 series that I didn't like too much. Opal Green is just not my type of colour, and Honey Bee is too light to write with. Both are great for drawing, but for writing they didn't strike a chord with me. That makes them ideal candidates for an InkShift. You never know whether some interesting mixes turn up. In the span between the two starting inks, some interesting grass-green colours can be found. I personally like the mix with 1 part Opal Green and 1.5 parts Honey Bee... quite a nice one. One word of warning: Honey Bee is a chameleon ink: yellow under artificial light, sepia with daylight (and under the scanner). The same can be said for the "Honey Bee"-leaning mixes: under artificial light you get yellow-green colours, in daylight (and with the scanner) these look more like moss-green. I really enjoy these ink morphing experiments, the results are often surprising and a lot more interesting than the original inks. Loads of fun!
  2. namrehsnoom

    Robert Oster 1980 - Opal Green

    Robert Oster 1980 – Opal Green Robert Oster is an Australian ink maker that is well-known for its unique range of colours. With this mini-series he gives us a conglomeration of colours inspired by the anything goes world of the 1980s. The inks include muted pastel-type colours along with some eye-popping disco-style hues. Definitely an interesting series. In this review I take a closer look at Opal Green - a blue-leaning mint-green. To be honest, not my type of colour. But this won't stop me from doing an objective review. The ink feels a bit dry in my Lamy Safari test pens, which is not unusual for a Robert Oster ink. Nevertheless, it still works well with all nib sizes - even the finer ones - providing good contrast with the paper. Opal Green shows excellent shading, which becomes more prominent with broader nib sizes. To show you the impact of saturation on the ink's look & feel on paper, I made some scribbles on Tomoe River where I really saturated portions of the paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. As you can see, Opal Green moves from a pastel-like mint-green to a much darker bluish green. The contrast range is rather broad, but there is no harsh contrast between the light and darker parts. This translates to soft shading, which I find aesthetically pleasing. Like most Robert Oster inks, Opal Green has zero water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. This is also apparent from the lower part of the chromatography. The chroma clearly shows the dominating presence of blue in this ink. It's definitely a green though and never a teal, but the blue presence is really very prominent. I've tested the ink on a wide variety of paper - from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. On every small band of paper I show you: An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip 1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturation An ink scribble made with an M-nib Lamy Safari fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib Lamy Safari A small text sample, written with an M-nib Lamy Safari Origin of the quote, written with a wet Pelikan M101N with F-nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Lamy) Opal Green behaves well on most paper types. You get a tiny bit of feathering on the lower quality papers (Moleskine and the copier paper). With the lower quality paper you also get some bleed-through, but never excessively so. The ink dries quickly around the 5 second mark (with the M-nib Lamy Safari). The ink shows truly elegant shading, even with finer nibs. White paper seems to work best for Opal Green - it doesn't look nearly as good on the yellowish papers in my test set. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. All samples were written with a Lamy Safari, which is typically a dry pen. I also added a visiting pen: a wet-writing Pelikan M101N Grey Blue with F-nib. As you can see, Opal Green can handle all nib sizes without a problem. With the wet pen, the ink shows a saturated bluish green, moving away from the mint-green you get with the drier pens. Related inks To compare Opal Green 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. I specifically added Pelikan Edelstein Jade to the grid. This is another ink I don't like at all - more of a blue leaning to the green, with Opal Green being a green leaning to the blue. Neither ink colour works for me - if you want to be a teal, you should boldly go all the way, not this "I’m not sure what I am" type of colour. Inkxperiment - isolation With every review, I try to create an interesting drawing using only the ink I'm working on. Limiting myself to one ink allows me to showcase its colour-range nuances. For me, this is the fun part of every ink review. Inspiration comes from the current COVID19 crisis, which forces us to be extra careful, practice social distancing, interact online instead of in person. A side effect is a feeling of remoteness... each person an isolated bubble in the sea of humanity. For this drawing I reached once again for my favourite medium: HP photo paper. I started by drawing the bubble, and adding some texture to it (using a plastic sheet with holes, and a kitchen sponge). I then added the isolated person, and used different water/ink ratios to draw in the radial spikes outside the bubble. The resulting drawing gives a good indication of what can be achieved with this Opal Green ink. In my opinion, this Robert Oster works really well as a drawing ink. I quite like the end result. Conclusion Robert Oster 1980 Opal Green is a strongly blue-leaning green ink (definitely not a teal, more of a mint-green). The ink works well with all nib sizes, and shows really elegant shading. It has some minor feathering problems with lower quality paper, but nothing really worrisome. I really liked this ink for drawing, but as a writing ink it's definitely not my type of colour. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types





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