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namrehsnoom posted a topic in Ink ComparisonsInk Shoot-Out : Diamine Meadow vs TAG Kyoto kyo-no-oto moegiiro Not so long ago I did a review of kyo-no-oto moegiiro – a yellow-green ink from TAG Kyoto stationery shop. I enjoyed the ink a lot – I just love this shade of green. While preparing the review, I noticed that Diamine Meadow looks really similar. This could be a doppelgänger ink! Time to do a detailed comparison, and find out which of these inks I like the most. Enter... the Ink Shoot-Out. A brutal fight spanning five rounds, where look-alike inks do battle to determine who is the winner. This time around, the battle is between lightweight boxers from different continents. In the left corner – from Liverpool, England – the well-established but relatively unknown champion Diamine Meadow. In the right corner, from the Japanese city of Kyoto, the challenger: kyo-no-oto moegiiro. Both champions make their way to the ring, while the crowd fills the arena with its thunderous cheers. Let the fight begin and may the best ink win… Round 1 – First Impressions The bell rings and the fighters start circling each other. A flurry of strikes and counterstrikes follows, with the champions looking for weaknesses in the other’s defenses. Great moves, feints and blocked-off strikes. This fight looks lively, and both inks make a great first impression. These inks have a lovely yellow-green colour, that looks on the light side but is sufficiently saturated to make for easy reading. Contrast with the page is definitely ok. Shading is fairly heavy, even in finer nibs. Not too harsh though, but really elegant. These inks are almost doppelgängers, but there are some differences: Diamine Meadow looks a tiny bit more yellow, with a somewhat lighter presence on the page. A bit less saturated, but contrast with the paper remains good. Kyo-no-oto moegiiro is a bit more saturated at the darker end of its colour range. It lays down a line that is a bit darker than that of Diamine Meadow. Both inks are great shaders, but with moegiiro the contrast between the light and darker areas looks a bit more interesting with better aesthetics. There is more depth to the shading, which adds character. Both champions make a great first impression. Colourwise, there is little to differentiate these inks. But the slightly darker saturation point of moegiiro adds extra depth to this ink, makes for a more pronounced presence on the page, and provides more aesthetically pleasing shading effects. Both fighters did really well, but it’s the elegant moves from moegiiro that you’ll remember. The Japanese ink clearly dominated this round. No solid hits and no knock-outs, but for this judge, the ink from Kyoto wins this round on points. The chromatography clearly shows that both inks have lots in common. They have a really similar composition, with only a touch more yellow in Diamine Meadow’s mix of dyes. The biggest difference appears to be in the degree of water solubility of the dyes. Round 2 – Writing Sample The writing sample was done on Rhodia N°16 Notepad with 80 gsm paper. Both inks behaved flawlessly, with no feathering and no show-through or bleed-through. The inks look good in all nib sizes, even the EF-nib. Shading is also prominently present, just a hint with the EF-nib, but really pronounced with M nibs and above. Shading with the Japanese moegiiro looks a bit nicer though, with more depth of character. Beware that the scan exaggerates the shading in the broader nibs – in real-life it looks much less harsh. So, below you'll find a photo that provides an alternative look: The writing sample also clearly shows the more saturated nature of moegiiro. Diamine Meadow is a bit lighter on the page, probably because it has more yellow in its mix of dyes. Overall, I feel that moegiiro shows a bit more character, and looks better in written text. I also noticed that Diamine Meadow writes a bit more scratchy, appears less lubricated than the Japanese ink. But this could also be an artifact of the nibs in my test-pens. The Safari pens used for Meadow had the black Lamy nibs – and I’ve read that these write drier than the corresponding plain steel nibs. For this round, the focus is on writing, and here the advantage clearly belongs to the fighter from Kyoto. The Japanese champion breaks several times through the defenses of Diamine Meadow, delivering solid strikes. Better saturation and with it a superior presence on paper… bam! More character in the shading… bam! No knock-outs, but these punches definitely hurt! This round is a solid win for kyo-no-oto moegiiro. Round 3 – Pen on Paper This round allows the batlling inks to show how they behave on a range of fine writing papers. From top to bottom, we have : FantasticPaper, Life Noble, Tomoe River, Original Crown Mill cotton paper, and Midori notebook paper. All scribbling and writing was done with a Lamy Safari M-nib. Both champions did well, with no show-through nor bleed-through. But this round is not about technicalities, it is about aesthetics and beauty. Are the fighters able to make the paper shine ? Both are lovely yellow-green inks that look good on both white and cream paper, but really show their best on pure white paper. On their own, both the English and Japanese ink look beautiful. But it’s when you put them next to each other that the richness of moegiiro becomes fully evident. A bit less yellow, a bit more saturated… these small differences have a significant effect on the end result. Diamine Meadow tries its best, but it cannot reach the depths and elegance that moegiiro has to offer. Again, the scan exaggerates the contrast in the writing, so below is a photo of the same information: The Japanese champion shows much better footwork, moves more fluently. With his superior technique, he continuously puts his adversary on the offensive. Still no knock-out, but moegiiro clearly dominates the play. And the public agrees… they’re now chanting for the fighter from Kyoto who’s stealing the show. This round is definitely a win for the Japanese ink. Round 4 – Ink Properties These inks are not fast-drying, requiring about 15 seconds to dry. Diamine Meadow even takes a little bit longer. Both inks are reasonably smudge-resistant. Some colour rubs off when using a moist Q-tip cotton swab, 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 inks show their weakness in this respect. With Diamine Meadow, nothing remains on the paper (from the bottom part of the chroma, I had expected better). And kyo-no-oto moegiiro just leaves some unreadable smudges. Neither ink likes to come into contact with water. For this round, the fighters just keep circling one another. Neither makes an attempt to please the crowd. The public is now boo-ing. This is not what they paid for… The bell rings, signaling the end of this disappointing round. Round four thus 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. Yellow-green inks are usually fun to play with, and these two are no exception. Both inks do well, and are great for creating some artwork. The colour range you get is just perfect, with light and darker areas complementing each other nicely. I really enjoyed using them. In the picture, I used different water/ink ratios to draw in the background. The horizontal tree bark was painted in with a piece of cardboard and pure ink. The trees and decorative elements were added in with a B-nib Lamy Safari and pure ink. Both inks work well as drawing inks. Personally, I prefer moegiiro a bit more, mostly because the range between light and dark parts can be a bit wider, and because it’s easier to get a darker saturated green. But either ink is just excellent to draw with. A big thumbs-up for both champions, that really did their utmost to please the public in this final round. No real winner, only a real spectacle that is greatly appreciated by the crowd. As such, round five ends with a draw. The Verdict Both inks are joyful yellow-greens that are great for journaling and drawing. Diamine Meadow and kyo-no-oto moegiiro look quite similar… real doppelgängers. But in the end, the Japanese ink has a bit more depth and character to it, which makes it the nicer one of the two. No knock-out in this fight, but a solid win on points.
TAG Kyoto – kyo-no-oto kokeiro 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. For this review, kokeiro is the shining star in the spotlight. The olive-green ink’s name is inspired by old mossy trees and stones that can often be found in Kyoto’s beautiful gardens. It is a symbol of the Wabi-Sabi aesthetics that permeates Japanese culture. According to Wikipedia, the Wabi-Sabi world view is centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.” The yellow-green kokeiro embodies this aspect well. It is a beautiful ink with intricate complexities, but also with its share of imperfections that make you appreciate its beauty even more. With the right combination of the holy trio ink-pen-paper, kokeiro can get an almost old-green-gold shine that looks truly beautiful. This is not a workplace ink, but one for personal and intimate writing. I am totally enamored by this kyo-no-oto ink! The ink is not meant for dry pens – these don’t give it enough room to express its beauty. Kokeiro is at its best with wet pens and broader nibs (M and above), where it showcases its dreamy beauty, laying down a well-saturated line with truly stunning shading. With dry pens and/or fine nibs, the ink not only feels unlubricated, but the ink is also too unsaturated resulting in an overly light line that makes it difficult to read. Choice of paper is also important: kokeiro feels not so great in combination with hard-surface paper. I like it most on slightly absorbent paper. But once you hit the right combination, I guarantee you writer’s heaven! Kokeiro is a perfect companion for my Pelikan M400 White Tortoise. The gold-green colour almost exactly matches the colour of the Pelikan's binde. 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. Kokeiro has a fairly broad dynamic range, ranging from a light yellow-green to a much darker olive-green. The contrast between light and dark is not harsh though. This translates to strong but still soft and aesthetic shading, that really adds character and beauty to your writing. Well executed! The ink’s chromatography is a work of beauty, and shows the craftsmanship of TAG Kyoto’s ink masters. The subtle and complex mix of light-blue and yellow dyes combines to the soft beauty of the olive-green kokeiro. The bottom part of the chroma seems to indicate a certain measure of water resistance, but in reality this is not the case. Kokeiro is not an ink that can survive watery accidents. 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 Pelikan M200 A small text sample, written with a B-nib Nakaya (western fine) Source of the quote, with a Pelikan M400 with M nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Safari) Kokeiro looks good on all types of paper – both white and creamy ones. The ink shows a small amount of feathering on lower quality paper, together with some show-through and bleed-through. With hard papers, I personally found the ink to feel fairly unlubricated, which detracts from the writing experience. Kokeiro seems to prefer slightly more absorbent paper. Drying times with the M-nib Safari are in the 5 second range. With the wet M-nib Pelikan the drying time approximately doubles. I really enjoyed the ink most with a wet B-nib Pelikan in my Paperblanks Embellished Manuscript journal. 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, the photo’s capture kokeiro’s colour best – the scans of the writing samples seem to be a bit too yellow. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. The top part shows kokeiro with my Safari pens in different nib sizes. Here the ink is too unlubricated, and lays down too light a line. This TAG Kyoto ink should definitely be used with wet pens and broader nibs, like the pens I used in the bottom part. Combine broad & wet, and kokeiro blossoms, rewarding you with a surreal beauty. The strong shading and soft olive-green colour combine to create a richness and elegance that lift your writing to a whole new level. Related inks To compare the olive-green kokeiro 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 don’t have enough inks in this colour-range to fill the grid, so I had to add an number of more distant relatives. The Noir Dorée is not a commercial ink, but a 5:1 mix of Callifolio Heure Doréé and Noir. The ink I found most similar is Diamine Wagner, which seems to be a bit more yellow, but looks quite alike in writing. I will definitely explore this further in a future ink shoot-out. Inkxperiment – forest god With every review, I try to create an inkxperiment using only the ink I am presenting. Such a one-ink drawing works great to show off the colour-range nuances that are present in the ink. These inkxperiments are the favourite part of my reviews: always loads of fun and a perfect way to experiment with inks using a number of different techniques. In a previous review I introduced a river goddess. This inkxperiment continues on that same theme, and shows a forest god, with the yellow-green representing the golden sunrays shining through the green forest canopy. The forest god is inspired by the Celtic horned god Cernunnos – see the corresponding Wikipedia entry for more information. I started with an A4 piece of HP photo paper, and a small doodle in my daily journal. To paint the background, I dripped ink in different water/ink ratios on a piece of kitchen towel. The ink transfers to the photo paper through the kitchen towel, creating the background pattern of the forest floor. I used a cutout of Cernunnos to draw his silhouette on the photo paper, and then used a brush and fountain pen to paint in the forest god. The trees on the left were drawn in with a glass dip pen and pure kokeiro. Final touches were added with a B-nibbed Safari. The resulting drawing shows what can be achieved with this beautiful yellow-green ink in a more artistic context. Conclusion TAG kyo-no-oto kokeiro is a true Wabi-Sabi ink. An ink with imperfections and shortcomings, but that is also of a phenomenal beauty when pen/ink/paper come together in the right combination. I really like the softness and complexity of this TAG Kyoto ink. In my opinion, one of the successes in the kyo-no-oto series. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Pelikan M400, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
TAG Kyoto – kyo-no-oto – moegiiro 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 moegiiro. This is a great-looking yellow-green ink, beautiful colour and shading, well-saturated in all nib sizes and on top of that... a happy colour that makes you almost smell the fresh sprouting leaves on spring trees. I guess you can already feel that I'm smitten with this ink ;-) Inspiration for this ink's colour comes from fresh green sprouts in early spring: the Japanese word moegiiro derives from the words "moe" (to sprout) and "negi" (onion). During the Heian era, this fresh yellow-green colour was particularly fashionable as the colour of youngsters. In the tales of Heike, the famous kyudo (Japanese archery) master Nasuno Yoichi wears armour painted in the moegiiro colour as a symbol for the young warrior. The ink writes with good lubrication in my Safari test pens, not at all dry like some other kyo-no-oto inks. The colour is simply wonderful ... I personally like yellow-greens a lot: fresh looking, spring feeling, happy, feel-good. This moegiiro ticks all my boxes, and I immediately took a liking to it. A prime candidate for my 2020 top 3 of inks. I've tried a number of TAG Kyoto inks to date, and love them all. These inks totally fit my tastes. I'm so glad I tried them. The ink feels at home with a broad spectrum of pens, nibs and paper. It writes with good lubrication, even with dry pens like my Safari. The line it produces is nicely saturated, even with fine nibs. Shading is great, without too much contrast between the light and darker parts - just as I like it. And this elegant shading is even present in finer nibs! To show you the impact of saturation on the ink's look & feel on paper, I made some scribbles where I really saturated portions of the Tomoe River paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. As you can see, moegiiro has a medium colour range. The ink moves from a light yellow-green to a much darker light-green, without a sharp contrast between these extremes. In writing, this translates to subtle shading which is aesthetically very pleasing. The ink's chromatography shows a wonderful complexity with light-blue, yellow and the resulting light-green in the mix. The light-blue dyes fix more readily to the paper, while the yellow dyes are much less water-resistant. The bottom part of the chromatography seems to indicate a small measure of water-resistance. In practice, a very faint light-blue ghost of your writing remains when the ink comes into contact with water. It can still be read when you put some effort to it, but this is definitely not a water-resistant ink. I have 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 Pelikan M120 with F nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Safari) Moegiiro looks great on all my test papers, with no visible feathering. With the lower-quality papers there is some bleed-through present. Drying times were mostly just above the 5 second mark with the Lamy Safari M-nib. The ink looks great on both white and more yellow paper, and behaves well across all my test papers. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. Kyo-no-oto moegiiro can handle all nib sizes without a problem. With the EF nib, you still get a nicely saturated line with even a touch of just-visible shading. Shading is elegantly present starting with the F-nib, and looks beautiful in broader nibs. Because of moegiiro's medium colour span, shading is never harsh and looks very eye-pleasing. Related inks To compare the yellow-green moegiiro 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. This kyo-no-oto ink is different from my other light greens, although Diamine Kelly Green and Meadow come close (the Diamine inks have a touch more yellow in them than this TAG Kyoto ink). Inkxperiment - the Ellcrys With every review, I try to create an inkxperiment using only the ink I'm working on. Such a one-ink drawing is a great way to show off the colour-range nuances that are present in the ink. These inkxperiments are the favourite part of my reviews: always great fun and a good way to stretch my creativity and drawing skills. The yellow-green freshness of moegiiro is reflected by the springtime leaves on the trees outside my window. This inspired me to use a tree as the subject of this inkxperiment. I love the Shannara fantasy novels of Terry Brooks. In the "Elfstones of Shanarra" the Elven princess Amberle Elessedil melts with the Elcryss - the magic sapient tree that protects the border with the Forbidding where the demons reside. I started with a quick outline sketch of the drawing I wanted to make. I then used a piece of 300 gsm rough watercolour paper, on which I drew a background with Q-tips using water-diluted ink in a number of different ratios. Next I drew in the Ellcrys tree with my Safari M-nib fountain pen. The three circles represent the three incarnations of the Ellcrys. The first Ellcrys was born of Aleia Omarosian, the second Ellcrys arose with Amberle Elessedil, and the third incarnation appears in the NexFlix Shannara Chronicles when Arlingfant Elessedil merges with it. The foliage of the tree was stamped in with a piece of dishwashing sponge and different water/ink ratios. Final highlights were added with a brush and pure moegiiro. The resulting picture shows quite well the colour-range nuances that can be achieved with kyo-no-oto moegiiro as a drawing ink. Conclusion TAG kyo-no-oto moegiiro is an awesome yellow-green! A fresh happy colour that is a pleasure to write and draw with. This ink works great with any combination of pen/nib/paper: lovely fresh colour, great shading, good saturation. I really enjoyed using it. If you like yellow-greens, you owe it yourself to get a bottle of this! Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
Ink Review : Diamine Wagner (Music Collection) Pen : Lamy AL-star, M-nib Paper : Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm Review Zürich, spring of 1848. I recently visited St. Beatus Caves at the Thumersee, where – according to legend – the holy man fought a dragon. Sun rays from the cave’s mouth lighted up the dark interior, casting a yellow-green reflection on the walls. You can almost imagine the dragon guarding its golden treasure, its scales a green-golden sheen in the reflected light. Ah… this setting inspires my muse. Yes… I see an epic hero-filled story spanning several operas. I will call it “Der Ring des Nibelungen”. In 2015 Diamine released the Music Collection, a set of 10 subdued ink colours named after well-known composers. In this review, we take a look at Wagner. After the above introduction, you're sure to remember that this is an inspiring yellow-green ink. Diamine Wagner is probably the most intriguing colour from the Music Collection. A wonderful yellow-green ink that looks especially nice on white paper. The ink behaves really well on all the papers I tested – even on Moleskine there was no visible feathering and only limited show-through and bleed-through. What I really appreciated is that the ink works wonderfully in all the nib sizes – even the fine ones – getting a bit darker in the broader nibs. The contrast with the paper is excellent, resulting in an easy read without the ink dominating the page. This inks also shades beautifully with just the right balance between light and dark parts. I’m loving it ! Not an ink for the workplace, but what a great choice for personal journaling ! A comfortable chair, a journal with quality paper and a fine pen filled with Wagner… and I’m happily purring like a kitten ;-) Water resistance is poor – that lovely golden-green colour quickly dissipates, but a readable faint-grey residue remains. Diamine Wagner is a great ink, and probably the crown jewel of the Music Collection. If you’re looking for an ink outside the usual colour spectrum, this ink will definitely fit the bill. It’s a gorgeous ink for personal correspondence. I really enjoyed it, and I’m sure you will too ! My overall score : A+