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L'artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Olivastre


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L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Olivastre


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-colored 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 I take a closer look at Olivastre – one of the more recent inks added to the Callifolio line-up, the other one being Teodora. Both are the first green inks in the series. Olivastre is presumably named after Olea Oleaster – the wild olive tree. And this is a wild ink indeed – a stunning dirty green with prominent yellow undertones. Shading is incredible – going from very light yellow-green to almost black-green in the span of a single word.
This is a well-saturated ink, with good flow, and one that looks lively even in the finer nibs. With my F-nib, shading was already nicely visible – something that not every ink can do. But if there is one thing that will draw you to this ink, it will be its colour. This is one gorgeous looking ink ! And you’ll have no problem to forgive this green beauty its’ minor shortcomings.
Olivastre is relatively smudge-resistant – the colour spreads, but the words remain legible. But the ink is definitely not water-resistant, as is apparent from the chromatography. When the ink comes into contact with water, all text disappears, even after a short 10-second exposure. What remains are only some light smudges. On the other hand – the low water-resistance is a big plus when doodling & drawing. With a water-brush you can easily spread out the ink, and obtain some nice shading effects.

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 new format to show 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-tip
  • 1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturation
  • An ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain pen
  • The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib
  • A small text sample, written with an M-nib
  • Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)
Olivastre behaved perfectly on all the paper types – it even shows no feathering on the notoriously bad Moleskine paper. This is not a fast-drying ink – mostly in the 15-20 second range, and taking even longer where the ink has pooled. On the Original Crown Mill cotton paper, there was noticeable feedback while writing –the ink is drawn straight down into the paper, the effect of which translates into a reduction of nib size. The text that I’ve written with an M-nib looks as though its written with an F-nib.
I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. With the low-end generic paper and the Moleskine paper, there is significant show-through and bleed-through. With the other papers, Olivastre’s behaviour is impeccable. On Tomoe River, there is a hint of bleed-through on the ink-swabs.
One thing I noticed when writing with this ink is that I had occasional issues with skipping, when the ink stopped flowing on a stroke. This in my usual Lamy review pen & nib, that never had such issues before. I’m not ready to blame the ink – but I’m a bit suspicious. In any case, I’m prepared to forgive a lot for the lovely colour I get in return.
Olivastre is a very well-behaving ink on all types of paper, though one completely without water resistance. The ink has tremendous shading potential, which even shows up in the finer nibs. And this definitely is one hell of a good-looking dirty green ink. I would give it an A+ without hesitation, but there is that suspicious occasional skipping… for this I’ll tune my score down to an A (and if my judgment proves to be wrong – my sincerest apologies to Olivastre ;-)
Technical test results on Rhodia N°16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib
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Thanks for your interesting review.

I have this ink & it looks great on off-white/cream paper. I've not experienced any skipping issues so far,

Verba volant, scripta manent

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Excellent review, as usually :) Olivastre has become my favourite Callifolio ink. I especially like the way it looks on Life Noble notebook. I'll need to look for one of these. As for the skipping - I haven't experienced any while using Olivastre.

Edited by visvamitra
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Beautiful review. I love this colour. Being the first I ever bought of this line, it really entices me to fool around with sketchs and drawing... for which I have zero talent....



Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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I don't have a lot of greens in my stash -- but that one looks to be a really nice color.

Thanks for the review -- and not....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Stunning to see how the colour changes depending the paper used. The OCM Cotton and Noble Note give this colour a deeper tone !

Catherine Van Hove



Koning Albertstraat 72b - 3290 DIest - Belgium

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Thanks so much for reviewing this ink. I'm not usually a green fan but I'm really liking this one. Going on my "buy" list.

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Excellent review. I love your doodles; they really add to the writing.


The ink itself doesn't appear to stack up well in my estimation against other inks of similar hue. Tokiwa matsu, for one, separates similarly into greens yellow and cyan with a wash of water and is equally well-behaved.


I have the line on the radar now, though. Looks promising. Thanks.

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I've not experienced any skipping issues so far,

Tried a few other pens... no skipping. Went back and thoroughly cleaned my review pen, and tested again... no skipping. So it turns out that I do owe an apology to Olivastre, and I gladly upgrade my score to a well-deserved A+.

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My first experience of L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio was at last year's SF Pen Show (with their ground-breaking ink-testing stations), and they have many lovely colors. I did not see this one (it might have been there; I just didn't get to it) -- and this is very, very appealing.


I also like your drawings!


etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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  • 4 months later...

Just got a sample of this (and Forget-Me-Not Blue) delivered last night. This is my first time using Callifolio and I'm really enjoying the beautiful green color. It really changes depends on the paper used, and shades on most of my FP-friendly papers. Great review, I wish I had any sketching abilities to speak of!

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