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Robert Oster Signature - Verde De Rio


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Robert Oster Signature - Verde de Rio


Robert Oster is an Australian ink maker that is well-known for its unique range of colours. On his website he describes our shared love quite eloquently: "Robert Oster Signature originates from one of the most famous wine producing regions of the world, the Coonawarra district of South Australia, an idyllic setting with great influence on the senses. There is my inspiration. It's a joy to share it with you." Well, we are certainly fortunate to have inspiring ink makers like Robert Oster to satiate our thirst for glorious inks.




In this review the center stage is taken by Verde de Rio - which you might describe as a grass-green ink, and which would fall way short of what this gem represents. Do you believe in ink-love on first sight? Well I didn't ... until now that is. The first time I put Verde de Rio to paper, I got a thrill of excitement. It just feels wonderful when that happens, doesn't it? I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and some might just see a nice grass-green ink. For me however, Verde de Rio is a stunning beauty that went straight to the top as my personal ink of the year. This ink is liquid poetry!


Verde de Rio is essentially a fresh-looking grass-green ink with yellow undertones, where the green remains dominant. It lays down a wet and relatively saturated line, and can accommodate all nib sizes, even the finer ones. I typically use F or M nibs, so this is a nice take-away. The ink is a real pleasure to write with: you start with a dewy grass-green line that dries relatively quickly into nicely shaded writing. I find the shading simply stunning - it is very present but still subdued. Because the contrast range between light and dark parts remains relatively narrow, you get an aesthetically pleasing shading effect. Really well executed!




Unfortunately, Rio de Verde is allergic to water. On the smudge test - rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab - this quickly becomes apparent. The ink smudges easily, although the writing remains perfectly readable. Water resistance is totally non-existent though - even short exposures to water completely obliterate your writing. On the droplet test and after short exposures to running tap water, all the ink simply vanished. This is clear from the lower part of the chroma - almost no ink remains attached to the paper. The chroma also shows the complex character of the ink - Mr. Oster sure has great mixing skills.




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 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)
Rio de Verde behaved perfectly on all paper types, with just a tiny bit of feathering on the fountain pen unfriendly Moleskine paper. I really like that the ink has a consistent appearance across the different paper types - not a mean feat. This really is a holy trinity ink - whatever combination of pen and paper you use with this ink, it always manages to look magnificent! Drying times are mostly around the 10-15 second range, with a low of 5 seconds on more absorbent papers. The ink works well with both white and more creamy paper. It looks especially good on Paperblanks paper (good for me, since this is my daily journal of choice).
I also show the back-side of the different paper types at the end of the review. No troubles there, except with the Moleskine and Graf von Faber-Castell paper, which show significant bleed-through. With its 100 gsm, you would expect better behaviour from the GFC paper. As it happens, this is a very absorbent paper, that sucks the ink straight in (drying time is near 0 seconds) - the ink then simply appears again on the other side.

Robert Oster Verde de Rio is my personal favourite ink of the year. It has a stunning grass-green colour that works beautifully with all nib sizes and with all types of paper. It's a nicely wet and reasonably saturated ink, with good contrast and beautiful shading on every paper I tested. A pity that it has zero water resistance. I am really impressed by this creation of the Australian ink master - Verde de Rio is an ink that immediately seduced me. I am certainly biased here, but if you like this type of green, you owe it yourself to give Verde de Rio a try. Highly recommended!
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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Thanks for the great review.

Love all, trust a few, do harm to none. Shakespeare

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Nice and fresh green. I have tested it myself and it is indeed like grass transferred to ink! Wonderful review, perfectly executed. Thank you. ... and besides I adore Dune, too.

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An exuberant green ink!


Thanks for the review! The writings in different nib widths are very helpful and love the score card drawing!

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