Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

An iron gall "mediaeval codex" brown ('Beowulf Brown')


Recommended Posts

One colour I've been after for a while is a dark brown that looks a bit like the colour that appears in mediaeval manuscripts (though presumably these mss looked a lot more black in their time), sort of like:



(from https://ebeowulf.uky.edu/ebeo4.0/CD/main.html)


Herbin's Cacao du Brésil isn't a bad choice for this sort of brown, but I've been wanting an iron gall close to this colour.


I tried KWZI IG Mandarin, IG Orange, IG Gold, which all darken to browns, but none of them were actually quite what I wanted.


Recently I tried Platinum Classic Sepia Black, which looked like it might be right, but it turns out (not surprisingly, given its name) to be a bit too far on the yellow/green side (it's not dissimilar to KWZI IG Gold):




I decided to try a roughly 1:1 mixture of Platinum Classics Sepia Black and Rohrer & Klingner's Scabiosa, which seems indeed to produce the sort of colour I've been after:




[the last two images both on Southworth's "parchment" finish paper (which isn't the most IG friendly)]


So this turns out to be a brown which is in the family I internally label as an "elven brown" (a cool brown):


[on Southworth's 25% cotton]



[on TreeZero's bagasse paper]


I haven't tried it, but I wonder if mixing Scabiosa & KWZI's IG Gold mighn't produce a similar result. It's also probably worth playing with proportions: I mentioned this looks not dissimilar to Herbin's Cacao du Brésil, but the Herbin ink is even a bit cooler/greyer, and I imagine adding more Scabiosa might actually produce this result.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 4
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • pgcauk


  • Ted A


  • Aelfattrum


Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

Experimentation is great fun. Even when I haven’t successfully gotten what I’ve set out to achieve I’ve often gotten something I like a lot.

To hold a pen is to be at war. - Voltaire
Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Ted A said:

Experimentation is great fun. Even when I haven’t successfully gotten what I’ve set out to achieve I’ve often gotten something I like a lot.


This was one of the rare cases where what I imagined and what I got ended up being really close. (I tried an earlier blend with a blue/black IG, which didn't work very well, but then thought how Herbin CdB seems to have a violet/purple component (though I don't know that it does chromatographically) and decided to try a violet/purple.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


R&K Scabiosa and Sepia are two of my favorite inks, so I can imagine their beautiful children!

Taupes can be the subtlest things - perfect "background" inks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, pgcauk said:


R&K Scabiosa and Sepia are two of my favorite inks, so I can imagine their beautiful children!

Taupes can be the subtlest things - perfect "background" inks!


Thanks! I'm really enjoying using this one.


(Just to be clear, this uses Platinum's Iron Gall Sepia Black, and not R&K's Sepia.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Most Contributions

    1. amberleadavis
    2. PAKMAN
    3. Ghost Plane
      Ghost Plane
    4. jar
    5. wimg
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Comments

    • A Smug Dill
      @Texas42 Thank you. I myself have recently had the experience of cleaning out a Wing Sung 699, in which the iron-gall ink has been sitting for six months. No damage to the metal piston rod (whereas, in a Wing Sung 3013 vacuum-filler, it would have been corroded, turned green, and contaminated the ink in mere weeks), but there was a ring of colour at the far end of the barrel that wouldn't budge, and I found it impossible to unscrew the filling mechanism to clean the interior wall of the ink rese
    • Texas42
      Dang. You are a great friend!   One comment as a relative newcomer would be within the cleaning section: issues/differences in cleaning vacuum filler, piston filler in addition to cartridge/converter. I just cleaned out my Pilot 823 and while it wasn't particularly difficult I was a little paranoid about the drops of water that I could not get out. Perhaps this is something you are already including.   Anyway, great project and very thoughtful of you. I know it's a project fo
    • Splat
      Ah Ruaidhri ya wee heid banger, you do indeed have an Irishman’s way wid dose words now. I’ll be from outer Aberdeenshire up in the blizzard riven braes of the Grampians.  Amateur medicine and surgery is it? Well what noble aspirations you do possess, we need to encourage such noble experimentations.  I pondered on leaving my own battered shell to science, but, until I read your pearls of wisdom and lament, I had comedown on the side of leaving my body to Findus frozen foods.  However, your rema
    • austollie
      Hi Smug Dill,   Nice project.  If it were me, I'd cover stuff like: - nib types available, i.e. styles, materials (SS vs gold), flex vs nails; - filling systems (I love the "thingie" comment) and how once can use them in practice (e.g. fill cartridges with a syringe); - pen body materials and their consequences (pen not balanced of too heavy and big for the hand); - and, whilst you've made it clear that you do not like vintage pens, a discussion of these beyond "I d
    • A Smug Dill
      Thanks for your input! Yes, not putting wood in the list of body materials warranting a mention was an oversight. I love pens with wooden bodies, but my main concern, or chagrin, is that I have not come across a wooden-bodied pen with a wooden cap that seals well. Actually, there is one, but it isn't really wood per se: the Pilot Custom Kaede's maple body is resin impregnated. All other wooden pens I have can dry out while capped and undisturbed; that includes several Platinum #3776 models.
  • Chatbox

    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More
  • Files

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. a-pen-for-a-sole
      (46 years old)
    2. Alex_
      (39 years old)
    3. bhassan
      (40 years old)
    4. Bikerplaymate
    5. bobaltig
      (78 years old)

  • Create New...