Category: Ink Swabs

Childhood Reads: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

Got a few ink samples of the new collaboration between Robert Oster Signature Inks and Endless Pens – Cozy Comforts Inks! I made a beeline for the Old Book Smell sample because the color reminded me of one of my favorite books when I was a child: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. The color of the book was exactly this. Dark red with a bit of orange in it. It was my first hard bound book and, to my young eyes, it was incredibly beautiful. My favorite part of the story was the one where Tom basically conned the other neighborhood kids onto whitewashing the fence for him and even paying him little trinkets and bites out of their apples for the dubious favor. I thought it was a naughty thing to do, but still funny. In this post-truth reality, reading this scene would have taken on new meaning for me.

Ink Swab: Vinta Lakambini 1950 (The Maiden)

I’m not a huge pink fan so I decided to test this ink a little later, but I think Vinta does pink inks really well. This is Vinta’s Lakambini 1950 (The Maiden), the name and the color is based on a Lola Basyang story about a slave’s daughter who won a prince’s hand in marriage by overcoming the king’s challenges through her wit and cunning. Yet another Lola Basyang story I don’t know! Oh my goodness, I feel bad about that. Lola Basyang’s radio drama show became popularized in the 1950’s.

I like the base color of this ink, it’s a very mellow pastel pink. Very easy on the eyes and has really cute shading. You can see some hints of soft purple in places where ink pools and around the outlines of some strokes. I like that it’s not bubblegum pink, but a softer, more readable pink. Surprisingly, this ink dries fast too, at about 15 seconds even with a stub nib on Tomoe River paper. Be warned though that this is a very shimmery ink. There’s no discernible sheen on it, but the shimmer is very pronounced. You can really see the gold shimmer on the paper even without having to catch light at an angle. You can also see the shimmer on the nib’s fins right away. It’s best used with pens that are easy to disassemble for cleaning. Or if you like the base color with just a hint of shimmer here and there, don’t shake the bottle before filling your pen. Let the gold shimmer settle to the bottom first before you fill your pen.

It’s also a bit surprising that the color doesn’t spread out when wet. It’s not water proof, but the color can hold up in water better than most non-water proof inks, as you can see in the writing sample above.

Overall, it’s a sweet and whimsical color and I think the Fairytale lineup really wouldn’t be complete without it. Below are some close ups of the writing sample.

You can go to Vinta’s Facebook Page or their website for more information on their new Fairytale Collection.

Ink Swab: Vinta Saysay 1925 (Mystical Eve)

Saysay 1925 (Mystical Eve) is one of my favorites in Vinta’s new Fairytale collection. It’s a beautiful black ink which leans towards blue, like a very dark blue that crossed the spectrum to black. It reminded me of the speedball ink that we used for calligraphy back in high school. When it dries on paper, it’s matte not shiny. It’s a very rich, very beautiful black ink. Then when the light hits it just right, boom, beautiful silver shimmer and copper sheen lights up the dark ink. It’s not extremely sheen-y, just the edges glow copper under certain lights. I would say that it’s a very nondescript black ink until you close closely and see the complexity of the color. It’s like galaxies of stars at night. When water is applied to it, a beautiful combination of teal, purple, pink can easily be coaxed out. I like this one a lot. It’s so dreamy. It reminds me of beautifully clear, cloudless nights when the stars can be seen on the sky.

The color and name was based from Lola Basyang’s “Rosamistica” which is about a kindhearted orphan girl who was rewarded when she gave her last centavo to a mother and child in need. The stories were published in Liwayway magazine on 1925.

The flow of this ink is moderate. I’m relieved it’s not a dry-flowing ink because I wanted to use it in my medium nibs for everyday writing. It dries a tab slower than the other inks in the Fairytale collection, at almost 20 seconds using a 1.1mm stub on Tomoe River paper.

Of course, the usual reminders about shimmer inks apply. Only use shimmer inks in pens that are easy to clean, preferrably something that can be taken apart when you wash it, and don’t leave it too long in a pen without using it to avoid clogs.

Here are close up photos of the writing sample:

Preorders for the Fairytale collection are ongoing now. Head on to their Facebook page or website to learn more.

Ink Swab: Vinta Pagtangi 1958 (Clouds of Grey)

The next ink I tried from Vinta’s Fairytale collection is Pagtangi 1958 (Clouds of Grey). The color was inspired by a Lola Basyang story called “Kastilyong Gawa sa Bakal”, which is about a young princess trapped in an iron castle. Hence, the greenish-grey color. 1958 is the year that the first Lola Basyang film was released by Sampaguita Films.  I can’t believe how many Lola Basyang stories I don’t know! I thought I was familiar with a lot of them but apparently not.

Among all the inks in the collection, this didn’t immediately catch my attention when I swabbed all the colors, but when you use it for writing, it really does grow on you. It’s a fascinating ink that doesn’t fit comfortably in just one color. The base color is a light grey that is almost greenish in person. Under some lights, it can be a soft, almost pastel green. It has very expressive shading that is sometimes pink, sometimes purple. So when you try to describe it, just saying “grey” really doesn’t do the color justice. It really does remind me of grey skies during sunset–sometimes it’s grey but with warm spots here and there, the the subtle pink fading away as the day ends. It’s accentuated by subtle gold shimmer. I think I already like the base color as it is, but the shimmer does add a very dreamy touch to it.

It dries pretty fast too, about 15 seconds with a stub, more or less. I was expecting it to take a long time to dry but it didn’t really need a lot of time. It’s also pretty well-behaved on the papers I tried it with (Tomoe River and Midori). The usual reminders about shimmer inks apply, of course. Only use shimmer inks in pens that are easy to clean, preferrably something that can be taken apart when you wash it, and don’t leave it too long in a pen without using it to avoid clogs.

Overall, this color I think is suitable for daily writing. It has a very dreamy quality to it, but it’s saturated enough to be readable, and the subtleties in the shading makes it such an interesting ink to look at on paper. Especially if you use good paper that really shows off shading and shimmer.

Here’s a closer look at the writing samples:

The Fairytale Collection will be released on February 28, 2022. Check out Vinta’s website for more details.

(DISCLAIMER: I received this ink free from Vinta. Read my About page to learn more about my review posts.)

Ink Swab: Vinta Lakbay 1861 (Sea and Sky)

The first ink I tried from Vinta’s new Fairytale Collection is Lakbay 1861 (Sea and Sky). The name is from a Lola Basyang story called “Kapatid ng Tatlong Maria”. The 1861 in the name refers to the year that Severino Reyes, the writer of Lola Basyang stories, was born. I haven’t read this story yet! I must look it up. The base color of the ink if pale blue with just a hint of green to make it a faint teal. It also has red shimmer on it. I like the softness of this color, it’s very relaxing to the eyes. The base color is nice shading on it, I think the red shimmer gives an illusion of a pinkish shading. It looks very magical, like the gown of a fairy godmother. The darker spots show off the teal color of the ink, and the lighter spots are almost powder blue by comparison. The whole page that I wrote looks almost pearlescent in person.

The drying time is pretty fast, even for a 1.1mm nib, at about 15-20 seconds. On the papers that I tried (Tomoe River and Midori), it doesn’t feather or bleed through. The normal caveat for shimmer inks apply–it’s advisable to use it on pens that are easy to maintain and clean, don’t let it sit unused for long periods of time.

Overall, I think this ink is super cute and it’s a whimsical color, but the saturation still makes it readable. I used it for titles and headers in my planner, and it really pops out of the page, it’s so cute.

The Fairytale Collection will be available on Vinta Inks’ website on February 28.

(DISCLAIMER: I received this ink free from Vinta. Read my About page to learn more about my review posts.)

Ink Swabs: Vinta Christmas Collection: Karol 1990 and Parol 1908

Our friends at Vinta Inks sent me bottles of their new Christmas collection. This collection has two colors in it: Karol 1990 (Carol Red) and Parol 1908 (Jewel Green). I’m happy that they came out with a Christmas collection, we could all use more sheeny, shimmery goodness. The sheen on these inks can be quite pronounced in certain lights, especially if you use a wet nib or glass pen. The parol in the photo below looks like it’s drawn with gold foil.

In indirect light, the inks can appear a bit dark but the red and green still show through. The red shading on the Parol ink in particular can make it look darker sometimes, depending on the pen and paper you use.

Continue reading “Ink Swabs: Vinta Christmas Collection: Karol 1990 and Parol 1908”

Ink Swab: Dominant Industry Manschurian Violet

When Everything Calligraphy sent over a few samples of Dominant Industry inks for me to try, this color caught my attention right away. It’s a soothing, mellow pastel color and I mentally noted that I’d like a bottle of this for my collection. I don’t think I have a lot of violet or purple inks in my collection aside from Diamine Bilberry. It’s one of those colors that I like sometimes, but  not enough to buy. Then I would flip through my journal pages and see entries written in pretty purple ink and I wonder to myself “why didn’t I get a bottle of this color?” Well, I got a bottle of this color because it looks really pretty and soothing to the eyes. It’s a little hard to photograph because under some kinds of light, it looks more blue than violet. I thought at first that it looked similar to Periwinkle Blue but this ink is really more pastel violet than blue. While wet, it looks like standard violet, but it lightens as it dries. It’s actually pretty fun to watch the ink dry because the color changes noticeably as you watch. It becomes milky violet and the shading shows up really well after it’s dried.

Compared with the first few Dominant Industry inks that I tried, this ink doesn’t flow too wet. I would put the flow level at moderate. Of course your mileage may vary, depending on the paper and pen that you use. I used a Cross Century II with a medium nib and Tomoe River Paper for this writing sample. Also, it dries a bit longer at almost 25 seconds. The color is a bit too light when you add water so you won’t get any dramatic effect on it if you want to use it for painting. It’s saturated enough so that it’s not difficult to read, and the shading is really expressive. It’s really a fun-looking ink and I’m happy to add it to my collection. Here’s a few more photos of the writing sample:

Ink Swab: Dominant Industry Periwinkle Blue

Dominant Industry’s Periwinkle Blue is a bit hard to capture on photo. Sometimes it looks baby blue, sometimes it’s milky blue with purple tones, sometimes it looks dark blue. I think this is one of those inks that you really need to see in person in order to appreciate. Like the first two Dominant Industry inks that I tried (thanks to Everything Calligraphy for sending those free samples, yay!), Periwinkle Blue flows wet, almost watery at first. Then the colors develop on the page and show off wonderful shading of different shades of blue and pink. It’s a whimsical ink color that looks really fun to use. It dries pretty quickly too, at a little over 15 seconds. I like this. I don’t have a similar-looking ink, so I will get a bottle of this for my personal collection.

Here’s a few photos of the writing sample:

Ink Swab: Dominant Industry Earl Gray Tea

This is the first ink that caught my eye after I finished swatching the Dominant Industry inks sent by Everything Calligraphy. I was immediately drawn to it because it looked so nicely saturated and warm and really did remind me of earl grey tea.

The ink has a watery consistency, and at first it seemed like it would be too light on the paper but the color develops as it dries and the shading looks like a beautiful mixture of yellow, orange, red, and some brown. It dries relatively quickly at about 20 seconds (I used a wet medium nib and tomoe river paper for this), and the flow is on the wet side. I love the expressive shading on this ink, in varied shades of red orange, just so beautiful. It’s almost like the letters are aglow. More photos below:

I think these are launching with Everything Calligraphy sometime this coming week. <3