Tag: fountain pen ink review

Review: Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Crimson

Here’s another Robert Oster Signature Ink that I tried last week, Crimson. My first impression was that it didn’t look like an extremely red ink. When it’s wet, it looks more like dark old rose, but it gets darker as it dries.

Robert Oster Crimson

Like the other Robert Oster inks that I’ve been using these past couple of weeks, I find this color to be rather easy on the eyes. It’s vibrant but also a bit muted at the same time. It’s not a screaming, angry kind of red, but a more reserved, muted red.

I really like how it feels in the pen that I used. It flows moderately wet, but doesn’t feel like it’s too wet. It doesn’t bleed or feather much and it’s really well-behaved. It dries pretty quickly (between 10-15 seconds on a wet, medium nib) and has a bit of shading. It’s a gorgeous ink and is really easy to read because it’s nicely saturated and easy on the eyes. It’s not very water resistant, though. I like that like the other Robert Oster inks that I tried, this one’s color stays vibrant on paper even when it’s dry. It doesn’t appear washed out and has a lovely way of popping out of the page. For people who would like to use it in pen and wash drawings, the ink does wash very nicely.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Signature inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Ink Review: Akkerman Hopjesbruin

I’ve been hearing about these Akkerman inks for a while, but since they’re not locally available, I never really looked into them. When Stationer Extraordinaire opened a pre-order of these inks, I signed up just to try out the brand. Also, I figured if I didn’t like the ink, at least the bottle would be interesting. Coincidentally, the color I picked matched the pen I bought for my birthday (but I’ll save that for another post). When I got the Akkerman ink that I ordered, I was really happy with the bottle and the box. I love the vintage vibe to everything about it.

P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

Isn’t that gorgeous? It’s the kind of bottle you’d put on a desk for decorative purposes. The bottle also isn’t just beautiful, it’s also practical. I wish more ink manufacturers will make their bottles with openings that are convenient even for big pens. The neck of the bottle has this ball stopper that makes that portion an ink collector. It will be much easier for your pen to fill up on the last drops of your precious ink if you have an ink collector like this.

P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

As for the ink itself, I love it a lot. It’s the shade of brown that I really, really like. Reminds me of honey. It’s brown with some tones of yellow, similar to Pelikan Edelstein Amber, but less yellow than that. It’s a lot easier to read.

P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

I like this kind of brown because it’s less serious-looking than dark browns. Less business-like and more complex and lighthearted. The color is probably not suitable for writing official/work documents, but I’ve been writing my journal entries with it since I got it, I like it a lot. It’s like a mixture of caramel, amber, golden brown, and sepia. It has an aged,warm feel to it. If you try it on more porous paper, it appears darker.

I would recommend using it with a wet writer because the flow is dry to moderate. It also dries up fast, between 10 to 15 seconds on a medium nib. It’s not very waterproof, ¬†but I already expected that. I tried writing on cream-colored paper and oh. My. Gosh. It’s just so gorgeous. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

Overall, it’s an instant favorite! Love at first sight. ūüôā

Review: J. Herbin Violette Pensee

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

Here’s another ink sample I got through Everything Calligraphy. J. Herbin’s Violette Pensee (Violet Thought). It’s a nice violet ink with strong blue undertones. In person, the blue component of the ink is a bit less obvious. It’s really more like a muted purple. It’s pretty easy on the eyes, not an extremely vibrant, highly-saturated purple. I took several photos of it but it always looks more ambiguous on photo than in person.

The flow is pretty good, quite wet actually. It takes a good 25-30 seconds when I used it with my Cross Century II, which is one of my wettest medium nib. There’s some shading to it too. Here are a few close ups:

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

Not exactly water resistant, though it leaves a very faint blue line behind.

Overall, I would use this for daily writing. There are some shades of purple that I just can’t tolerate because they look a lot like those stamp pad inks in offices. This is a more muted kind of purple. It flows wet, though. Takes a few seconds to dry. People who are in a hurry to take notes might find the dry time too long. Of course that depends on the paper and the nib that you use.

Ink Review: J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

I got a sample of J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis (Tears of Black Currant) from Everything Calligraphy a couple of weeks ago. I’m not too big on purple or purplish inks, I admit I’m still hung up on Bilberry and J. Herbin¬†Poussiere de Lune but it’s always great to try new ink colors.

My first impression on J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis is that it doesn’t really look like black currant. That would actually be a super cool ink color, though. It looks more like ube.

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

It starts out looking light and a bit too timid, but it gets darker as it dries. It’s not a bold purple, but it’s not too soft-looking either. I’m not sure if it’s just because I used it with a stub, but it doesn’t offer too much shading. Some people will like that, but I like my inks very shade-y.

The flow is pretty wet, and it took about 20 seconds for the ink to dry on Tomoe River paper. It’s not an extremely complex-looking ink, there’s no sheen or distinctly ambiguous undertones. It’s just a pretty shade of soft purple. It’s saturated enough to use for daily writing, it’s not hard to read. It’s a well-behaved ink that takes just a tad longer to dry. It’s also not water resistant. It leaves a very faint blue line behind, but most of the color washed away after a 30 second soak.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

It’s really like writing with liquid ube. Now I’m hungry. Overall, it’s a pleasant purple ink. The kind that grows on you as you use it.

Review: J. Herbin Rouge Opera

Ugh, these little bottle of J. Herbin inks. It’s like little shots of addictive colors. I tried this sample of J. Herbin Rouge Opera and it’s really solidifying my newfound fascination for pink inks. Pink. Me? Imagine that. I guess stranger things have happened. But I have a few pink inks in my collection, and I love using them for calligraphy. Anyway, back to Rouge Opera.

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

The name means Opera Red, although the color is more like a warm pink. The writing sample was made on Tomoe River paper. I think that’s a really pleasant-looking pink ink. It’s not so hard to read, and the shading is pretty. It’s the kind of pink that pops out of a page, without looking too loud. It’s a nice, velvety pink that would make a lovely shade for a prom dress. It’s not too sweet-looking, like baby pink. It’s also saturated enough for daily writing, though probably not something you’d use for formal documents. I’d totally love to write personal letters with this ink, though. The creative applications such as pen and wash, and calligraphy are pretty interesting.

The ink is one of the wetter pink inks that I’ve tried. I like the flow, it doesn’t feel so dry and it doesn’t bleed a lot either. It’s a pretty well-behaved ink. The drying time is an average of 15 to 20 seconds in Tomoe River paper with a wet medium nib. There’s not much water resistance to speak of. A 30 second soak left only the faintest pink line behind.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

I got this sample of Rouge Opera from Everything Calligraphy.

Review: J. Herbin Diablo Menthe

J. Herbin Diablo Menthe

Here’s another J. Herbin ink I’ve always been curious about but never really tried because I couldn’t imagine using an ink that looked so cheerful. Thanks to Everything Calligraphy, I tried a sample of it out and I’ve been enjoying it for a few days. J. Herbin’s Diablo Menthe is a very minty-looking blue ink. I had to use it with a wet writer just so I can really see its color. I can think of a few creative applications for this, but as far as writing goes, I wouldn’t recommend it for daily writing. Unless, of course, you’re into lightly saturated inks for your daily writing.

As far as writing goes, I think this would be useful for making unobtrusive notes on a page, or to write out section headlines/dividers and provide contrast to darker inks. It’s a pretty nice highlighter ink too. If you use wide nibs for calligraphy, it could be a darker shade of mint blue. It dries pretty fast, an average of 10 to 15 seconds. It’s not water proof at all, I guess that’s pretty easy to see.

The ink flow tends to be dry, depending on the nib that you use. Which is why I think it would make a good highlighter ink. It makes a pretty eye-catching ink for drawings, though. I cannot wait to use it in more pen and ink or pen and wash drawing. Here are a few closeups of the writing sample.

J. Herbin Diablo Menthe

J. Herbin Diablo Menthe

J. Herbin Diablo Menthe

J. Herbin Diablo Menthe

J. Herbin Diablo Menthe

Review: J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

I was really excited to receive this ink sample of J. Herbin’s Caroube de Chypre from Everything Calligraphy. I think one of my favorite inks is Emerald of Chivor, and I was really excited to find out what a dark brown shimmery ink would look like. I think the thing I loved best about Emerald of Chivor is how lubricated it is. Considering that it’s so shimmery, I’m so happy that it’s a very well-behaved ink. I use it on my more expensive pens, not just in pens that I can easily take apart (like Lamy). J. Herbin really did something right with how they formulated Emerald of Chivor.

That being said, I eagerly tried Caroube de Chypre. The name is based on the color of carob pods, which is said to be a kind of beans that J. Herbin ate and traded during his voyages to Cyprus. The base color is a nicely saturated, warm brown color. It reminded me of De Atramentis Coffee, which is one of my favorite brown inks. It’s also a little¬†similar to Iroshizuku Tsukushi. The shimmery flecks are gold, and there’s some green sheen.

J. Herbin Caroube de Chepyr

Right off the bat I noticed that the gold flecks settled faster at the bottom of the ink bottle than the flecks of Emerald of Chivor. I think that may be the reason that the shimmer is a bit less pronounced. Of course, how you see the shimmer and sheen depends on a lot of factors like how broad and wet your pen’s nib is, the texture and quality of paper you use, even the direction of light as you look at it. I think that for a shimmery ink, this one’s actually pretty conservative-looking. I noticed that the gold flecks appear to be less distributed¬†on paper, perhaps because the particles settle¬†down too quickly? I don’t know.¬†The green sheen only shows up in places where the ink pools more. It’s a lot less pronounced than the red sheen of EoC, which almost seems like a nice red halo around the lines you write. This pronounced red sheen, I think, is the key to why EoC looks beautifully complex.

J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

That being said, it’s a nicely saturated brown ink that I can definitely use for everyday writing. It flows a bit dryer than EoC, but it is also quite a well-behaved ink. It hasn’t clogged my pen yet after several days of leaving the pen capped. Drying time is an average of 15-20 seconds. It’s also not very water resistant. There’s minimal shading using a medium nib and the green sheen is also not too pronounced. Here are a few close up shots of the writing sample.

J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

J. Herbin Caroube de Chepyr

J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

Overall, it’s not as crazy-looking as Emerald of Chivor, but it has its own charm. It’s subdued and nicely saturated, and when you lay down a lot of shimmer with the ink, it almost looks like writing with liquid bronze.

Review: J. Herbin Rouille de Encre

J. Herbin Rouille de Encre

I don’t usually try pale-colored inks but once in a while I do enjoy them too. Here’s a sample that I got from Everything Calligraphy, J. Herbin Rouille de Encre. The name means “rusted anchor” but I’m not sure that’s appropriate for the color. It reminds me more of flower petals. The color is a nice soft color that’s like a cross between peach and pink. It has this chalky, pastel-like appearance that makes it look so inviting on paper.

I don’t think it’s something I can use for everyday writing (like at work), but it would look great in personal letters. Also works great in notes as a contrast to other complementing colors. I can think of a number of great creative applications for it. It’s saturated just enough to be readable and it has some beautiful shading. It dries up at an average of 15 seconds, and the flow is dry to moderate.

As you can see in the photo below, it’s not water resistant at all. It’s a very delicate-looking ink. I would suggest using it with a wet-writing nib, preferably medium/broad/stub.

J. Herbin Rouille de Encre

While it may not be something you can use for everyday applications, it’s pretty darn cute. Here are a few closeups of the writing sample below:

J. Herbin Rouille de Encre

J. Herbin Rouille de Encre

J. Herbin Rouille de Encre

J. Herbin Rouille de Encre

Review: Noodler’s Blue-Black Ink

Noodler's Blue-Black

My love for blue-colored inks was an acquired taste. I used to not enjoy blue inks at all. I consider Noodler’s Blue-Black sort of like my gateway drug for the color. I first tried it out when a fellow member of Fountain Pen Network Philippines sent me a small vial of it back in 2014. I liked it so much that when it ran out, I bought several blue-black inks only to be disappointed that they’re nowhere near as saturated and dark-colored as Noodler’s Blue-Black. Perhaps the second best blue-black ink that I’ve tried is Sailor’s blue black, but it’s a completely different-looking ink than this. I’m so happy that Everything Calligraphy asked for our favorite Noodler’s inks, and I was able to suggest this color.

Noodler's Blue-Black

I’m glad that it also did not come in the new plastic bottles. Eventually I know the stocks of glass bottles will run out and I’ll need to make do with the plastic ones, but until then, I will shudder at the thought of them. Noodler’s inks give you great value for money, I think. It’s a big 3oz bottle full to the brim (careful when you first open it) with all that inky goodness. A bottle will definitely last you a while. Noodler’s blue-black is what I like to call a proper blue-black ink, which is to say that it’s leaning heavily into the darker end of the color spectrum. For a highly-saturated ink, it’s still got a lot of character to it. Nice shading, some hints of red under certain kinds of light. It dries up relatively quickly (about 15 seconds) and has a nice flow to it. I would say its flow is moderate. It’s a nice, conservative, very dark blue ink suitable for daily writing. A pleasant surprise is that though it’s not completely water proof, much of the black component of the ink stays on the paper. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Noodler's Blue-Black Noodler's Blue-Black
Noodler's Blue-Black Noodler's Blue-Black
Noodler's Blue-Black Noodler's Blue-Black

It’s a pretty nice shade of blue. That it’s pretty resistant to water is a plus. I highly recommend this ink for people who like blue ink or for those who aren’t sure if they like blue ink yet so they’re looking for something that isn’t a crazy blue color.

Used in this review:
Pelikan M600, Medium
Elias note pad
Noodler’s Blue-Black ink (I bought¬†mine from Everything Calligraphy)

Ink Swab: Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium

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A few weeks ago, I received a bottle of Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium from friends. I’ve long been curious about this ink since it’s not locally available (it was exclusively made for Goulet Pens). I am so happy that I was able to try this out.

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My first impression was that it’s an uncomplicated, vibrant blue. It has no sheen to it, it’s not bling-y. It’s just a beautiful shade of vibrant, vivid blue. It dries up relatively fast. In my Waterman Expert II (photo above), which is a wet writer with a left oblique cursive italic nib, it dries up between 10 to 15 seconds.

The flow is also good. It hasn’t dried up on me yet, or clogged my nib, and I’ve been using it regularly since late last month. I like that it’s a very nicely saturated blue that you can use for daily writing. I also like that it has nice shading. Check out the close up shots of my writing samples below.

IMG_3723IMG_3724IMG_3728IMG_3729IMG_3722

The shading is not crazy, but I think it’s beautiful. It’s slightly dark¬†blue-darker blue. I like it a lot. There’s no nib creep either, for people who are bothered by that sort of thing.

It’s not exactly water proof, but it’s water resistant. Especially if you dry it out thoroughly first before testing. A pretty nice blue ink. I’m happy to add it to my ink collection. ^_^