Tag: ink samples

Review: Robert Oster Bondi Blue

My fascination for blue ink is pretty new. I have to say that nobody’s more surprised than I am to see how much this color grew on me. I prefer darker blues, though. Not anything that leans towards baby blue. I was a bit hesitant at first to try this ink color, but using it in my Franklin Christoph Model 02 (a wet medium) really changed my mind.

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

This is such a vibrant blue. I immediately Googled images of Australia’s famed Bondi Beach and yeah, the likeness of the color of this ink to the color of the water on a bright day is striking. It’s beautiful! It’s also great ink to use with wet nibs because these nibs will show off the complexity of the color. There’s a noticeable red sheen on it, and the shading is a dark blue with a tinge of red. In broader strokes, it looks like a red halo. Much like the shoreline where the waters of Bondi Beach touches the sand. It’s not as pronounced as crazy-sheeny ink like Emerald of Chivor, but it’s there. I heard that Fire and Ice has more pronounced red sheen, this one is quite subtle but lovely. It’s something you can use for daily writing, really easy on the eyes.

Like other Robert Oster inks that I tried, it’s pretty well-behaved. I really enjoy that about this brand of ink. The drying time is not too long (just an average of 10-15 seconds), the flow is great, it’s not prone to drying out or causing hard starts. They’re not water proof or water resistant, though. I really wish Robert Oster Signature Inks will come out with a waterproof line of inks in the future. So far, all the inks I tried have been wonderful. Here are a few close ups of the writing samples:

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

If you’re in the Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Robert Oster Signature inks is Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Robert Oster Jade

Here’s another Robert Oster Signature Ink that I’ve been using these past few days, thanks to samples sent by Everything Calligraphy. It’s such a pleasant surprise because It’s a very nice, eye-catching shade of green. Robert Oster Jade is exactly how I want a jade-colored ink to be. It’s a  brilliant, vibrant, jade green with expressive shading that mimics the complexity and depth of jade stone.

Robert Oster Jade

My first impression of this ink is that it’s so, so gorgeous. I noticed that it gets a bit darker after it’s had a bit of time to dry, though. Even while it’s wet, it looks like a brilliant shade of green.

Robert Oster Jade

If you look at the swab samples, you’ll see that the lightest part of the swab is a pretty shade of light yellow-green, though not too light as to make it unreadable or difficult to read. Like the other Robert Oster inks that I tried, I like how this ink looks really vibrant on the page, and how it flows really well without misbehaving. It flows good without getting all bleed-y on paper. This is a moderate flow, and it dries relatively fast. Around 10-15 seconds on Tomoe River paper with a wet, medium nib. It’s not very water-resistant, though. I think I’ll need a full bottle of this color. I’d love to see more of this in my journal. Here are a few more close ups of the writing samples:

Robert Oster Jade

Robert Oster Jade

Robert Oster Jade

Robert Oster Jade

Robert Oster Jade

Overall, it’s a very interesting color. It flows very nicely, and it’s a pleasure to use. I tried it in my fine-nibbed Sheaffer Tuckaway and it just flowed so beautifully. I love it a lot.

Robert Oster inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Reds, Pinks, and Oranges!

Red inks are a revelation to me. I’ve never seen much use for them except for correcting papers and since I don’t teach anymore, I saw no use for such reproachful-looking inks. However, I discovered that if I opened myself for new things, I’d find that I might actually like them. My first red ink was Diamine Oxblood. That took the dislike of red inks away pretty effectively. It’s still my favorite red ink. I ventured into oranges and pinks, and it’s been pretty interesting so far. Below are some samples of red, pink and orange inks.

Diamine Ink Samples are available at Elias Notebooks

See how vibrantly red-black Diamine oxblood is? It writes dark too and dries up darker. When I write with it, it does look like you’re writing with flowing blood, not superficial ruby-red blood. It becomes darker as it dries up too, like real blood.

I’m not very well-versed with pink inks but I think Amaranth is pretty. It reminds me of old rose, except it has a slight purplish hue to it. I like it a lot. There are a few inks that would make pretty highlighters or used for underlining and annotations, especially Hope Pink, Cerise and Peach Haze. Diamine Pink is adorable. It’s such a soft, subtle shade of pink that is a lot of fun to write with. Among the pinks that I tried, I would say that my favorite is Amaranth. I can see myself use it for everyday writing and annotations.


The reds are also pretty diverse. Aside from Oxblood, Diamine Strawberry is also interesting because it has this weird glow about it. It’s like luminescent red. It looks like it has some gold sheen to it, which would be more apparent with wetter writers. Then there are the interesting red shades like Ancient Copper, which looks like you’re actually writing with rust.

I’ve heard that some people have had issues with Ancient Copper crusting on their pens. I personally only experienced mild crusting in my Parker 88 (which has a nib that has no breather hole), though the crusting did not interrupt the flow. To be safe, I would recommend you use this with a pen that has good flow and to make sure that you thoroughly wash and flush out the pen to prevent Ancient Copper from mixing with other ink residues.

Monaco Red and matador both have this brick red shade to them and they’re pretty vibrant when dry. I’d say my favorite red would still be Oxblood, but I am definitely digging Ancient Copper, Wild Strawberry and Matador too.

I wrote a few ink reviews of individual colors, which I’ll explore more in the future. 🙂

Do you have a favorite red/pink/orange ink?

Used in this article:
Several Diamine ink samples from Elias Notebooks
Paper – Lined, large Elias Notebook
All samples are written with a Cross Century II, medium nib

Note: I realize that swabbing is a good way to have a general idea of the color of inks, but writing out the swatches gives me a better visualization of what the ink will actually look on paper when used with a fountain pen.