Category: Ink Review

Ink Review: Diamine Teal

Diamine Teal header

Can there ever be too many deep teal blue-green inks? Not in my world. Diamine Teal ($14.94 for 80ml bottle) is a deep ocean blue-green color. Its got a bit of shading in a finer nib pen but is more evident in wider strokes and in my painted title. The color is muted enough and dark enough to work-appropriate but interesting enough to keep the most discerning pen geek engaged.

Diamine Teal

When I loaded Diamine Teal into my TWSBI 580 Christmas Green I was immediately reminded of another favorite, DeAtramentis Petrol. However, DeAtramentis inks are a little more watery than Diamine and the Petrol color is a bit more vibrant than the Teal. So, clearly, I have reasons to need both.

Diamine Teal Swab comparison

Akkerman #24 Zuiderpark Blauw-Groen is also very similar but is a little darker and has a visible sheen. Akkerman inks are also a bit more expensive and harder to acquire in the States so if you’re looking for a good alternative to #24, I think Diamine Teal is a very close alternative.

 

Ink Review: Akkerman #9 Laan Van Nieuw Oost-Indigo

Akkerman #9 header

Akkerman #9 Laan Van Nieuw Oost-Indigo ($28 for a 60ml bottle) appears to translate to “New Eastern Indigo Avenue” which is not at all what I expected when I looked at the color. I thought it was like “new moon night sky” indigo or something like that since its such a deep blue color and has a fascinating reddish halo in the swatch.

Akkerman #9

I paired it with my Lamy Scala in blue black which seemed like a fitting match and the 14K gold nib let the ink color and shade beautifully. Yesterday in the comments, someone mentioned how Lamy pens tended to lighten inks overall which was such a wake up call for me. And I think it probably holds true for this Akkerman #9 too. The ink looks darker in the painted title and I suspect in a wetter pen, the ink would be darker overall. But I think the color is legible and shades nicely in the Lamy so its completely useable even in a drier pen.

Akkerman #9 swab comparison

Compared with several of my other deep blue black inks, its clear that the Akkerman #9 is bluer and more “denim-y” than most. Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron is probably the only one that’s more blue while maintaining the deep tone of a blue-black. Akkerman #9 seems quite similar in color to the Caran D’ache Magnetic Blue which is not quite as vivid and actually a bit more expensive, if you can believe it.

Are you a fan of blue-black inks? Do you like them more vivid or more subdued? I waffle between wanting a deeper blue-black and preferring a bluer blue-black. Either way, I love blue blacks and Akkerman #9 is no exception.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Vanness Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Private Reserve Daphne Blue

Private Reserve Daphne Blue header

Private Reserve Daphne Blue ($11 for 66ml bottle or $1.25 for 2ml sample vial) is the most beautiful Mediterranean Sea blue. At first, I was worried that the color would be too light to work in a fine nib fountain pen but the color is deep and vivid enough that its actually extremely legible, even in a fine nib. And it shades beautifully too. I actually think this is a great color for fine nib pens if you’re looking for a color that is readable and you enjoy shading in your ink colors.

Private Reserve Daphne Blue

I test a lot of ink colors and many of them I enjoy using but, by the time I use up a pen’s worth, I’ve had my fill of that color. However, before I even finished writing my review, I was already placing an order for a full bottle of Daphne Blue. I seldom do that so that must be the highest sort of praise. I’m looking forward to putting this into Franklin-Christoph Pocket 66 eye dropper. Won’t that look stunning?

Private Reserve Daphne Blue Comparison

I pulled some swatches to compare to Daphne Blue. Lamy Turquoise and Noodler’s Turquoise Eel were both lighter turquoise while Diamine Aqua Lagoon, Kaweco Paradise Blue and Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku were progressively greener and darker than Daphne Blue. Clearly, I do love those turquoise blues and teals.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Diamine Meadow

Diamine Meadow Ink

I was recently reminded about Diamine Meadow (available in 2ml samples for $1.25 and 80ml bottles for $14.95) 30ml bottles for $7.50 and from my Secret Society of Enablers (you know who you are!). I’m lucky I know so many people who share my love of green. I had a sample of it in my stash from a Goulet Pens Ink Drop so I finally pulled it out to give it a good going over to determine if this was an ink worthy of a full bottle purchase, seeing as I already own many bottles of yellow-green ink. I have to be choosy about how many more lime green inks enter my house for fear of mojito overload.

I filled my Lamy Safari with 1.1mm stub/calligraphy nib and set forth to give this ink a thorough testing.

First, I did my watercolor brush painted lettering, to see the range of color and was pleased with the range of color. Meadow varies from a deep almost kelly green to a light lime depending on how much ink is applied.

Then I started my writing tests. It seemed like the color was coming out much darker than most people had described it. I kept thinking that maybe I had some fugitive color from poor cleaning and the more I wrote the lighter the color became. Yep. Fugitive color.

Diamine Meadow Ink close-up

By the time I was halfway down the page, I am pretty confident I was getting the true color, consistent with both the color in the painted lettering and the swab. Its a bright, happy grassy green with lots of shading and it looks great in the wide 1.1mm nib. It does seem to dry a bit darker than when its wet … almost a little olive-y which is actually quite legible.

I was concerned about overall legibility so I switched out the 1.1mm nib to a F nib just to see for myself and the ink maintained both shading and legibility, at least with the European F nib. A Japanese F nib might lose some of the shading because it would be much finer but I think the color would stay dark enough to be usable unlike Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin which I sometimes find too light in very fine nibs to be useful.

Diamine Meadow Ink comparison

Overall, I think Diamine Meadow strikes a nice balance between being a bright green and being a usable color. I love the hue of Chiku-Rin but there are instances where its just too light. Caran D’ache Delicate Green is kind of ridiculously expensive for how kelly green it is and Monblanc Daniel DeFoe is a little subdued, not to mention limited edition. So if you’re in the market for a good green ink, Diamine Meadow is a good candidate and a favorite among the green beans. I think its a keeper.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Waterman Tender Purple

Waterman Tender Purple Ink

Well, hello Royal Purple! Waterman Tender Purple is a very regal violet purple indeed. Its bright, vivid and a perfect remedy for the bleak January days we’ve been facing here in the Midwest recently. I  tested this ink out in my Karas Kustom INK with a fine nib and was able to get some shading and color variation even in this thin line so the color is deep enough for your finest nibs and the color is rich enough to be legible as well. It dried quickly with the fine nib, even on the Rhodia stock so I was able to write with a good clip. Even the painted lettering in the header didn’t take too long to dry and that was applied with a watercolor brush.

Waterman Tender Purple Ink comparison

I included a few other purple/violet inks samples for color comparison but you can see that Waterman Tender Purple definitely has a unique hue. Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki-Shikibu is a warmer purple, J. Herbin Violette Pensee is much lighter and  Noodler’s Purple Martin is much, much darker. These were the inks that were closest in my stash too. Everything else was either much redder, much darker or just not in the same family at all.

So, if you’re looking for a regal, bright, clean violet purple, Waterman Tender Purple is definitely a good candidate. I received this sample as part of the Goulet Pens Ink Drop subscription series some time ago but you can purchase a sample individually for $1.25 or a full 50ml bottle for $12.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Bung Box 88 Green Tea

bb88-title

Several months ago, some friends went in together on a group order for some Bung Box inks. By the time they finally arrived, I was up to my eye bals in things I needed to review so I pushed the Bung Box inks to the back of the pile. My friend was adamant I try the Bung Box 88 Green Tea ink ASAP. So I relented and moved it to the top of the pile this week and am i ever glad I did. Part of my hesitation might have been because I keep hoping I’ll find the perfect lime green ink and I’ve yet to find “the one” yet. So I didn’t want to have another pricey disappointment.

Bung Box 88 Green Tea

This particular ink came in the taller facted bottle which I really like. Initially I was not fond of the sort of low budget hand-drawn sticker labels but I find them sort of charming now. They are sort of quaint.

bb88-overview

It turns out I didn’t have so much to worry about. The Bung Box 88 Green Tea is a wonderfully usable “old money” green. I did, however, have some challenges photographing it. It looks a tad more yellowy in the photos than it actually appears in real life. Its as if the ink did not want me to capture its true spirit, like someone giving an awkward half smile when you try to take their picture.

I tested it with a Franklin-Christoph Fine Italic nib on Rhodia paper as well as a watercolor paintbrush and it gave lovely shading and dried in a reasonable amount of time. It wrote a bit greener than it dried, drying to a slightly browner hue but was quite legible and easy to read which is an issue I’ve had with green inks. If the color is a lovely lime, its often too light and transparent to be easily read at normal writing sizes or too dark and then becomes more of an evergreen or green black and no longer lime colored.

bb88-swabs

I pulled out swatches of other green ink contenders. Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin is definitely a more vibrant lime color but can be difficult to read in fine nibbed pens as it is very translucent. The darker yellow brown in the Bung Box 88 makes it a better option for daily use, I think. Daniel De Foe and Diamine Safari are quite similar in color but are both from special edition runs and a touch more green than the yellowy green of the Bung Box 88 Green Tea. The last two inks I included are easier to acquire, regular edition inks but are definitely not as complex in color but are still good options if you’re looking for a different kind of green.

Like all Bung Box inks, #88 Green Tea is a custom created Sailor ink so it has all the fabulous properties Sailor puts into its inks. Its smooth flowing and writes beautifully. If you have the opportunity to invest in a bottle of Bung Box ink, I think its worth adding a bottle to your collection. No, they are not cheap. It’s definitely a luxury item. Depending on how you purchase your bottle, the cost per bottle ranges between $30-$40 per bottle but the colors are unique and well-made and definitely something you’ll enjoy using.

Ink Review: BungBox Ink of Witch

Bungbox Ink of Witch

Earlier this year, I went in on a group buy of some Bungbox inks and they finally arrived a few weeks ago. I am so far behind on my pile of reviews though that I am just getting around to trying them out. First up is the Bungbox Ink of Witch. I wanted to have the review up in time for Halloween but I grew up believing that Everyday is Halloween so let’s stick with that theory, shall we?

Ink of Witch comes in the beautiful low slung Sailor bottle I love with the little plastic cone inside to make filling a pen easy and pretty tidy. I used my Lamy Studio with a 1.1mm stub nib to show of maximum line variation. There’s a good deal of shading to the ink with the wide nib and it glides. Oh, Sailor! You really do make lovely inks!

I found the ink to actually be much blacker in color than the purple color I had anticipated. It reminded me of the sort of faded black of antique fabrics or documents. I always think old fabrics and documents get a purplish cast to them.

Bungbox Ink of Witch

That said, I think the color shows a definite purple sheen compared with the few (okay ONE) black ink in my collection. I’m definitely more inclined to use a purple black than I would be to use a black for everyday writing and note-taking.

When I start to think about black blacks, I want hardcore, waterproof black like Platinum Carbon Black for art-making purposes so Ink of Witch is actually quite appealing as a writing ink.

Ink of Witch can be purchased through Vanness in the US for $43 per bottle.