Inspired by Kenouni Renoshin‘s suggestion that I do more ink reviews, I give to you the first day of the 12 Days of Inkmas. Cheers!
I must confess, of the eight inks I received this month from the December Ink Drop,in honor of Private Reserve founder Terry Johnson, I waited to do Private Reserve Black Velvet last. Partially because I find it hard to say much about black ink. I love fountain pens because I don’t have to use black. But I know lots of people like using black inks or need to use black for professional reasons. So, for you, lovers of the black inks, this is my review of Black Velvet. Let’s start by admitting that I love the name and find it quite fitting for the holiday season.
I found the Black Velvet to be a fairly neutral black. In the water test, there is a slight undertone of red but overall its a very neutral black. In writing, it seems to be a solid black with slight shading. Black Velvet is not a waterproof or even water resistant ink but it does leave evidence on the paper after water which means it could stain clothes or surfaces if spilled.
Black Velvet is a wet ink and flowed easily out of my EF TWSBI mini. If I felt compelled to use a black, this is not a bad option.
When compared to other black inks in my collection, I’d say its most comparable to Lamy Black. Noodler’s Zhivago ($12.50)and El Lawrence ($18.50) both are 3 oz/ 88ml bottles and both have more of a green undertone. Monteverde Black 90 ml ($12.50) has a clear red undertone making it look a little purply, even in my samples.
Private Reserve Black Velvet is sold in 50ml bottles for $8.80.
The samples above were written with a TWSBI Mini EF fountain pen in the Quo Vadis Habana bright white, blank notebook. Dry times will vary depending on paper stock. Comparison samples were written using a steel dip nib with a bit of flex which causes some of the more liquidy inks, like De Atramentis, to run a bit. They are included for color comparison. Best efforts were made to achieve color accuracy but the limitations of camera, lighting and individual monitor calibrations may alter the final look. For best results, order a sample of the ink color you like best and try it before you invest in a whole bottle.
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Although, like you, I have no use for black ink to write with, I LOVE PR Velvet Black for sketching. In fact, it’s my favorite black ink for sketching. I wash the lines for shaded parts of the drawing, and the washed ink has purple undertones that I think is gorgeous.