In an effort to get caught up on the Ink Drop subscriptions, I have done some quick swab swatches of the last two months worth.
July’s Ink Drop theme was an all-American Stars and Stripes so it was chock full of reds and blues which are also some of the most popular colors in inks so choosing just five samples must have been a challenge. The final selection was De Atramentis Atlantic Blue, Diamine Royal Blue, Diamine Presidential Blue, Diamine Poppy Red, and Sheaffer Skrip Red. Each bottle is $12.95 except the Sheaffer which is budget priced at $9.25. De Atramentis Atlantic Blue is a deep midnight blue. Diamine Poppy Red is a warm red, like farm tomatoes. Diamine Royal Blue is a bright vivid blue while the Presidential Blue is a bit darker and smokier but still a bright blue.
Since the August Ink Drop (“International Shipping”) also featured a couple shades of red and blue, it seemed like a good reason to show them altogether. The blues in the International Shipping set are much more vivid while the reds are deeper. The colors in the August set are: Private Reserve Naples Blue ($11), Diamine China Blue ($12.95), Montegrappa Bordeaux ($20), Noodler’s Mandalay Maroon ($12.50), and Noodler’s Burma Road Brown ($12.50). Mandalay Maroon is a dark, rich red while the Bordeaux takes after the wine for which is similarly named. My favorite of the lot was the Naples Blue which is a vivid ocean blue, the kind I imagine seeing from a bleached white Greek shore. The China Blue and previous Royal Blue are quite similar but the China Blue has more of a reddish cast. The final ink in the International Shipping set is the Burma Road Brown which is a cool green/brown. I’d be inclined to call it a green-black.
I still struggle a bit with the best way to swatch and sample my Ink Drop subscriptions. I tried using a dip nib, a glass pen, cotton swab swatches and painted swatches. No matter how I do it, there is a lot of clean-up and preparation. So, paint brush swabs for my swatch book are the fastest and at least give me an idea what the colors are for future sampling.
Swabs are done with a watercolor paint brush on Kyokuto Word Cards.
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Ink Drop is a monthly ink sampling service from Goulet Pens. Subscriptions are $10 per month (add $5 for international subscription), pre-paid or ongoing, and include five different colors of ink and discounts on purchases of full bottles of ink in the Ink Drops.