Lately, I have been on a search for inks that are hard to put into a color category and Robert Oster’s new Smokescreen definitely qualifies.
Robert Oster seems to have quite a way with ink; he seems to have a way of creating colors that I didn’t know existed before. Smokescreen (I received a bottle for the purpose of review from Pen Chalet, $17.00 for 50 mL) is a fabulous ink and one that is difficult to describe and to photograph. When first put down onto the page (here, onto Rhodia #18 pad, white paper), the ink appears a deep burgundy that hints at brown.
As the ink dries, however, the color loses most of the purple-ish red undertone, finally settling into a gray-leaning brown that could even be mistaken for a dusky purple.
As I said earlier, Smokescreen is a difficult color to photograph, but comparisons to other inks do seem to help. To show the undertones in the ink, here’s a shot near deep purple and burgundy inks.
Another writing sample, this time on Tomoe River paper. While Smokescreen is a slightly drier ink, I have never had any problems with it. I have not had a pen dry out while using it, although my first pen filled with it was used often enough that I wrote the pen dry! The ink is dark enough to slip by in business settings although the color shows itself enough to make your writing distinct.
In case you were wondering, I used one of my Christmas gifts for the review — TWSBI Eco, Blossom Red, broad nib. I think the broad nib helps to show more of the shading with this ink, although it’s still great in any nib size.
I would absolutely recommend purchasing this ink — a complex color that is surprising on each new paper type or nib size. If you search for slightly unusual inks as I do, grab a bottle of Smokescreen to try!