Ink Review: KWZ Discovery Green – Dromgoole’s Exclusive

By Jessica Coles

Ink is a passion of mine, a passion that rose to a ridiculous level a long time ago. It started out with a small selection of four or five ink samples and has grown into a collection of nearly 2000 ink samples, bottles, vials, swatches… While I completely understand I cannot use up all of this ink, it has become an obsession with color, shading, sheen, sparkle, ink properties, and un-obtainability.

However, one ink line is noticeably missing from this collection. KWZ inks. The reason behind this has always been the smell.

Ink preservatives lend a distinct smell to ink – just open up a bottle of Sailor ink and sniff.  To combat this smell, KWZ adds something or other to the ink that partially masks it and has a pleasant vanilla-like perfume.

It just happens that I have unfortunate memories associated with the smell of vanilla. Many years ago there was a terrible incident with a large amount of vanilla-scented oil being spilled on carpet. I had to smell that for months. I shudder at the thought of those months.

While I love the colors offered by KWZ, I’ve never been able to get over that scent. But I was very pleasantly surprised when I opened up the newest offering from KWZ, Discovery Green, a Dromgoole’s Exclusive color. The vanilla scent in this ink was barely noticeable! Instead, the smell was quite neutral.

I do enjoy sheening inks, but those that cover up the color of the underlying ink are a bit too much. I was expecting a super sheening ink with Discovery Green but was again surprised to find a slightly subdued sheen that looks almost matte metallic and is only obvious at certain angles.

See? Here’s the same card in the same light at two different angles:

The sheen on this ink is beautiful, but not as overwhelming as many I have seen.

I was able to get a good comparison of the underlying color by keeping the Col-o-ring cards at a certain angle – Lamy Crystal Peridot is very close although Discovery Green has a touch more green. Very similar in writing to Robert Oster Peppermint but with more sheen.

I found Discovery Green to be dry in writing, an experience that is common to most highly sheening inks. In the photo below, you can see there was a bit of smearing in the “n” in Green, but I had not yet given the ink time to dry. I did not have a problem with smearing once it was dry.

Dry time was longer with this ink – also common with sheening inks on Tomoe River paper – the ink was dry in 30 to 35 seconds in normal writing but much longer in pools or swatches.

As I said, Discovery Green is a dry ink. I had no problems with it when I first inked up my pen. There were also no problems after letting the pen sit for a week without writing. However, the next week (2 weeks in the pen), I had a difficult time getting the pen to start – I had to wet the nib in a cup of water and also prime the feed before the pen was happy. I would say if you are going to write a pen dry, the experience will be wonderful.

I do love the color of Discovery Green. According to the Dromgoole’s site, “The name comes from the beloved Discovery Green park in downtown Houston, which is filled with interesting sculptures, fun play areas, and grassy hillocks. Perfect for a picnic or throwing a frisbee with your friends. Take a leisurely stroll with all of us at Dromgoole’s through KWZ’s Discovery Green”

I loved the changes in shading between a dark teal and a medium forest green. I also enjoy the more livable level of sheen.

I now have a rule though. Don’t color in block letters with a fine nib.

DISCLAIMER: The ink in this review was provided free of charge by Dromgoole’s for the purposes of this review. All other items in this review were purchased by me. Except for the Col-o-ring which was provided to me by a wonderful person who pays me to write blogs by keeping me supplied with Col-o-rings. Please see the About page for more details.


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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I agree with everything you said here. There’s just the right amount of sheen in this one to make it a good writing ink. I’ve got a sensitive nose so the scents of inks can definitely deter me from buying. Sadly Sailor inks are among the ones I just can’t even use for that reason. Thanks for the great review!

  2. 2,000 inks??! Impressive! You are to inks what I am to colored pencils! And the world needs us both! 😉

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