Posts Tagged 'Fountain Pen Ink'

J. Herbin Redux

I was pretty excited about some new J. Herbin inks when I made this quick post. So I was obviously a little embarrassed when the Quo Vadis blog decided to feature them in a post… yikes.

Anyways, after reviewing the Kalligraphie pad recently, I decided to revisit that concept and came up with this:

My Current Collection of J. Herbin Inks. And yes, I know Perl Noire is misspelled šŸ˜¦

The thing about dip pens… is that they always show an ink to be more saturated than it really is. So I tried to smoosh them around a bit (professional terminology)Ā to show their real range of color. When used in a fountain pen, these inks will write in the color that you can see in the smear.

The other thing about dip pens… is that they require a really saturated ink. They’re best used with India Ink, not fountain pen ink, which is less viscous (read: more watery). I’ve had some luck using Private Reserve inks in dip pens, but on the viscosity scale of fountain pen inks, J. Herbin is by far the least saturated, least viscous ink. So making this page was a total drip-disaster. That’s why there is some pretty uneven line work here…

I find that I use J. Herbin inks a lot with brushes, which I really enjoy. And of course, in pens. I currently have two pens inked with Cacao du Bresil, actually.

Diamine Ink Color Release

Also, Diamine has just released 10 new ink colors!

1. Midnight
2. W.E.S Kensington Blue
3. Marine
4. Delamere Green
5. Havasu Turquoise
6. Majestic Purple
7. Classic Red
8. Rustic Brown
9. Lavender
10. Hope Pink (breast cancer research)

Inky Gifts Are My Favorite Gifts

I mentioned a while ago that I received some beautiful new inks and nibs from a generous stranger on Fountain Pen Network. It’s funny how, even in an age of consumerism, humans still find ways to create gift communities. It’s almost as though it’s in our nature to share; we instinctually know that a gift creates a social bond where there was none.

On a related note, I highly highly recommend readingĀ Lewis Hyde’s The Gift. He’s one of those rare writers that fully acknowledges that he is writing through a privileged [white, male] lens, and yet approaches a topic confidently, using that lens as a tool.Ā I’m also lucky enough to be taking a class with him this semester, and have constructed some elaborate plans to pick his brain…

But okay, onward to the meat and potatoes of this entry, which is the ink comparisons.

A couple of notes: I find that scans never turn out color-accurate, so I tend to stick with photographs. I use two different dip nib to test inks: an italic that writes more like a wet fountain pen, and a round speedball that writes a bit drier. This allows you to see the way the ink might look in different pens. And remember to click any image or icon for a full-size view!

Also, there are more comparisons coming later (sheesh, can’t blow my load all in one entry…)

Oranges and Browns

Oranges Browns 3Oranges Browns (bottom)

Private Reserve Fiesta Red …is a name thatĀ implies a totally different color than you see here. Regardless, this is a subdued burgundy. At some point I’ll do a comparison with PR Black Cherry and some others. This ink is saturated, and has some shading.

Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm makes me want to get out the glow sticks and neon bracelets. Unlike Noodler’s highlighter inks, however, Dragon’s Napalm is still totally legible for writing, which is the reason why I love it. I just need to find an excuse to use it…

Noodler’s Cayenne hasĀ superb shading.Ā I remember having to choose between this and Noodler’s Habanero when I ordered some inks a while ago: Cayenne is like a darker Habanero, but definitely not any less intense. I’m dying to try it out with some calligraphy…

Private Reserve Orange Crush is yet another ink that doesn’t seem to match its name. Still, this is a super sexy color, like burnt orange with a bit of shading. I’d feel comfortable using it for casual everyday writing.

Noodler’s FPN Galileo Manuscript Brown falls on the limits of the “brown” category; it’s a very light red-brown. In fact, out of all the inks I received, I’d compare it most to fiesta red (at the top of the page). Fiesta Red is a bit more purple, though, while Galileo Manuscript Brown leans towards auburn.

Noodler’s Swishmix Grizzly, for whatever reason, grosses me out. I have to admit that the name is eerily accurate; this ink is almost precisely the color of grizzly bears (look, I watched Grizzly Man one too many times, okay?). I could make other comparisons, though: ashy mustard? Desert sand at night? I can’t tell precisely why, but it feels a little washed out as an ink– even though it actually has pretty decent shading.

Noodler’s Beaver sort of bored me, unfortunately. I’d say that it falls into the red-brown family, though it doesn’t play up the red (like, for example, Waterman Havana Brown). I know a lot of professionals like to use this color. So, I guess I’ll never be working a desk job… [also, I realize that I spelled “burgundy” incorrectly in the writing sample]

Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan may be the only true brown ink that I own right now. I wouldn’t say that it’s boring, but it feels like a brown crayon or something. Compared to Beaver and Brown (ha), though, I’d say it has a bit of gold in it.

Noodler’s Brown is, first of all, a boring name. Like Noodler’s Beaver, it’s redder than Kiowa Pecan.

[P.S. Don’t judge the dry time of those last two based on the smudge; I turned the page too early and the samples at the top had already had time to dry…]

more blues

Blues midBlues bottom

Caran D’Ache Blue Night isn’t blue. More like a cool greeny gray. It also isn’t likely to show up as dark as it does in the italic sample; it’s very washed out.

Mont Blanc Blue Black is definitely a professional ink (I suppose anyone buying MB’s has got to be a professional). It’s a warmer gray that CD Blue Night, but neither of them are what I imagine when I think of “blue black.” Not very saturated, but perhaps I’ll pair this neutral with a brighter color for some art.

Lamy Blue Black is.. slightly closer to the “blue black” category than Caran D’Ache or Mont Blanc. It’s a medium denim color, fairly saturated. I’ve seen some snazzy shading in other reviews, though there’s not much here.

Waterman Blue Black **NOTE** I received two samples labeled “Waterman Blue Black” –and they’re totally different colors. So, you may want to ignore this swatch and look elsewhere for reviews. You can see on the right side of the page that I swatched both vials and they’re totally different. From other reviews it looks like the lighter swatch is the correct one, so just ignore this.

Private Reserve Black Magic Blue is a very saturated royal blue. I’ll compare this side-by-side with Electric DC Blue sometime, but from my first impressions it seems to be a tad more purple.

Sheaffer Blue makes me want to drink tea out of fine china. It’s what we call “colonial blue” down in colonial Virginia.

Noodler’s Swishmix Tahitian Pearl is a very saturated, free flowing ink. Not for use in wet writers, I say! This was the only sample that bled through the paper, but that’s with a dip nib, so I’ll follow up on that statement.

Noodler’s Squeteague, even though I know that it’s a fish, always seems to appear as a rubber ducky in my head. In any case, it’s actually fairly similar to Tahitian Pearl, though a bit more teal and less gray. It’s also not as wet and has a bit more shading.

Day 152: Lost at Sea

I’m being a badass and doing some manual labor (okay, just laying a sidewalk)– so I’m away from the computer for a few days! The humidity is sweltering but I have confidence that my return will be bright and cheery.

On another note, be on the lookout for a review of J. Herbin’s Rouge Opera fountain pen ink! I received a free bottle from Karen Doherty at Exaclair (who is fast becoming my new best friend).

MORE Ink Tests & Reviews, plus Bonus Side Notes

I’ve had another set of ink samples sitting around for a few weeks now, including three new J. Herbin inks that I received in my Rhodia Drive giveaway prize. It’s always frustrating to color-correct scans, so like last time, I offer some slightly more color-accurate photos.

The last time I ordered ink samples, I stuck pretty safely to a range of neutral colors. Maybe it was the winter weather, because I definitely branched out when ordering these in late May. They’re not all exactly functional, per say, but I’m planning to use them for colorful handwritten letters this summer.

For all of these tests, I used a dip pen, first with an italic nib and then with a rounder nib
(underneath). The rounder nib is a better demonstration of how this ink will appear in a fountain pen. All of these were tested on Clairefontaine bright white paper. As always, click on the images to view a larger version.

J. Herbin Gris Nuage: Ohh, I’m obsessed with this ink! This isn’t one of the bottles that I received from Rhodia Drive, but I wish it was. Compared to other grey inks (such as Noodler’s Lexington Gray), this is a cooler gray ink– the color of clouds on an overcast day. Gris Nuage is also a true grey ink, not a diluted black, and has beautiful shading. View more photos of this ink here and here.

Private Reserve Electric DC Blue: As my writing sample demonstrates, this is a very sexy ink. I tend to hate navy blue and blue-black inks, but I would definitely use this as an everyday color. It’s professional, in the sense that [*warning: mildly sexist remark*] a sexy high-heeled secretary is professional. View another photo here.

Private Reserve Blue Suede: I have to compare this to some of the blue-black inks that I already have, because it seems to fit into that color family. It’s also probably a tiny bit more green than it appears in this picture. Some shading.

J. Herbin Diabolo Menthe: Okay, this color is totally indulgent and I have no idea when or how I’ll use it, but gee is it summery. It reminds me of those chemical-laden cocktails that they serve at bars with blacklights. I was a little nervous ordering this one; most of the reviews that I saw said that it barely showed up. But for me, Diabolo Menthe is definitely legible, at least on Clairefontaine bright white paper. It also has beautiful shading– perhaps I’ll use it for calligraphy. See some of those reviews here andĀ here.

J. Herbin Vert Reseda: Reviewers of Diabolo Menthe claimed that Vert Reseda was a darker, more legible version. This was one of the three inks that I received from Karen Doherty at Exaclair, for the Rhodia Drive giveaway. This ink is also a bit more green than it appears in the photo, with no shading. On the bright white paper, it’s not only darker than Diabolo Menthe, but also more green– it almost resembles the “jungle green” crayon.

[*side note: is most of my generation going to remember specific crayon colors, even into adulthood? Remember “macaroni yellow”?*]

Private Reserve Shell Pink: This may be to be too light for dry-writing fountain pens. For thicker nibs, especially italic nibs, it has beautiful shading. For a pink ink, it’s not too pink. In fact, it’s rather tasteful– not at all like that sexy high-heeled secretary.

J. Herbin Rouille D’Ancre: I try to avoid pronouncing this ink’s name, as I’ve only studied German and Spanish and would probably butcher it. This is another one of the full-size bottles that I received in the Rhodia Drive giveaway. It’s more coral than I expected, but not too orange. I was a little afraid of Biffybean’s “band-aid” description, but I think with the right paper it’ll look quite nice. No shading, though.

Noodler’s Ottoman Rose: Another sexy color, very saturated. It’s probably a bit darker than it appears in the photo, and has no shading. I decided on this ink instead of the other “rose” inks out there, such as Sheaffer’s Persian Rose and Private Reserve Arabian Rose.

[*Side note: I’ve been uncomfortable with the Orientalist tradition of ink-naming every since I began to explore fountain pen inks. It’s understandable (if not excusable) for ink manufacturers a hundred years ago, but it’s absolutely unnecessary and somewhat offensive for modern ink makers to promote Orientalist discourse. In other words, why is it that deep red/rose inks are always “Persian,” “Arabian,” or “Ottoman,” while an “English Rose” colors tends to be a faded/dusty pink?*]

J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune: This is the third bottle I received in the Rhodia giveaway. Of the inks that I already own, I’d compare it most to Noodler’s Nightshade (which I swatched below to compare). It’s definitely lighter, and more purple than Nightshade, and I think I like it less. Interestingly, it feels like a more “feminine” ink to me than the Shell Pink– not in the good way. Read more reviews here and here.

 

Noodler’s Habanero: I wanted an orange with heavy shading, and I was torn between this ink, Noodler’s Cayenne, and Noodler’s Apache Sunset. For all three inks, reviews seemed to depend primarily on the pen used. I was expecting more shading, though I’ll have to try this in one of my italic-nib pens and see if it makes a difference.

Noodler’s Tiananmen and Waterman Havana Brown: I included these swatches to compare with Habanero and Lie de The. I reviewed them originally in this post.

J. Herbin Lie de The: I was really jonesin’ for J. Herbin’s Cacao de Bresil, but I like this ink! It’s almost the color of a nutshell after being buried under leaves, or of tea with milk (thus the doodle). Some other reviews have noted a slight green undertone, which makes it distinctive from other neutrals. It has some slight shading, and I wonder if it will come out more with a different pen. This would be a great letter-writing ink, especially on some nice parchment. Read more reviews here and here.


Art adventures, literary hangovers, rural politics and other songs worth sharing.

Flickr Photos

Recent Tweets