Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2019

Perle Noir, Herbin

Perle Noir is one of the most recommended and well reviewed black inks out there. When I bought this ink a few years ago, I was disappointed. It is not the blackest, not the smoothest, not the fastest drying ink, not an archival ink, not the cheapest.  I decided to give it a second chance so I eyedropped a Preppy with it and filled a Lamy All-star. Over the past few days I have written many pages of work notes with the ink. Perle Noir is a well behaving black ink that is sold at a reasonable price, but it doesn't excel in anything. Below some writing samples, followed by drying times and test in water resistance. Drying times are about average to slow, 45 secs with a broad nib on Tomoe River 52g paper. The ink is certainly not water resistant, but it can handle an accidental drop.   The full characteristics: Feathering none Shading hardly any Show through negligible 

IG Turquoise, by KWZ Ink

Last month I had my first encounter with KWZ Ink. My impressions of the iron gall inks was mixed: the iron gall green #3 I really liked, the iron gall red #3 a lot less. The IG turquoise is the third iron gall KWZ Ink I tried. Fresh on the paper and in the bottle it might look like a turquoise, within seconds it's far more dark and in my opinion this is more a teal than a turquoise. A modest, nice color for both professional or personal purposes.  The ink is well behaved, a bit more prone to feathering than other KWZ inks than expected. Shading is low to moderate, show-through minimal. The ink is not too wet, writes smoothly and drying times only a bit above average. Water resistance is OK, be quick and there won't be too much damage. The color is not unlike Iroshizuku's Tsuki-yo. Both are more blue than Emeraude de Chivor (Herbin) and Syo-ro (Iroshizuku). All is all this is a decent ink in a nice modest color, for a good price. There is only one problem,

Red Dragon versus Oxblood

When it comes to dark red inks that are beautiful, can be used for other purposes than grading and Christmas cards, and are even acceptable in an office environment, two Diamine inks lead the pack: Red Dragon and Oxblood . At first glance they look somewhat similar.  However, Red Dragon is a purer, brighter red. Fresh blood if you will. Oxblood leans more towards brown and can be compared to dried blood.  In behavior the inks don't differ much. Both quite wet and behaving really well with all pens I've tried them in.  In the scan I have used the same pens to do the writing samples. Using three different languages to show the effect and behavior better. The paper is Original Crown Mill Vellum (off-white).  There is no argument about taste, pick your own favorite. In everyday writing show-through and bleed-through are no concern with these inks, as long as you stick to decent paper. You can easily use the backside in your Rhodia notebook.  There is a difference though.

Red Dragon, by Diamine

I've mentioned it before: I like red inks, my absolute favorite is  Diamine's Oxblood  and I am still searching for a dark bright red . After Crimson I decided to buy Red Dragon as well. A popular red and often sold out.Red Dragon is definitely a beautiful red.  It's dark and elegant enough to use in the office for note taking. But in my opinion this ink is far more suitable for personal use. Personal notes, greeting cards, stories that require red ink, etc.  The ink is more wet than usual for Diamine, causing a slightly longer drying time, some show-through and negligible bleed-through. Still the ink is very well-behaved and writes very smoothly. The ink is saturated and has low to moderate shading, even in broader nibs.During normal writing there is no feathering, but on Vellum paper and broad nibs I have noted it a few times, as visible on the scan. As always with these inks, water is a bad idea, but you might have a chance to rewrite it.  Red Dragon is qu

Syrah, by Diamine

After yesterday's review of Merlot , Diamine's Syrah had to be next. As the Merlot grape, Syrah/Shiraz based wine will come in a huge variation of colors, but I think the ink still gives a good impression of the wines. A fun ink.  It's quite red and far less subtle than the Merlot. That makes is harder to use  in an office environment for note taking. For cards and letters to your red wine loving friends it's an excellent color. Merlot for the Merlot lovers, Syrah for the fans of Syrah. I often pick ink colors for the day based on mood and weather, now you can pick your color based on the meat too.  The ink feels a bit dryer and is a little less lubricated than what I'm used to from Diamine inks, but other than that the ink behaves really well. No feathering, nice shading, and hardly any show-through. Drying times little around 25 seconds which is pretty good. Water or fluids will immediately ruin your writings. With the poster nib, some green sheen can

Baltic memories, by KWZ ink

After three iron gall inks by KWZ inks I decided to try one of their standard inks as well and ordered Baltic memories. A dark blue with a bit of green in it. A dark blue with some green can be used anywhere. It's pleasant to read, neutral, and looks good. Perfect for both the office and personal use.  The ink is well-behaved, a little bit on the wet side. It writes smoothly, doesn't feather and you can still use the backside of your paper. Shading is a bit lower than expected, you will need a broad of stub nib to really see it come out. Drying times are a bit slower than average. The ink can't stand water and immediately becomes a blur.  Writing on paper the color looks predominantly as a very dark blue. However, there is a significant amount of green in it and when compared to other blues, this becomes very clear. Baltic memories is a bit darker than KWZ's IG turquoise (dried a day) and a lot  greener than Sailor's Yonaga, Iroshizuku's Shin-kai an

Merlot, by Diamine

Diamine has over one hundred colors and some of these are quite creative. Merlot is a good example of that. The color is designed to resembles a Merlot wine. Considering the variation there, as well as Merlot being a grape often used in blends, there will be a few wines out there that look exactly like this. The result is a red and purple ink that is not too serious..   However, it's still subtle enough to use in an office environment for note taking. For cards and letters to your red wine loving friends it's an excellent color with a wink to wine or dinner of course. The color remains pleasant to read, even in long notes. The ink feels a bit dryer and is a little less lubricated than what I'm used to from Diamine inks, but other than that the ink behaves really well. No feathering, nice shading, and hardly any show-through. Drying times little less than 25 seconds which is pretty good. Water or fluids will immediately ruin your writings. Compared to the Diamine S

Aurora Borealis, by Diamine

If there would be a price for the ink with the most beautiful, intriguing name, this ink would definitely be nominated. Aurora Borealis by Diamine is a green, 'tealish'  ink. The color is saturated, but still modest. Suitable for an office environment (note taking) and of course for any personal correspondence. Both short and long. I have used this ink for one letter, some cards and a day of note taking. The behavior of Diamine inks is well-known and predictable. Works absolutely fine in any pen. High quality inks that don't feather, have minimal or no show-through, are well lubricated, are wet but with acceptable drying times and heavy, beautiful shading. Even when writing with a Lamy EF nib, shading is clearly visible. The ink is very susceptible to water.  At first glance this reminded me of Iroshizuku's Syo-ro and yes, the colors are close. Aurora Borealis is a little bit more green and saturated. Iroshizuku's other teal, Ku-jaku, is noticeably mor

Crimson, by Diamine

Mid September, the last week of summer. Autumn is already sending its rain; a colorful season is ahead. Red inks fit autumn perfectly in my opinion. I love Diamine Oxblood and P.W. Akkerman's Stone red and assumed this Crimson ink would be a nice addition to my collection of reds. I was not mistaken.  Crimson is a very nice, beautiful color. Red of course, but subtle and elegant. Not a red for graders and correctors. It's no problem to use this for note taking in the office or for any personal correspondence and writing you want to do. The ink is pleasant for the eyes and remains so even when reading long notes or letters. Diamine makes great, wonderful value for money inks. No feathering, negligible show-through, wet but not too wet, well lubricated and high, beautiful shading. Drying times were surprisingly fast, roughly 18 seconds. The ink doesn't like water, spilled fluids ruin your writing rapidly and thoroughly.  Crimson is a dark red color with a hi

Moondust (shimmer), by Diamine

In the last few years Diamine has released a few series of shimmering inks. Fun inks that come in some intriguing colors. After cocoa and night sky, I decided to try moon dust. It is one of the strangest inks I have ever used. It looks like pencil writing but with more bling. As usual the shimmer is high but difficult to catch on a scanner. The ink can be used in an office setting (note taking) but is best reserved for short fun notes and greeting cards.  The ink is well behaved. No feathering, beautiful shading, negligible show-through, wet but not too wet, well lubricated and normal drying times. Shimmer is clearly visible (shake the bottle before filling your pen!), even in medium nibs. The ink can even take some water. Dropping some water on the grid and carefully removing it after 20 seconds resulted in hardly any damage. Apart from the shimmer, which gives it a "pencil look", Moondust is normal gray ink. The difference with Graf von Faber Castell's Ston

Tsuki-yo, by Iroshizuku

My favorite fountain pen ink brand is - without hesitation - Iroshizuku. Excellent behavior, a beautiful bottle and some amazing colors. Tsuki-yo (moonlit night) is the first Iroshizuku ink I ever bought, roughly seven years ago. A beautiful dark teal color. It's a dark blue but with a very clear hint of green in my opinion. Which makes it perfect for any situation, both personal and professional. This ink deserves and demands high quality paper. If for some reason you cannot use that, please forget this ink brand. Buy Noodler's then. But if you can and do use it, you will be rewarded accordingly. The ink writes like a dream, very smooth! No feathering, no serious show-through, wet but with acceptable drying times, and very beautiful shading. Water will damage your writing, but won't wash it away completely. Compared to other teals this one is way  more blue than the others. Syo-ro, ku-jaku and Emeraude de chivor (Herbin) are considerably more green. Keeping Sai

IG Blue #2, by KWZ

The iron gall Blue #2 ink is the third ink I bought from KWZ inks, handmade inks from  Poland. KWZ is a brand with a lot of modern iron gall inks in their collection. I am a huge fan of their IG Green #3  and a lot less of their IG Red #3 . So I was definitely curious of this blue. Being a dark blue (especially when dry), you can't really go wrong. Perfect for office use, suitable for personal correspondence and notes. It is a solid, serious color. Personal writings should match that.  The ink is well behaved, feathering and show-through are negligible, the ink writes smooth enough and drying times are acceptable with just over 30 seconds. Shading is moderate at most, but beautiful with a broad or stub nib. The water resistance is quite good, the ink can take water for a long time and still remain legible. A lot more susceptible to water than the traditional iron galls, but good enough. I have used this ink in a TWSBI with a stub nib, a Lamy with a medium nib, and with an ob