Today I bring you second set of fountain pen ink previews which completes my current collection. If you’re interested in my reviewing certain inks please let me know in the comment section below this post and I’ll prioritize their reviews to come as soon as possible.
Before the full-blown reviews are made available, following are previews of the individual inks sorted by their respective color families. Photographs of the inks are grouped in a gallery at the end of this post.
Blue & Blue Black
Montblanc Permanent Blue. Certainly an interesting offering from the luxury German brand Montblanc. Permanent Blue is somewhat chalky ink that I find slightly unpleasant as to its consistency but it is permanent according to ISO standards so it may very well be a great choice for artwork. I have not been using it for drawing myself but will give it a shot in my full review.
KWZI Iron-Gall Blue Black. Once again an iron-gall ink. This time from Polish brand KWZ Ink. Iron-gall inks been around since middle ages. They are made from iron salts and tannic acids from vegetable sources. The inks made in middle ages were in fact very aggressive, causing corrosion, even paper decay. This, however, is a modern formulation which is nowhere near as “dangerous”. Still, this ink is higher maintenance than conventional inks and requires more conscious pen hygiene. The very interesting quality of the ink, except it being so waterproof and permanent, is that the written word darkens over time through exposure to oxygen.
Noodler’s Ink Bad Blue Heron. An ink from the Warden series which is the most permanent and fraud resistant ink from Noodler’s. This is a cool green-blue. Feels watery as it lacks lubrication. Aggressive ink with a strong odor.
Turquoise & Green
Monteverde Turquoise. Recently the Monteverde ink line had been reformulated. This Turquoise ink is the old formula. It is a very bright turquoise. The color is nothing special honestly but it is not at all bad, flows really nicely. I just have one too many turquoise inks I guess.
Brought to my attention by Matt Armstrong from The Pen Habit, Visconti Turquoise is indeed a nice ink. It is a bright turquoise with great shading. For me personally, this ink is a bit too much on the dry side and lacking saturation. But it’s still a good ink, just doesn’t suit my personality as much.
Diamine Marine is a wonderfully wet, smooth and shading ink of very unique color. I have to admit that the picture above doesn’t do the color justice, despite my use of color correcting tools. Fun ink and one I really like, even though I’m not a huge fan of these turquoise inks.
Noodler’s Ink Bad Green Gator. Another ink by Noodler’s that is labeled as ‘Warden Series’ ink. It is a waterproof and the most fraud-proof ink out there. The color though is not very pleasant, it is a blue-green which is not my favorite. Also the ink is very wet and feathery and bleeds through pretty much everything. And even though wetness is usually the redeeming quality for any ink in my eyes, this one lacks lubrication so much that it feels very dry. A full review may alter my opinion but I’ve had the bottle for a few years and it’s still nearly full.
Earth, Grey & Black
The ink that is exceptionally good at being bad! One of my most recent favorites, Rome Burning by Noodler’s is a fascinating ink. It is not of the best behaved – honestly it is one of the worst behaved! – but it does have some pretty awesome features. First of all, the hue shift from dark red-brown when wet to light yellow/green-brown once dry is just amazing. Second of all, the ink is water resistant and when exposed to water, the yellow component is washed off and violet residue remains. Your writing is going to be completely legible as this is a intentional effect. Truly exceptional ink! The problem with having such cool features in an ink is that the ink is excessively wet, which doesn’t bother me but as a result it feathers and bleeds through pretty much everything!
A special edition Fall 2016 ink form Sailor’s Jentle line Rikyu-Cha is a wonderful muddy brown which is very understated but again very fascinating. The ink undergoes a drastic hue shift from wet to dry, shifting color from green to yellow-brown. Truly beautiful ink.
One of SBRE Brown’s favorite, Montblanc Toffee Brown is a wonderful, rich, warm brown. I am not a huge fan of reddish browns as I prefer my browns to be one the cool side but I still like this one. The interesting thing about this ink though is that it gives me flow problems with many of my pens. I don’t see anyone else on the web complaining about flow though.
De Atramentis William Shakespeare. De Atramentis offers an extensive ink range. They produce some excellent inks that I really enjoy using, one of them being William Shakespeare brown. It is more of a subdued bordeaux color I find. What is fascinating about this ink is that it does have a certain level of water resistance.
Black Swan in English Roses has been designed as a “flex ink”. There is also the more popular and famous Black Swan in Australian Roses but it is too bright of a violet for me and so I went with the English Roses, which is a subdued brownish dried-blood red. Both Black Swans shade extremely as to accentuate the flex writing but I find the English Roses to be a “smearer”. Some inks (not exclusively Noodler’s inks) are so saturated that upon drying on the page they are prone to smearing. Dry smear is something I’ve been fighting with for a long time and I avoid those inks that smear like the plague. Noodler’s Black is a good example, which smears terribly. This is most annoying when used for artwork which becomes unstable unless a fixative is applied. When applied thickly (like when using a flex pen), the English Roses does smear. It’s not as terrible as Noodler’s Black but nonetheless, there is a smear and can be very annoying.
Another waterproof ink from Noodler’s, Lexington Gray is a fairly nice permanent gray. It is wet and suffers on cheaper paper. Even on good quality paper but with heavier applications the ink feathers and bleeds through. There is a noticeable light blue component in the ink which causes feathering. Otherwise very nice ink.
My alternative to Noodler’s Black, Heart of Darkness is an homage to the novella by Joseph Konrad. I own the big 4.5oz bottle and I use it for my artwork. This ink not nearly as thick as Noodler’s Black while still being extremely black. This is my favorite among all Noodler’s black inks since it’s permanent and at the same time does not smear when dry!