J. Herbin Gris Nuage2009/05/03
Think gray ink is just watered-down black? Or do you have a “where’s the color” reaction when you see gray? The writing sample at My Life as a Verb just might change your mind.
After seeing Leigh’s lovely writing, but not being in acquisition mode, I put Gris Nuage on my list of promising inks and moved onto other things. That was months ago. So I was very pleased recently to receive a sample of this J. Herbin ink from Karen Doherty at Exaclair, Inc. Now I could see for myself what might be done with an ink called Gray Cloud.
Gris Nuage is not a storm cloud gray but closer to the soft gray underbelly of a swirly white cloud, the part that gives it a three dimensional form. The color isn’t terribly saturated so it works very well in wide or wet nibs. In a Lamy 1.1mm calligraphy nib, the color is consistent rather than heavily shaded. Leigh’s sample shows more shading so it must depend on the pen, nib, and paper as well as the skill of the writer.
Show-through and bleed-through are non-issues. Flow is average and lubrication is low. So my Lamy nib squeaked on occasion but only my finches seemed to notice. Not sure that counts so I’d say it’s a very well-behaved ink.
Check out my gray ink comparison post if Gris Nuage might seem too low in color saturation. With the wide variety of nibs in my collection, pale inks don’t deter me, well, except for yellow but that’s another story.
Note: All samples were written on Staples Eco-Friendly (bagasse) spiral-bound notebook paper with a standard Lamy 1.1mm italic nib.