J. Herbin ink is a longtime favorite and the first brand I explored when blue and black became old. Poussière de Lune and Lie de Thé hooked me and I’ve never looked back. Much to my delight, JH have released 10ml bottles that make it inexpensive and easy to sample more of their colors. Jet Pens is offering the cute little dears at $4.75 a pop. With free shipping for orders over $25, you can steal a half dozen for a mere $28.50. For six bottles of color, I’m on board. Are you?
Sailor has revised its line of inks to a very narrow selection. The staples of black, blue and blue-black remain along with the collection called The Four Seasons. The quality hasn’t changed – just the color variety.
Elaine at Jet Pens sent a bottle of Nioi-sumire or Sweet Violet for review. It is a dark blue that only hints at purple. Perhaps the intention is to provide a dark color for the workplace. Tilt the paper just so and the color shifts from blue to a vaguely dark purple. This may be just the right thing for the Japanese marketplace, but rather unimpressive compared to other lines of ink.
Sailor continues to have that odor associated with a good measure of biocide so it should remain fresh for a long time. The carton has the date of manufacture, an advantage when estimating shelf life. My bottle of Peach Pink is dated January 20, 2011 and is absolutely perfect after 3 1/2 years. My bottle of the long discontinued Sailor Brown does not have a date, but remains viable after ten years on my shelf. That’s no guarantee for the latest batch, but it is encouraging.
If you would like an ink that isn’t quite dark blue and offers quality and performance, Nioi-sumire should fit. There are seven other colors including a couple of promising greens and a plum, so grab one of those if you are a Sailor fan seeking something a little different. No pink, red or orange so look elsewhere for those colors.
The paper is Clairefontaine from my summer notebook and it is right fond of Sailor ink. Now that’s a combination I can highly recommend.
Orange is a happy color and a good way to greet the week. While testing (playing) with some orange watercolors, the mail arrived with some orange delights from Karen at Exaclair including an orange Rhodia Webnotebook and a bottle of J. Herbin Orange Indien. Thus orange delights for a happy start to the work week. Lucky me!
Are you a fan of Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses (a/k/a BSAR)? Well, savor what you’ve got because it ain’t no more. The most recent batch has experienced a significant color shift due to a change in the dye. The original dye is no longer available so this is it, folks. The end of the line.
The new formula is deep violet, plain and simple. This isn’t Nathan’s doing, but I do think he should have retired Australian Roses and introduced the new ink under its own name. Black Swan in Violette Roses would have expressed the new color very well.
Usually by June, my tools get pared to a minimum. This year things have gone the other direction.
Instead of a limited three to five ink selection, my rotation is getting a color infusion. For inspiration, there is a swatch on my desk to remind me what is on hand. It isn’t a watercolor palette, but it has the same come play with me effect.
- Sailor Jentle Peach Pink
- Noodler’s Purple Martin
- Diamine Emerald
- J. Herbin Ambre de Birmaniestil
- Diamine Teal
- Waterman Blue-Black
- Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan
- Sailor Jentle Nioi-sumire
- J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage
- Diamine Aqua Blue
- Iroshizuku fuyu-syogun
- Noodler’s Lexington Gray
Elaine from Jet Pens sent a bottle of Sailor Four Seasons Nioi-sumire (Sweet Violet) and Karen at Exaclair has promised bottles of two J. Herbin inks so my rotation will be changing in short order. Now to find an empty, italic pen for some doodling in my Stillman & Birn sketchbook.
Along with modifying my ink rotation, summer is a good time for some colorful experimentation with my watercolor palette. Starting with a dozen basic paints, I added another dozen that I seldom use. That leaves a few empty slots for new acquisitions. My choices are brighter than usual and painting with them will provide a good challenge for the next few months. Even so, I included a modifier, Neutral Tint, just in case a color shouts a bit too loudly.
Certainly a palette needs to be functional, but it can also benefit from visual appeal. This Kremer is a good example of that. The beautiful arrangement encourages playful interaction.
A girl’s gotta have fun you know and what better way than color infused days. Love you guys, but the muse is calling. See ya later!