Posts Tagged ‘ink comparisons’


Brilliant Summer Inks And Watercolors


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!



Noodler’s Navy Ink And Some Color Mates


Noodler’s Navy has been around for ages, but I only acquired a sample recently. The color is in my favorite green-blue range, so that makes it a keeper and since it’s Noodler’s, good value as well.

Noodler's Navy Fountain Pen Ink

Navy has good flow and coverage, though it isn’t especially lubricating. It is slow to dry so a leftie might not love it. A small amount of distilled water could speed things up, but that’s not a certainty. Oddly all of the inks I have tested in this color family dry more slowly than I would prefer, but wide nibs do tend to lay down a generous swath. It’s a hazard, but a blotter makes it a small issue.

Did I mention it has shading? Lots of it on Rhodia, but less so in my Apica 6A10 journal which has more absorbent paper. Some inks shade on everything, but Navy doesn’t seem to be one of them.

Green-Blue Inks Comparison

The color is very similar to Iroshizuku tsuki-yo but darker. Of the six in the sample, Noodler’s Navy might be the best for general use considering the cost and pleasing color. Hard to go wrong with this one.


Pinkly Inks On Clairefontaine GraF it Sketch Paper


Take these colors with a grain of salt or skepticism, whichever suits.

Ink on Clairefontaine GraF it pad

Swatches were painted with a small watercolor brush and lettering with a Brause dip nib.


Nothing Shy About This Lot


Warmer weather always brightens my ink rotation. Orange, pink, and a paler shade of green add some fun to the hold-overs from early spring.

In addition, Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa is getting a run in the Namiki Falcon SB fire hose. So far – so good with that test. It’s a muted gray-purple that suits clouds more than unrelenting sunshine, but if it tames the beast, it will be a good choice.

  • Kyoto Levenger True Writer custom stub with Diamine Dark Brown
  • Clementine Retro 51 Scriptmaster II fine with Iroshizuku fuyu-gaki
  • Lamy AL-Star custom fine italic with Iroshizuku tsutsuji
  • Montblanc 220 OB with Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses
  • Namiki Falcon SB with Rohrer & Klinger Scabiosa
  • Namiki Falcon SF with Diamine Violet
  • Waterman Deluxe Carene Stub with Iroshizuku asa-gao
  • Platinum Century B Chartres Blue with Diamine China Blue
  • Platinum #3776 music nib with Diamine Mediterranean Blue
  • Namiki Falcon SF with Diamine Kelly Green

Ink and Pens


Miquelrius Notebooks Are Perfect For Fountain Pens


Some brands of paper accept fountain pen ink without hesitation. Miquelrius is one of them.

Never heard of this company? According to the website, “Miquelrius is a family company whose origins go back to 1839 in Barcelona, Spain.” Its products are available at a variety of retailers but the plain black cover might not stand out on crowded shelves or turn up in an online search. At the price point, it’s worth seeking out and the scan shows why.

Miquelrius Notebook

This white paper is more lightweight than Black ‘n Red or Staples Arc but show-through and bleed-through were non-existent even from my Namiki Falcon SB gusher. A variety of inks and nibs produced clean margins and no feathering. The 6.5 x 8″, spiral bound, 140 sheet version can easily be written on both sides yielding 280 pages. The edges are colored-coded blue, red, green, and gray for four-subjects should you be so organized. Retail prices vary but I purchased mine on sale at Target for around $4 a few months ago. Now I wish I’d bought a stack of them.

The paper is very smooth. Resistance is absent and makes the paper ideal for long sessions. The number of pages per notebook is significantly greater than comparable products. That’s value for money I appreciate. Line-spacing is 7mm or just over a quarter inch which is fine for most people and suitable for those who write large like me.

The thin-ish paper has a quirk that I like but won’t suit everyone. Pages that have been written on can be seen through an unwritten page. I find that rather charming in a vintage way. In use, it wasn’t off-putting at all but instead made me rather pleased that I’d filled up so many pages. For a writer, that’s a good thing.

In addition to a simple black polyproplyene cover with the MR logo, Miguelrius notebooks come in a variety of patterns though only a few were available at Target. All of those were too cutesy for my taste but they do change offerings from time to time. The next batch might have one that would be just the thing. These notebooks come in several sizes and with different numbers of pages. Some are bound while others are spiral with micro-perforated pages that are hole punched. There are grid versions as well as lined. If you order online, check the specs to ensure you get exactly what you want.

Links to explore: Miquelrius, Target, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.


An Ink Rotation And Its Worksheet


You are not alone if you wonder/aren’t certain/debate which inks make a rotation. Truthfully, it’s anything that makes you happy but a worksheet can help narrow and refine choices without inking a gazillion or even a dozen pens.

Worksheet for comparing inks

The pens in the upper right section were already inked and some will continue into the summer with the same colors.

The bottom section is a test of possible inks culled from a review of my ink journal. The dots of color were made with the tip of a cotton swab. The paper is from my daily journal which will see the most use of my rotation. It is tinted pale gray which has a mildly dulling effect on ink color so I like to test directly on it for better accuracy.

The upper left section of my worksheet reflects the most likely prospects along with possible pens. Though good colors for the season, some of the inks were eliminated due to degradation or poor performance.

April 2013 Ink and Pen Rotation

This rotation is in flux. Waiting in the wings are Sailor Uranari, olive green, Sailor Yaki-Akari, pale aqua, Diamine Steel Blue, turquoise, and Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses. If a red is needed, Noodler’s Tiananmen or J. Herbin  ‘1670’ Rouge Hematite will do depending on whether subtle or flashy suits the occasion. China Blue will replace asa-gao and Noodler’s Cayenne will replace Vermillion for summer. BSAR might eliminate Claret and Solferino as well. Chocolate and Pilot BBk will return in autumn. That will leave a nine pen rotation which is plenty even for me.

What I don’t like about this group of inks is that the colors don’t come together thematically. What I do like is that it provides lots of options for duos and trios. In addition, the inks are well-matched to their pens so writing will be very enjoyable.

The Levenger True Writer (TW) dominates for now but that is in part because it uses an easy to fill converter and the fine nibs aren’t terribly narrow. My collection needs more broad nibs and stubs to show ink color better. Skinny nibs just don’t have enough punch for a color addict but do not tell me there is a 12-step program for that addiction. I absolutely will not listen. No, no, no, no, no.


A New Addition To Inkophile Plus Some Changes

Ink Comparisons

Did you see the new addition to the sidebar called Ink Comparisons? It is a link to all Inkophile posts that have images of inks pictured side by side. You can also go to my Flickr stream for many of the same images but without the text. Soon Flickr will be updated to include all of the comparisons used on Inkophile and at that time will earn a separate button in the sidebar.

Tip Jar

Another recent addition is a Tip Jar. Inkophile will be five years old next month and “the collective” has informed me that it’s time to become self-supportive. There are other ways to achieve a little cash for expenses and expansion such as adverts or a sponsorship or even affiliate links, so donations may only be the beginning. Don’t you hate when real life restricts your fantasy life?


Along with the new additions, pages about my favorite things have received minor updates. Other than to add a couple of Platinum #3776 pens, Stillman & Birn journals, and a few inks, little has changed over the past year.

Sidebar Links

Many of you have been linked to in one or more categories in the sidebar. My lists are some of the most comprehensive on the web for fountain pen related information. A reciprocal link would be appreciated.

Links in posts

When a post has a link to a source for a product, often I will seek a smaller retailer to give a bit of support. Not all of you keep a blog or offer a list of links but for those who omit credit where it is due, bloggers and retailers alike, mentions on Inkophile will be less frequent. Citing a source when it is known is a courtesy, especially in the online world, and I appreciate your efforts to be fair about this.

Social media and friends

Lastly, writing for Inkophile is great fun but it does take much of my free time. The last several months, I’ve had to choose between writing and participating in social media. Guess which won? Monthly page views have doubled from a year ago so in that sense, concentrated efforts have paid well. However, I do miss hearing from friends. Please do not think you are being ignored if I miss important life events or even smaller but significant bits of news. Shoot me an email if I don’t respond on Twitter, Google Plus, or FB. I’m still here!


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