Gray Inks Are Not Created Equal


A few months ago a writing sample posted by Leigh Reyes kindled my interest in gray ink. Several were already in my collection but were decidedly unloved. Leigh changed that with one image. Scroll down her post to see which one did it for me.

Using wide nibs with them over the past few months has shown these inks are gray and not watered-down black though the black component is strong. J. Herbin Gris Nuage, Private Reserve Flannel Gray, and Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun have a blue component while the other three do not. They are more neutral as well as a bit darker.

These inks were very challenging to scan so take the image as relative rather than an absolute representation. The paper is Clairefontaine 90g, bright white, and very smooth. Swabbed samples do not have the intensity of written samples but you get the idea.

Six Gray Inks

Six Gray Inks

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  1. Nice job!


  2. Nice job!
    Oops, should have mentioned good post! Waiting for the next one!


  3. Unfair, I say, unfair to keep us in the dark like this!…When you click the link “her post” to see which ink “did it for you,” the post has vanished!

    So, do tell, which ink was it?

    🙂 Ann


    • The link has been fixed now. 🙂


  4. I was working up to posting a paean to the Gris Nuage. I love it so much!! I use it all the time now.


  5. It definitely deserves a complete review. Send me a link to yours and I will add it to my post when it goes up.


  6. Thanks! Gris Nuage is a pretty grey. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to get a grey ink until I recieved a snail, all in different greys. Can’t recall which they all were, but of them I liked, and got, Omas Grey.


    • And you have the writing to do it justice. 🙂


  7. Diamine Gray is also very nice. It is like writing with liquid pencil.


    • Brerarnold, I love your description of Diamine Gray. Will have to get my hands on some now. 🙂


  8. […] out my gray ink comparison post if Gris Nuage might seem too low in color saturation. With the wide variety of nibs in my […]


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