I’m In The Mood For Green – Ink That Is


There are four green inks that form the mid-range of my green rotation. Each is different enough to get its own time usually in one of my Pilot Elite ‘Socrates’ pocket pens and when I’m in a bold mood, a Lamy Vista 1.1 mm calligraphy nib.

  • Diamine Kelly Green has the most yellow of the green inks and shades incredibly well from light green at the tops of letters to shamrock green at the bottom.
  • J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage is less yellow and might be considered the truest green of the bunch. It shades less and offers more consistent coverage than Kelly Green.
  • Rohrer & Klingner Verdura starts the transition to blue-based green. The blue isn’t strong but is definitely present in greater measure than yellow. Shading is more subtle and the flow a bit dry compared to the other green inks.
  • Iroshizuku Shin-Ryoku is the most blue of the group. Depending on the paper it can produce excellent shading with excellent flow. Even though it leans decidedly blue, it is definitely a green.

In that same color range ,Diamine Umber, J. Herbin Vert Empire, and Diamine Emerald get high marks, too.

No one has done a better job of comparing green inks than geoduc with two outstanding posts (#1 and #2) at FPN. Be sure to scroll through all of the graphics. It’s an amazing body of work.


  1. […] ink review: noodler’s black revisited… Lamy Pico Pocket Size Extendable Ballpoint Pen I’m In The Mood For Green – Ink That Is The Practically Perfect Pencil – The uni‑ball Kuru Toga Self-Sharpening Mechanical Pencil […]


  2. […] Inkophile: I’m In The Mood For Green – Ink That Is […]


  3. I saw someone complaining that the Vert Empire green was too light on paper. I love this colour, and I´m contemplating on buying it, but I´m wondering if it would be better to use a medium nib (vs. something thinner) for this ink, or if it is clear and “strong” enough in a fine nib? I really love the photos of this ink that you have posted previously.


    • My experience with J. Herbin Vert Empire has varied from pen to pen. Yes, it is muted with some pens and bolder with others. Green ink may be particularly susceptible to this property. Look at Ann’s review of Diamine Kelly Green for an amazing range of greens from a single ink. Vert Empire is a somewhat grayed green so it doesn’t have quite that variety but it is stronger with a wider or more free-flowing nib. Two other inks to consider are Diamine Emerald and Diamine Umber. Both lean toward the blue end of the spectrum but are darker than Vert Empire. From a quality perspective, Herbin and Diamine are excellent so you can’t go wrong with either one.


      • Ok, thank you for that thorough reply. I quite like the grayish tint to it:)

        Yes, I have previously seen that review of D’s Kelly Green. I just received a sample, and it’s a lovely green.


  4. Any suggestions for a vivid emerald green?


    • Color is in the eye of the beholder so we might not both call the same green emerald. With that caveat J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage is very green depending on pen flow. Diamine Emerald is a deeper green and more muted though it is named for the gem. Diamine does have a lot of greens so that is where I would start if the color emerald was on my list.


  5. […] Inkophile: I’m In The Mood For Green – Ink That Is […]


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