A Dozen Favorite Fountain Pen Inks


In no particular order, these are my most frequently used inks based on color rather than other properties. Already in my collection, this group is in line with my plan to use what I already own. A few have been here at least ten years which probably means I don’t write enough. Maybe this year will be different.

  • Iroshizuku syo-ro
  • Platinum Classic Lavender Black
  • Diamine Sepia
  • J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune
  • J. Herbin Cafe des Iles
  • J. Herbin Vert Empire
  • Diamine Steel Blue
  • Sailor Tokiwa Matsu
  • Sailor Sky High
  • Noodler’s Lexington Gray
  • Diamine Eau de Nil
  • Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan

A few inks almost made the list including Diamine Macassar and Merlot, Platinum Classic Citrus Black, Noodler’s Apache Sunset, Iroshizuku tsuki-yo and kon-peki, and Stipula Calamo Saffron and Moss Green, but that’s twenty and crazy even for me.

What’s on your list?


  1. I seem to have multiple pens inked up with grey or blue grey because it’s so lovely for shading and works well for drawing. I really have to stop myself from buying more and more grey’s. Vinta armada is the coolest when I add a wash because then you get the color separating into greens and pinks.

    Other than that I am also a sucker for amber tones and warm browns e.g. all the Robert Oster inks in that category as well as a few Diamine and Private Reserve ones, with the only drawing inks being Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan and Platinum Sepia Black (I like how a strong line remains even when washes are added.

    Last, I have a strong love of purple but mostly in the jewel tones, such as Poussiere de Lune and Diamine deep dark purple.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s a varied selection. You reminded me that I have a bottle of Sepia Black that has never been opened. Time to give that one some time in my rotation. Which pen do you like with it?


      • As I use it for drawing, at present I’ve got it in an eyedropper pen with a fude nib – a Moonman C2 with a Jinhao nib. I also like using Noodler’s Konrad pens either with the native nib (flex) or swapped for a fude nib. The flex nib is not very flexy but it is like having a springy, narrow italic.

        For regular writing I’m currently also enjoying a Pilot custom 74 with soft fine medium nib (juicy and great for shading inks) as well as a Stipula Etruria Magnifica with flex nib.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The Moonman S5 won’t let me swap its nib for the fude that came with it. But if it ever decides to cooperate, it will get a fill of Sepia though for writing rather than drawing. Thanks for the tip. I have several Konrads. You are right that they don’t flex very much though use can improve the springiness. I haven’t inked one recently but enjoyed them with Noodler’s Purple Martin, Kiowa Pecan, and Apache Sunset. I had a Pilot 74 SFM years ago. We were friends for a while, but eventually parted ways when I found more joy with a Namiki Falcon SF. The Etruria is a handsome pen, but I have never used one. What do you think of its flex nib?


  2. These are great inks! I haven’t tried many Iroshizuku or Sailor inks, but I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve tried. I need to sample more of them, I think.

    I have lately discovered a love of cherry blossom colored inks… pink is often too pale for me to enjoy, but I’ve been really liking them at the moment. Lexington Gray is in near constant rotation here, as is Herbin Lie de Thé and Diamine Marine. I recently inked a TWSBI Eco up with Colorverse Redshift, and was reminded how much I enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lex Gray next to a pink ink would be very pretty. Isn’t it interesting how our taste in colors varies over time?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I jumped into pen and ink collection with both feet just last year, so I acquired a lot of items (including inks) more quickly than I could use them. I have swabbed them all though. For 2022 I plan to keep my wallet pocketed and use what I have.
    After that preamble, I’ll say that I really like the sailor 224, Noodler’s Apache Sunset, and Birmingham pen Co. Tesla Coil.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Welcome to the party! Of the three inks you mentioned, I only have experience with Apache Sunset. It’s a lively color that shades beautifully. Flex nibs take very well to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. […] A Dozen Favorite Fountain Pen Inks | An Inkophile’s Blog […]

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