Posts Tagged ‘Diamine Sepia’


Which Ink Makes You Happy?


It doesn’t have to be just one ink, but which ink makes you happy? It could be any characteristic that does it for you or a combination like color and shading. Turquoise and orange do it for me along with the sort of flow that makes the nib glide.

I have touted Diamine Mediterranean Blue for years. It’s a bright turquoise ink that leans more blue than green. It has good flow and makes a lovely companion for my Platinum #3776 music nib. I am not usually so loyal, but Med Blue has charmed me for years. The pen and ink haven’t been mates for quite some time as the music nib is one of my best pens for ink tests. Might have to find another pen for that purpose and let the two friends take a holiday together.

Elaine from Jet Pens sent a bottle of Iroshizuku kon-peki yesterday, so I have a new turquoisy ink to consider though ku-jaku is number two on my list for turquoise/teal. Will it be replaced? Probably not, but kon-peki is coming on strong. More on that in a few days.

Noodler’s Turquoise Eel might be just the thing for narrow nibs, but I’ve never used it. The urge to order ink is growing stronger and this ink is one of the reasons.

Orange is a bit more complex. Diamine Sepia is an earthy orange-brown that is a fun ink especially with its shading and outlining. It loves the #3776, but it has enjoyed a wide variety of mates over the years. For a more true orange, Noodler’s Apache Sunset is hard to beat and its one of the best shading inks for flexible nibs. When I am in a mood for ink closer to red or pink, Diamine Vermilion will do though it isn’t a lubricating ink.

That’s my short list. Now it’s your turn. Which ink or inks make you happy?


Diamine Dark Brown Ink Earns Top Marks


Diamine Dark Brown is a seldom mentioned ink that deserves top marks for performance as well as its soft brown color. Even for ink users who aren’t fond of brown, this one might be a useful option.

A different name would be more descriptive, so I think of it as Diamine Dark Brown – That Isn’t. Unlike the rather orange colored Sepia that barely qualifies as a brown, Dark Brown is properly a medium brown. Very well-behaved and easy on the eyes, it produces lovely shading and a hint of outlining here and there. Good flow and average lubrication make it suitable for a wide variety of nibs. It dries slightly faster than Diamine Sepia and significantly faster than some of the heavily saturated inks in my collection.

Levenger True Writer with Diamine Dark Brown Ink

Dark Brown is a chameleon depending on the light source. In daylight, it has a red slant. In artificial light, it looses the red and looks balanced or neutral. It isn’t a red-brown like Waterman Havana but there is a subtle bias. My ancient scanner was flummoxed by it and no amount of color adjustment could produce an accurate rendition despite three of us attempting to pin it down to a single image. This one will have to do.

Diamine Dark Brown Ink

The color is soft and attractive enough for drawing purposes. It also works well for correspondence and in many business applications. My Kyoto Levenger True Writer custom stub suits it perfectly.

Diamine’s selection of brown inks has expanded greatly in recent years and it is a color at which the company excels. It’s hard to go wrong no matter which one you choose but my current favorites are Dark Brown and Chocolate Brown, just in case you were wondering.


Which Trio of Inks Do You Like Best?


A Levenger Notabilia binder with an Apica 6A10 journal and a three-pen case can take me anywhere. The pens should have a variety of nibs and the trio of inks should be colorful and suit text, margin notes, and edits. Finding three that work well together is a fun part of the hobby and worth cataloging the results for future reference.

Sometimes the trio is obvious. Other times it takes some trial and error with lots of swatches to see which inks make a pleasing palette. This week two emerged quickly but the third slot could have been filled by several inks already in pens. Time for a swatch test on the gray Apica paper. It has a subtle influence on the colors, so it helps to see the test patches side by side.

Ink Comparison

The inks are Diamine China Blue, Diamine Mediterranean Blue, Namiki Blue, Iroshizuku asa-gao, Diamine Sepia, and Rohrer & Klingner Morinda. The names were written with China blue except Namiki Blue and asa-gao which were written with those inks.

Which trio do you like best?


Can A Platinum Pen Satisfy A Chunky Nib Fan?


Japanese pens are known for extremely fine nibs and rightfully so. For those who write very small or need the perfect pen for margin notes, nothing beats the delicate markings produced by an extra-fine nib. But what about writers who prefer a little chunkiness in line width? Are we closed out of Japanese pen offerings? Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands USA was very generous and sent a couple of Platinum models to see whether a wide nib lover could fall in love with a Platinum wide nib.

Not that first impressions are always sufficient but why not give these pens the best opportunity to show what they can do right from the start. So out came the bottle of Diamine Sepia for the #3776 Music Nib. Sepia can shade, even outline under best circumstances, making it an interesting prospect for a wide nib. The Century Chartres Blue B Nib arrived with a cartridge of Platinum Pigment Blue so that was an easy choice to test the new “Slip & Seal” cap and redesigned nib and feed.

The nibs on both pens are 14K, high quality, and perfect right out of the box. Other than a rinse to remove any residual manufacturing debris, they went straight to work.

Platinum Broad and Music Nibs

Platinum #3776 Broad and Music Nibs

First to hit paper was the #3776 Music Nib and it was so much fun I couldn’t bring myself to ink the Century for several days. Initial impression: smoooooth. Next impression: super light-weight. Then the big nib and good flow seduced me. Using Diamine Sepia, I’d found the Golden Retriever of pendom, a big, yellow-orange, tail-wagging, slightly sloppy kisser. If you aren’t a dog person, that might sound gross but believe me the #3776 isn’t mushy like a Labrador Retriever. It is more refined in design and more controlled in performance as is the Golden over the Lab. (No slight to Labs intended.) I don’t know yet if I’ve met my match but I certainly have made a friend for life.

The Century Chartres Blue with the B nib is an excellent all-purpose pen at least for my needs. It has a very smooth flow but is more crisp than the music nib. It starts with no hesitation even after weeks of disuse and with pigment ink at that! If my rotation was winnowed down to just a single pen, the Century would be keen competition to my favorite of the last two years, the Levenger Kyoto True Writer Masuyama stub.

Platinum Nib Comparisons

Platinum #3776 Nibs Compared to a Namiki and a True Writer

How do the nibs compare? The broad nib has more definition than my Western equivalents though certainly not as much as a stub. The music nib is chunkier and deposits more ink than the broad nib. The music nib vertical line ratio is two or three to one depending on the angle at which the pen is held. This nib is particularly well-suited to pale colors with its luscious swath of ink. Both are as quiet as any pen I own matching the Namiki Falcon SB for soft voice. Neither skates though both are absent feedback or drag. Not that I mind wrestling the occasional pen but my daily writers should be tame and obedient to earn such frequent use. Both the broad and the music nibs qualify for my daily rotation and handily at that.

My experience with Platinum pens was very limited until now but I must say this company has figured out how to make ink flow in good proportion to the nib size. This is an attention to detail one might expect at the price point but one that is not often so well executed.

Note that thread placement on both models encourages a gentle grip but it might be awkwardly placed for some writers who don’t like to snuggle up close to the nib. Both pens enjoy good balance so writing is effortless. The Century body (139.5mm × 15.4mm maximum diameter) is slightly larger and longer than the #3776 (136.5mm x 14.5mm). Not significant but a point of comparison for those who already own one of these models.

So can writers who prefer chunky nibs find mates in Japanese pens? At least in the Platinum line, it’s possible. The broad nib is more narrow than a Western broad but not all Western nibs are created equal anyway. Many flow too freely for my taste but the Platinum nails that aspect well with its pigment ink. I might have to invest in bottles of Brun Sepia and Carbon Black just to test it further.

For those who like even wider nibs, the music will do. The volume of ink, though right for the nib, might be a little slow to dry or feather on low quality paper but on the good stuff, it is delightful. Some inks may offer better control as could the angle of the nib to the paper. Black would produce a very bold line suitable for sketching. The more narrow horizontal line could be used in contrast to make line work even more expressive. Expect to spend a little time getting acquainted. Pages of doodles should make the two of you an able team or a fun duo, whichever describes you and your new friend best.

More about Platinum #3776 pens at And All Other Tasks and some thoughts on using the MU nib for drawing from Leigh Reyes.


Choices, choices. Which ink to use?


The holidays certainly do cut in to time with pens but the Platinum #3776 music nib was not to be denied last night. Loaded with Diamine Sepia (that isn’t sepia but a brown-orange hue), the pen produced excellent shading and a good amount of outlining. Usually I would go for something seasonal like red or green, but this year Sepia with its stellar performance has won me over.

That begs the question: How do you decide which ink to use?

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