Wednesday 13 June 2018

Fountain Pen Inks

I've loved fountain pens since I was a child. I've bought a number of inks over the years, though these days I am mostly using waterproof inks for drawing and sketching. Fountain pen ink that is pigmented and waterproof is relatively new and has changed the way I work with pens and sketching. Black is not longer the only option.

I thought I'd catalogue some of the inks I've tried here, and add more as I try more samples.

De Atramentis Document Range

Document Brown Ink from De Atramentis - image from the website here.
I've written a lot about these lovely German inks over the years, and created many mixing charts. Use the search button to find them, or click on the links below. I use the black for my regular pen (a Lamy Joy with an EF nib) in my diary. I also put it in a Pilot Custom Heritage 92 piston filled pen for sketching. I fill another Custom 92 with my mixed grey and use the Brown in a TWISBI diamond 580, also for sketching. This gives me a nice range of lovely colours to sketch with, all completely waterproof and lightfast. I have more pens I use with these inks in my studio, including one filled with my Burnt Sienna custom mix. I love being able to mix any colour I want with these inks!

De Atramentis Document Inks - White, Burnt Sienna (custom mix of the Yellow and Brown), Brown, Black.
June 2018 update - Urban Grey has just been added to the range - available from in Australia, it is a warm grey waterproof ink :-)

De Atramentis Urban Grey Document Ink -
added 2018

De Atramentis Document Inks - Yellow, Red, Magenta (also called Fuchsia),
Violet and Green
De Atramentis Document Inks - Grey (custom mix of the Blue and Brown), Fog Grey, Dark Blue, Blue, Turquoise (also called Cyan)

See here for mixing 
See here for three-colour mixes
See here for mixing greys

See here for mixing with black

De Atramentis standard inks

These inks are dye-based, rather than pigmented, so not waterproof or lightfast. I tried some to test, exploring the interesting effects you can get with ink and water or adding watercolour but the colours were too unpredictable. Best used for writing! I use these in my writing pens for notes in my journal or letter writing.

De Atramentis Standard Inks = Ocher Yellow, Copper Brown, Dark Blue, Dark Green, Auburn, Fog Grey.

Super 5 Ink

Super5 inks -  Darmstadt, Franfurt, Atlantic, Dublin, Delhi, Australia

These muted inks come in 6 different colours and are completely waterproof. I've written about them here. It is not a range I have explored much, though I have heard good reports of them.

Super5 ink, Atlantic.

Pilot Iroshizuku Ink

The name is made up of 'iro' (colouring) and 'shizuku' (droplet), and 'each ink name derives from the expressions of beautiful Japanese natural landscape and plants'. (From the website here

This is a relatively new range of dye-based inks. Lovely for writing but not for adding watercolour, though I rather like the softening effect on the first one. 

They come in gorgeous glass bottles. I'll explore these further for writing...

Pilot Iroshizuku Inks - Fuyo-Syogun (Old Man Winter), Kiri-Same (Autumn Showers), Tsukushi (Horsetail), Yama-Guri (Wild Chestnut) and Take-Sumi (Bamboo Charcoal) (sorry - label above spelt incorrectly).
The colours available in Iroshizuku Inks

Sailor pigmented Nano inks

I am sad to say it but these were a disappointment as I'd originally bought them for sketching so wanted waterproof inks. The Blue Black is almost waterproof but the black is not, though it was supposed to be. They are also available in cartridges. Fast drying.

Still - there are times that it is nice to draw with a semi-waterproof ink and get softened lines.

Sailor Nano inks - black and blue-black.

Parker's Quink

An old friend. Introduced in 1931 - who hasn't had a bottle of this at some stage? I actually only use this to play with, making use of the dye properties and the separation that occurs when wet. Dye-based inks are made up of many colours and the blues and reds create interesting effects. Colours available include blue, blue black, black, red and green.

Quink bottle. From the website here.
Parker's Quink, Black.


Noddler's Inks

I bought a few of these inks - I loved the colours. However I started to have problems with my Lamy pens and was told the ink reacts with the plastic of the feed, so now they sit in a drawer. (Apparently this problem has been fixed so newer Lamy pens won't react.) These are large generous bottles (3oz) and great colours. Not waterproof, though there are a few in the range that are supposed to be.
Thanks to the comments below, here is the link to the PDF listing the properties of the inks.

Noodler's Inks - Apache Sunset, Kiowa Pecan, Red Rattler (lubrication ink), Blue, Turquoies (lubricating ink) and forest Green.

Platiunum Carbon Ink

Platinum Carbon Ink - black

This also comes in Blue in a waterproof ink. It is lovely and rich. Totally waterproof. It also comes in cartridges, and is great in the Platinum Carbon Pen. I also use it in my Platinum brush pen. The bottles are simple and hold a generous 60ml of ink.
This ink may be too thick for some pens - the feed of the carbon pen has been enlarged to allow the ink to flow. I haven't use it in other pens apart from the carbon pen, though others have.

Platinum Sepia Brun Pigment Ink.

Sepia (Brun) Pigment Ink from Platinum as also waterproof and is a lovely brown. I've just bought this for the first time so haven't really explored it yet...

Sailor Storia Inks

Made in Japan, this range is fast-drying, pigmented and waterproof. This one is - and is a lovely raw sienna colour.
Sailor Storia Ink - Lion (Light Brown)

I love Sailor pens, which can have perhaps the finest nibs available, and am interested in the inks they produce.

This lovely image from Pen Chalet shows the cheerful bottles of Storia Ink.

There are 8 colours, all bright and named after a circus theme. Spotlight (yellow), Fire (red), Balloon (green), Lion (Light Brown), Clown (yellow green), Magic (purple) Dancer (pink), Night (blue).

I'd love to see these in some neutrals too. I still continue my search for a lovely waterproof grey...I may try mixing the Fire and Night to see what sort of neutral they might create...

Lamy Ink

Lamy make inks in bottles in a limited range of colours - blue wahsable, black, red, turquoise, green and blue-black. the blotting paper is very useful when filling pens!
Their cartridges come in more colours. Non waterproof.

Lamy ink - black.

 Higgins Ink

Higgins make loads of different inks but this is the only one called a fountain pen ink. I haven't tried it in a fountain pen though...non waterproof.