Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blue-Blacks: In Which Dr. Inkenstein Ponders A New Obssession

Lately, Dr. Inkenstein has been, well, let's say highly INTERESTED in blue-black inks.  After all, they are our favorite colors, if you include those inks that lean teal, like Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku and Chesterfield Teal.

So based on various online reviews and scans, I tested a bunch of new inks (all except the Everflo, which is not at all new and has been on my ink hutch for years, and is not a true blue-black but it's here for comparison purposes).

Part of the 'fun'of testing inks is finding a perfect ink/pen combo.  The Nemos write dry.  The Hero and Lamys write wet.  The dip pen dips.  So many different factors, including paper!

The paper here was, uhh, an Office Depot composition notebook with Brazilian paper.  The scan looks different from the photo.  The differences are interesting.  The ink colors in real life are also different.  On to the particulars.

 Brand(s):  Everflo, Diamine, OrGaNicS Studios (sample courtesty of a pen pal), Private Reserve

Color(s): True Blue, Eau De Nil, BlakWa, Ebony Blue

Intensity:  Ebony Blue the highest and most saturated; the Diamine and OS less saturated.  Everflo was tough to place.  It's semi-saturated, and not a real BB, but whatever.  ;p

Flow:  All except the OS had decent flow, that is, until the PR EB had been in the pen for a couple of weeks, and then it needed multiple water-dips to start.  It also began smearing badly.  FPG had a discussion on similar problems with intensely saturated inks; it appears that it's just part of the breed.  Dilute or suffer.

The reluctant nature of the OS was not due to the pen (A Hero Summer Colors), because with its provided cart of Hero ink, that pen is an absolute gusher.  I believe the Diamine would have good flow but the Nemo pens are dry writers.

Shading:  None whatever in the Everflo.  All others had varying good degrees of shading, and the PR had SHEEN!

Summary:  While OS and Diamine Eau De Nil look almost identical on paper, in the scans and photos they look quite different, with the OS Blakwa appearing far more green.  Possibly the BlakWa shades a bit better than Eau De Nil.

What follows is the scan AND the photo of the four inks.

We have further blue-blacks to test: Noodler's Blue-Black, a sample of Chesterfield Night Sapphire, which I like a lot, and the cart that arrived with the Hero Summer Colors.  Until next year!


  1. Not sure if you are looking to doing any home-brews, the Borealis Black and Bay State Blue (both Noodler) about 50-50 seems nice and the FPN LE Van Gogh Starry Nights looks to be a blue-black to me...but then, I see turquoise as green where most folks see it as blue, I am told...

  2. Thanks. Dr. Inkenstein does indeed home-bew, But fair warning: BSB is not even supposed to be in the same room with other inks.