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How adventurous are you with inks?

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I don't necessarily mean in terms of number of different inks that you own, but how varied they all are.

Some folks might stick purely to blues and/or black. Others might have every colour under the sun. Are you conservative in your choices, or do you often use a lime green, or bright orange? Do you prefer heavy shading inks, or even shimmering inks, or a more consistent plain colour? Have you found yourself buying the "fun" inks, only to hardly ever use them?

I tend to play it quite safe with colour. I do have red, green, brown, and purple, but at the darker end of the spectrum. Chocolate brown, grape, oxblood, etc. I don't mind a mid blue, but tend to aim darker with other colours. My two "brightest" inks, if they could be called that, are probably Ancient Copper and Burnt Sienna. I also have Diamine's Blood Orange which I haven't tried yet.

The other thing I play safe with, is brand and type. Aside from a few Quink cartridges, all mine are standard Diamine. No special shimmer or sheen properties, and I don't concern myself with water resistance for my fountain pen inks either.

For colours, I look for contrast to the page, rather than contrast to other inks on the page. I like the look of Autumn Oak, but I know I'd never use it. Used alone, it wouldn't stand off the page enough for me. Basically, I don't go for anything that I'm not confident will serve me as an "all day" ink. As to brand, I know Diamine inks work well in my pens, and have avoided other brands in case their flow/bleed properties are significantly different. Besides which, Diamine's range of colours is overwhelming enough as it is, without being snowed under with everyone else's colour options too.

Am I typical of other pen users here, or more conservative than most?

A follow up question for those who are more adventurous, how do you use them? Is it strictly for journalling, or do you use your brighter and more flamboyant inks at work, or for correspondence?
 
I do not know if I am adventurous, but I do own more than 50 bottles. Many different colors, ( I mix colors too), but mostly stuck to Noodler's inks.
I have tried Diamine, Pilot, and many different makers, but Noodler's bulletproofs are my favor inks.
 
I’ll try every colour so long as it’s a deep, dark, saturated black. My ink has to be water proof and permanent with good flow and lubrication. Absolutely no bleeding, feathering or smudging allowed. Ease of rinsing is not major concern to me as I never change my ink. Dry time will be what it will be.

Not very adventurous at all then! It’s strictly Platinum Carbon Black or De Artamentis Document Black for me.

I tried blue/black once but that was way out of my comfort zone.
 
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steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
I don't necessarily mean in terms of number of different inks that you own, but how varied they all are.

Some folks might stick purely to blues and/or black. Others might have every colour under the sun. Are you conservative in your choices, or do you often use a lime green, or bright orange? Do you prefer heavy shading inks, or even shimmering inks, or a more consistent plain colour? Have you found yourself buying the "fun" inks, only to hardly ever use them?

I tend to play it quite safe with colour. I do have red, green, brown, and purple, but at the darker end of the spectrum. Chocolate brown, grape, oxblood, etc. I don't mind a mid blue, but tend to aim darker with other colours. My two "brightest" inks, if they could be called that, are probably Ancient Copper and Burnt Sienna. I also have Diamine's Blood Orange which I haven't tried yet.

The other thing I play safe with, is brand and type. Aside from a few Quink cartridges, all mine are standard Diamine. No special shimmer or sheen properties, and I don't concern myself with water resistance for my fountain pen inks either.

For colours, I look for contrast to the page, rather than contrast to other inks on the page. I like the look of Autumn Oak, but I know I'd never use it. Used alone, it wouldn't stand off the page enough for me. Basically, I don't go for anything that I'm not confident will serve me as an "all day" ink. As to brand, I know Diamine inks work well in my pens, and have avoided other brands in case their flow/bleed properties are significantly different. Besides which, Diamine's range of colours is overwhelming enough as it is, without being snowed under with everyone else's colour options too.

Am I typical of other pen users here, or more conservative than most?

A follow up question for those who are more adventurous, how do you use them? Is it strictly for journalling, or do you use your brighter and more flamboyant inks at work, or for correspondence?
I am among the least adventurous. I have a few bottles - mostly variations of blue but I really only use black. I guess it is the ARKO of inks.
 
Every time I stray into adventurous inks, I'm disappointed. I'm mainly a black, blue, and blue-black ink user. Water resistance when I can get it. Non feathering. I have some brown/sepia inks, and I like how they look on cream paper, sort of vintage, but saying that, they don't get used much. Only one is water resistant, Noodler's Brown 41, and its performance is sub par. Same with green, red, and purple ink. They just sit. I gave all my purple ink to my wife.
 
For general use I use primarily blue-black or dark blue inks. I dislike black inks, probably from years of needing to know a copy from the original - color copiers have mooted that point. I use my colorful inks for writing letters to my granddaughters, they think the colors are fun. I do keep a pen with red ink on hand for marking up notes or recording the answers to questions I have written in blue-black.
 
If I'm reading something, bright colors may be fine for occasional emphasis, but something more subdued is easier on the eyes when you have to go through several pages. I keep that in mind for writing. Some sort of blue is my most common choice, but when I go with another color, it tends to be fairly dark. I stay away from anything really bright, or what seem to me to be novelty colors such as orange or pink.

Right now I have six pens inked, which is a lot for me. Three have some sort of blue, another has De Atramentis Fog Grey (a bluish grey) one with brown, and one with Diamine Syrah, which is a sort of reddish brown. The Syrah is the closest I have to a bright color.

I use purples from time to time, but again prefer fairly subdued ones, such as Noodler's Kung Te Cheng, or De Atramentis Alexander Hamilton. I'll very rarely use green, but actually can't recall the last time I did that.
 
Rambling post follows. All inks described below are from the bottle.

I started out very pen/ink brand centric. I acquired Pilot, Parker, Lamy, Waterman and Pelikan pens, all in the sub 50.00 range. Each brand of pen was mated to their respective brand of inks in blue, black and blue/black. The "sets" worked just fine. I felt like I was avoiding some fountain pen pitfalls going that route. Not very adventurous at all.

Soon, I added some seasonal/"affiliation" inks-A Private Reserve Green for Scouts/A J. Herbin Orange for Fall/a Lamy Red and a J. Herbin Gray Ink with Gold Shimmer Ink for Xmas.

A few years went by. I learned that most quality pens will works with most quality ink so long as you were writing on quality paper.

I also learned that some inks transcended brands of pens i.e. Waterman Serenity Blue and Pelikan Black are two inks that have a reputation for being well behaved out of many brands pens on many types of paper etc.

A few more years have gone by. I have trimmed down my collection a bit, selling off plastic bodied Watermans and a few others modest plastic bodied pens as I simply no longer like how they "feel" i.e. Pilot Petits, Platinum Preppys etc.

I am no longer buying inks that were temperamental ( slow drying and/or too wet) for me, i.e. A Noodler's Blue and Parker Black for sure.

Since March of 2020, I have tried to eliminate clutter and let go of things that do not bring me joy. I am making a conscious decision to "buy quality and cry one" v. the intersection of quality/value and I am avoiding buying anything Made in China or owed by a Chinese conglomerate when it can otherwise be avoided, even at additional expense.

In that vein, I have settled on Lamy as my go to ink brand because it just works well, it is well priced and I very much like the bottle/integrated blotting paper dispenser. Simultaneously, I have been buying a number of Lamy Al-Stars to correspond to the various colors of Lamy inks. Some of the pens are supposedly "limited editions" as are the inks. I also happen to think that Lamy just does it better in the sub 50USD space than anyone else given how well they write, how easy it is to write "well", how well their converters work, how easy it is to change a nib and how they "feel" in the hand given their colored aluminum nature.

When I run out of Waterman Serenity Blue and Pelikan Black, I will not be replacing them as Lamy will do the trick.
When I run out of Parker Blue (purchased by the US GOVT when I convinced my office supply admin person that a GSA priced 8.19 bottle of ink will last me a lot longer than a 12.96/12 count Pkg of Skillcraft Gel Pens), Lamy will do the trick as well.

My next ink pivots are two fold:
1. Identify microbrand/small brand ink makers and buy from them for my "season/affiliation" inks.
2. Consider custom mixing already owned inks.
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AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Two things I haven't bothered with previously is black inks (other than freebie cartridges that came with a pen) and anything punted as being permanent. however, I needed to bump an order (for next year's diary, and a black n red pad) up to free shipping, so I've just ordered a bottle of Quink Black Permanent.

As I understand it, the reviews for this ink are not particularly enthusiastic. Not the boldest black ink, and not the most bombproof, but a rather uninteresting yet trouble free performer... which sounds about perfect to me. :lol:

I think the fact that it's not the blackest black, and may shade a little, might just add a little extra character. Also, the fact that it's not the most bombproof, should make pens a bit easier to clean if a nib/feed dries up on me.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
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Lawrence of Arabia had a few adventures ...
 
I use pointed pen calligraphy and I use all colors and all in-betweens. I use white, yellow, gold, copper and similar variations for dark papers. I mostly use black for white papers but I also use iron gual and deep reds. I use water soluble inks for drawing flowers/decorations and then use a water brush to blend them. My true fountain pens are limited to about 12 colors. My ink jars are pretty numerous.
 

garyg

B&B membership has its percs
Just reading & posting to hear more .. I'm pretty basic. today's was one from long ago
 
Not at all, at least anymore. After using fountain pens continually since the early 1980's, I have arrived at what I like. That's almost exclusively iron galls or permanent inks. I abhor smudging or running, so these inks work excellently for me. As I get older, they are also much more legible on the page.

Some of my favourites are:

  • Montblanc Midnight Blue (IG, long out of production)
  • Diamine Registrars
  • Akkerman #10 IJzer-Galnoten
  • KWZ iron galls, especially Blue Black and Blue #3
  • Platinum Blue Black
  • R&K Salix
In the permanent camp:
  • R&K Dokumentus Dunkleblau
  • Sailor Sei-boku
  • Platinum Carbon Black

All of these are extremely well-behaved inks. Sure, there may not be much in the way of colour range, but most shade brilliantly, which is enough for me. :)
 
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