Blue Inks

Callifolio Oconto
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

I’m not a fan of blues, but I like this blue! Rich, clear, saturated, but not too bright, with a teensy hint of grey-green. In super wet pens (or this swab) sheens with a hint of burgundy. The perfect companion for my ‘Blue Clouds’ custom from Atelier Lusso….


Caran 'd'Ache Blue Sky
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

Clear, clean royal blue. Perfect if that’s your thing. One of Caran ‘d’Ache’s older series, not he new ‘Chroma’ series. Their new blue, Idyllic Blue, which seems just a touch brighter but less deep.


Caran d'Ache Blue Sky
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

A basic cobalt blue, much like Pelikan’s Brilliant Blue or Herbin’s Eclat du Saphir, though with much better shading characteristics than either. I’m not a fan of true blues, but the depth and variance in this one might win me over. Or maybe not, since this is one of CdA’s now discontinued line.


De Atramentis Aircraft
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? Yes
Shimmer? No
Comments:

Brilliant sky blue with just a hint of turquoise, shades to a clear ultramarine blue. Odd, but not unpleasant ‘jet-fuel’ scent.


De Atramentis Charles Darwin
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

A.K.A. ‘Blue Jeans.’ Deep navy blue, not too royal, not too green. Lighter range is a true denim hue. Lovely!


De Atramentis Myrrh
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? Yes
Shimmer? No
Comments:

One of the fainter scents of all my DA scented inks, and again, a bit of an odd choice to match the scent. Still, it’s a gorgeous color, a rich teal-ish blue.


De Atramentis Petrol
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

Subdued but intense blue-green. Ranges from a sort of dark celadon/aqua to a deep stormy midnight ocean. Hard to describe, but a really beautiful color!


Diamine Shimmering Seas
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? Yes
Comments:

One of Diamine’s Shimmertastics line, this is a deep blue that has both a golden shimmer, and sheens burgundy. WHile it can be a dramatic ink, the blue + shimmer + sheen sort of fight until it seems like this ink doesn’t really know what it wants to be. While sheen can be wonderful, in this case, I’d prefer it if the blue stayed true.


Diamine Skull & Roses
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

An elusive & sought after UK only release from Diamine. This ink has amazing sheening properties. Going from a cobalt blue, through a deeper sapphire, and into a magenta that stops just barely short of hot pink, it’s hard to know just what color to call this! In a wet pen or broad nib, this is a very dynamic and striking ink!


Iroshizuku (Pilot) Syo-ro (Pine tree dew)
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

This is one I”m hard put to decide of it belongs in blues or greens- it sits squarely on the divide. Nevertheless, it’s a gorgeous in, a deep teal that shades to a deeper blue green, and sheens o a rich Burgundy when applied generously. A pricey ink, but worth it!


J. Herbin Bleu Azur
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

This is a light, summer-sky sort of blue. I actually got this as a possible highlighter ink, for which is is OK, but far from eye-catching. I’ve since sworn lifelong allegiance to Pelikan’s Highlighter ink. While lovely, this is too light to be used in any but the biggest, boldest nibs.


J. Herbin Bleu Ocean
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? Yes
Comments:

A bright clear true blue, just a smidge shy of a royal blue (it’s a bit cooler and lighter than a royal), with a pale gold shimmer. Herbin seems to experiment a little more boldly with their shimmers; this gold is not quite as ‘brassy’ as some of the Diamine gold shimmers, and I think it complements the blue a bit better than a more yellow gold would. It may be me, but I think Herbin’s shimmer pigments are a bit finer, as the final result seems a bit smoother and less granular than in the Diamine shimmer inks. That said, this has no sheen to it, and (since I don’t do blues much)< leave me a bit meh.


J. Herbin Diabolo Menthe
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

AN ink that sits right between blue & green; I’m calling it a blue, but it could as easily go with the greens. It’s a bright, refreshing, summery color. This one definitely needs a pretty broad nib to be effective; in a fine it’s a bit too light to be really legible.


J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

A ‘bluer than blue’ kind of blue. Lighter than Waterman Florida, but with a similar lack of shading. (It’s actually a truer blue that shows in the scan, equally dark but just a shade brighter than the Florida Blue.)


Mont BLanc Blue Black (vintage c. 1970s)
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

I nabbed a couple of vintage Mont Blanc inks in the plastic bottles. I had high hopes, but given that the plastic (similar to that used in many ink cartridges) will leech moisture, I suspect that these brimful bottles had at least partially evaporated and were diluted. I’m not generally a blue-black (or blue) fan, but I’d have liked to see the original color at least. As it is, it will be part of my vintage collection, not my active rotation.


Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

Another of the Warden Series of ‘bullet-proof’ inks from Noodler’s. As far as blues go, I really like this. It’s a blue blue (as in not greenish or grey-ish, as many blue-blacks tend to be), and it has a richness that reminds me of a sapphire ring my grandmother had. Also, bullet-proof!


Noodler's Bad Blue Heron
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

One of the Warden series bullet-proof inks from Nathan Tardif at Noodler’s. A pretty straightforward blue, this is lighter and brighter than Bad Belted Kingfisher (which I prefer by far), but with a bit less shading and not as…dramatic. Still a blue I can get along with!


Noodler's General of the Armies
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

This is an odd ink. It goes down as a brilliant, if slightly cool, green. Then it dries to what is frankly, a rather drab ‘cavalry blue,’ which has only at the faintest hint of the initial green. I suppose this is a cool rick, but I’m not sure I see the point. Still the end result is a nice enough color, if you like a sort of subdued blue… And it’s bulletproof.


Noodler's FPN Van Gogh Starry Night
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

One of the custom inks created by Nathan Tardiff for Fountain Pen Network. I hear raves about this blue, but frankly, it doesn’t do much for me. Then again, I’m not a big fan of blues to begin with. It’s a deep, dark, blue-black with just a hint of green, sort of a navy. Doesn’t shade much.


Pelikan Blue
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

A very brilliant ‘true blue.’ Nice enough, even though blues are not my favorite range. Like the other two ‘true blues’ I have, it seems not to shade much at all. It’s deeper than the Eclat duSaphir, and brighter than the Florida Blue, so I think it’s my favorite of the three.


Pilot blue Black
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

It’s blue black. That’s about it. I’m not overly fond of this color. However, every year, I give my 8th grade English students fountain pens. Buying this in the he 350 ml bottle is the best way to keep them inked up. And pilot inks are known for being very reliable and well-behaved (even in the hands of 8th graders!)


Sheaffer Peacock Blue (Vintage)
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

This is another antique store find; a full–and as far as I can tell, unused–bottle of Peacock Blue. It’s a gorgeous brilliant peacock or turquoise, a good bit lighter and brighter than their current Turquoise.


Sheaffer Turquoise
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

One of Sheaffer’s current line, it’s a brilliant turquoise, with some impressive shading, leading to a true blue in it’s darkest notes.


Tekker Custom Caina
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

A rich, deep teal that could be rightly called either a blue or a green, named for the frozen lake that rests at the very bottom of Inferno in Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece. This is a bespoke ink from Tekker, a company that briefly offered a ‘spec your own color’ service. The mechanism was in instant hit, but sadly the folks running the company were nowhere near prepared for the enthusiasm the pen community had , or for the volume of orders they got. There was some talk of them selling the enterprise to a larger ink maker, but to my knowledge, nothing has come of it so far. That’s shame – it was a great idea, and a great ink!


Visconti Aquamarine
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

This is another of the older, large glass champagne style bottles. Aquamarine is a good name for this color; it evokes the gem, and shades to a deeper marine blue-green.


Waterman Florida BLue
Color family: Blues
Sample? No | Scented? No
Shimmer? No
Comments:

Your quintessential Royal blue, if a bit weak. Only the barest hint of shading, tends to dry to a uniform shade regardless of amount of ink laid down. (I did all of these swatches the same way.) Kind of ‘meh.’