I’ve developed a passion for blue inks.
*I am laying the blame on Robert Oster for the many $$$ I’ve spent on blues*
Don’t get me wrong, I like blue, especially turquoise, but not so much in ink.
I bought my Diamine Blue Velvet on Brian Goulet’s suggestion,
and to go with my Ultramarine Blue shiny Lamy Al-Star…
and a bit later Diamine Regency Blue because it was so perfect for my lovely Jinhao pen…
*I think it is really a purple, frankly*
That was the end of that for three years.
Since discovering Robert Oster’s lovely blues I’ve added many blues,
including two more bottles Diamine blues,
Blue-Black and Imperial Blue, both because they were on sale at an obscene price
(get them while you can — huge bottles of great inks at closeout!
*Who can resist inks on sale?*
Both of these are good inks, and Blue-Black has some water-resistance.
*these next three are on my wishlist! so many blues!*
I wasn’t interested In Robert Oster inks… I didn’t buy many inks at the time:
I was quite happy with my waterproof inks…
Then I was gifted with three bottles. The ink was delicious.
Torquay ink, was in the batch, and instant love!
I was just getting into shades of greys and I bought Thunderstorm (blue-grey),
and several samples, along with several blues from other brands.
*hence they all owe a debt of gratitude to Robert Oster*
Australian Sky Blue now lives in my TWSBI Eco… I carry it everywhere!
Honestly, I could buy them all — or close to it.
I love writing in my calendar with his lovely variations of ocean blues;
takes me home to the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach!
*btw, these are going into the greens… but some say blues…*
Why Robert Oster? He loves complex colors.
At first glance you think “a bunch of turquoise”
BUT I suggest you buy samples and start playing!
I pitted his inks up against some Japanese (and far more expensive) popular inks
recently and his pigments are more complex and beautiful…
Also, moving away from waterproof changed how I paint with inks…
Line drawings and then water to follow to move the inks,
or adding water to ink in a waterbrush.
BTW, I learned that different retail outlets carry different colors from manufacturers.
I find that some retailers sense of color resonates more with an artistic palette,
some more with writers who want to be able to write legal briefs…
I advise artists to shop at Vanness
(their sense of color makes them my favorite ink color peeps)
and Goulet and Jetpens and now Birmingham….
I love Birmingham’s Pennsylvania Railroad Boiler Steam;
it is one of the colors that had me going back for more inks at Birmingham.
It is a dark blue-grey, has lovely shading proprieties,
and is a bit water resistant — a nice surprise!
Andrew Carnegie Steel Blue also has water-resistant qualities.
It is a lovely blue, and when I saw them side by side I wondered if Boilersteam started as Andrew Carnegie but had black added… my simplistic words for the darkening…
I see it in the sketch in the middle using Boilersteam.
An update after the fact is a new blue gifted to me, George Ferris World’s Fair Blue, a lovely blue in honor of George Ferris, who invented the Ferris wheel.
Looking at three blue-grey inks, can you see the differences?
Thunderstorm has a touch of green but undertones of red-purple in the blue grey:
Boilersteam is a lovely greyed denim, and has the staying power of a waterproof with linework but then can move color — this is nice for sketching;
Grey Seas is a truer ultramarine when it begins, but then has lovely undertones of purple.
*How does he get the undertones?*
I draw with waterproof blue inks, mostly ocean or city drawings.
I have a new waterproof ink I like, the blue Marlene sketchINK (Rohrer & Klinger).
The ink itself was no big deal but the one color is good;
it is the clearest true blue waterproof ink,
and so rivals the Super5 Atlantic for my attention.
The DeAtramentis blues all go a bit purple or a bit grey — not bad,
but I just don’t use them much except with dip pens, preferring the first two.
When nubs get together and talk ink, especially blue ink, inevitably
Noodler’s Bay State Blue is discussed. This blue has super dye qualities and
you never get it out of anything it touches.
Having tried Noodler’s inks, and not being a fan of his pens or his inks (inconsistent),
and never wanting to permanently stain my pens,
I was curious about alternatives. I bought a sample to try next to
some of my favorite true blues for depth of color…
Gotta tell you, Bay State is a lot of hype.
Diamine Blue Velvet and Monteverde Horizon rival it as a deep ultramarine blue.
These days I am also
mixing samples to have a little fun in my work pens, right, which is Robert Oster marine and Deep Sea mixed.
TWSBI will take two samples!
So what blue inks are always in a pen, ready to draw blue whales and starry nights
and make important appointments and remember life-changing events?
Mostly, Robert Oster, the King of the Blues.
“Memory is more indelible than ink.”
Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
“I think not….”
Me… why I journal!
Super5 Atlantic ink, De Atramentis Document ink, Diamine Blue Velvet ink,
Diamine Regency Blue ink, Robert Oster Torquay ink,
Robert Oster Thunderstorm ink, Robert Oster Australian Sky Blue ink,
Robert Oster Fire and Ice ink, Robert Oster Grey Seas ink.
Robert Oster and Monteverde can be found at Goulet and Vanness.
KWZ and sketchINK (Rohrer & Klinger) are at Vanness.
©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to dkatiepowellart.
As my Patreon supporter, you will have
access to some content not on this website,
sneak previews, goodies, discounts on classes.
I teach architectural sketching,
art journaling (art+writing), creativity, watercolors.
That annoying loud-mouth editor/critic in your head? GONE! How great would that be?