Inky Thots: Akkerman 21 Chinatown Red

Paraphrased from their site:  For generations
the P.W. Akkerman store located in The Hague has been a well known fountain pen destination.

In 2010, to mark the 100th year anniversary,
PW Akkerman introduced the Akkerman inks.
Originally they ink’s came in large 150 ml bottles (now collector’s items), and due to the worldwide success of the unique bottle they continued with 60 ml bottle in 31 colors.  Akkerman inks have been given names related to The Hague. For example: KoninginneNach-Blauw, Binnenhof Blues, Shocking Blue, Parkpop Purper or/and Rood Haags Pluch.  There is another line of inks in larger bottles, that are dedicated to the great Dutch Masters
I have yet to purchase  Dutch Master ink.

There are rumors that Akkerman inks are made by Diamine,
and that may be so but no one could corroborate the partnering.
Certainly Akkerman inks are drier than most Diamine inks.

The ink bottles are beautiful and functional.  In the long-neck there is a glass marble. When the closed ink bottle is tilt slightly, the neck of the bottle fills itself with ink; when turned horizontal again the marble will stoppers the ink from flowing back into the bottle, and makes it easy to fill your pen from the neck, even when near empty!

Remember that others review these inks just for writing;
I am also interested in how they are used for ink-painting!

Properties of  Akkerman 21 Chinatown Red ink:

While the ink is well-behaved,
and does not feather on
any of the papers I normally use, even Post-its, I find it drier than most Diamine or Robert Oster inks, but not
as dry as Pelikan inks.
It evaporates quickly with a wet nib, and as a drier ink, does not smear easily.  It shades somewhat for a bright red ink, though not a lot in my stub above.  The dark to light possibilities below, with the pigment on the pink side of red, showing bubble-gum pink when hit with water.

I see no sheen and no water resistance.

I placed a few drops of ink on a paper towel and then touched it with water
to watch it move.  Usually I don’t show several images, but the variance of
color with a flash shows a different color range.

Looking at watercolor comparisons for 21 Chinatown Red, in my palette the colors range from Perylene Red or Scarlet (Daniel Smith), Quinacridone Red (Sennelier), to the pinks seen in Carmine (Sennelier) and Quinacridone Magenta (Qor) and touches of Vermillion (Daniel Smith).  In watercolors that puts the pigments in the following Munsell ranges:
PR178 / PR149 / PR209 / PR176 / / PR188 / PR122
To understand more about the Munsell system, go to these wonderful references pages:

It is unlikely Chinatown is lightfast…  MOST water soluble ink is not,
because most artists who use ink are making prints of their work.

The poppies were drawn with Moonman Wancai with special grind cursive nib
on cold press watercolor paper to show the ranges of 21 Chinatown Red.
On the left the lines were touched with water using a Pentel Aquash waterbrush.
I used the waterbrush to add a second layer of ink color on the poppies to the left,
but this ink moves very quickly!  The lines do not stay visible.

21 Chinatown Red responds quite differently to papers, a testimony to finding the right ink-paper combo for the effect you want to achieve.  I try inks in the back of my regular journals to see how they perform, so when I want to do ink painting I have some idea how they might perform.  Examples in four papers: poor quality (seconds) Fabriano watercolor paper (poppy and ink tests, above), thicker watercolor Hahnemühle ZigZag Journal, with the Inktober hearts, left, and Okina Notebooks, sketching grade papers with Buddha, below, and finally, the smooth Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook, Snowman and red cardinal, below.

In my scribble drawing of Buddha I let the lines completely dry
on smooth Hahnemühle paper in my OE or Okina noebook. I came back and touched the lines, adding color on my waterbrush and the lines almost completely disappeared.
I was able to layer touches of deeper color but had to move quickly.

I painted my Christmas sketch in a Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook, and while the snowman is straightforward coloring-in pf ink, the cardinal is layered and nuanced, and the ink mottled.  This is nto bad or good, depending upon what you want to achieve. 

I think of Robert Oster Fire Engine Red ink (right) as a perfect red, and so am comparing   21 Chinatown Red ink (left).  It is harder to see in images, but Chinatown is pinker and has more variation leaning to pinks, whereas Fire Engine stays red even when wet.  Again, not bad or good, but knowing what you own is important when you want to paint with inks.
If you want an ink that stays red, go with Fire Engine.  If you want an ink that
moves into pinks and oranges when wet, then play with Chinatown.

I bought my Akkerman Chinatown Red ink at Vanness.

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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2 Responses to Inky Thots: Akkerman 21 Chinatown Red

  1. Great review! The Chinatown Red looks like an ink I would like!


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