J Herbin – Swatch Test 02

There are 30 colours in the J.Herbin fountain pen inks range of which I swatch tested 11 of them back in January 2016 – and you can refresh your memories, if you wish, by clicking here>>. So here are 17 more in the range and as writing inks go, they are a decent product, with a smooth flow and quick drying time and they have a long established history. J Herbin is allegedly the oldest name in pen inks in the world. (Got this from their website).

Herbin created “The Jewel of Inks” in his shop on the Rue des Fosses Saint-Germain in Paris in 1700 and to this day, Herbin still use all natural dyes in their fountain pen inks. This natural composition is reflected in the very neutral pH of the inks and may also explain why there is very limited, if any, evidence of chromatography in the overall ink behaviour.

All of the inks easily blend with water and all of them react well with bleach with most of them neon glowing. For the sheen freaks, Rose Tendresse has a very glossy deep pink sheen, which I wasn’t expecting, Verte Olive, Lierre Sauvage and Orange Indien are all strong too. For those hidden chromatic treats, Verte Olive, Lierre Sauvage and Lierre Myosotis are as good as it gets. But these are first and foremost, writing inks. And for that purpose they are understandably, very stable, consistent and even. For creative uses, these are not as dynamic or versatile as some other brands reviewed on this blog. In comparison to the big hitters like Diamine, Robert Oster and Noodler’s these are very thin and delicate.

To be honest, I was going to leave it there, but while cycling the other morning, I got a nagging sensation that these further testing. So taking 3 of the weakest inks: Gris Nuage, Diablo Menthe and Perle Noir I have put them to the art test.

And this is the end result and I’m very happy with it. Using them like watercolours, they mix beautifully. Their delicate and thin make up are in fact a strength. For those of you who like sketching, painting and journalling here you go. All you need do is pack these 3 tiny little 10ml bottles and you’re sorted. The bleach of course also played a part in the outcome. When painted on top of the Perle Noir I got a wood colour. And of course, any errors on the sails or highlights needed, I just bleached away. So there you have it. J Herbin don’t just do shimmer inks. Their fountain pen inks are worth investigating further. Don’t just take my word for it, check them out!

Inks tested: Lie de The, Cafe des Iles, Rouille d’Ancre, Terre de Feu, Larme de Cassis, Bouquet D’Anton, Rouge Opera, Rose Tendresse, Rouge Bourgogne, Orange Indien, Bouton d’Or, Verte Olive, Lierre Sauvage, Diablo Menthe, Bleu Myosotis, Poussiere de Lune, Gris Nuage.

Buy my artwork: I have finally given into pressure and opened an ETSY shop. If you’d like to buy any of the original art featured on my site you can purchase it here. I will do my upmost to add value to your investment over time – click here to access the shop . I am also accepting commissions for swatch tests. So, if you have a favourite ink(s) and some words for someone special, or maybe just for yourself, drop me a line and we can discuss further.

If you’d like to know more about this project, please take a look at the Mission Statement.

All tests on Bockingford 200lb watercolour paper using a dip pen with titanium zebra G flex nib for the bleach work and a Noodler’s Ahab for the ink work.

Ink samples very kindly donated by Bauer Inks and Exaclair

Just for the record – I do this for myself, I receive no remuneration what-so-ever and I tell it exactly how I see it.