In the last 12 months, one name just keeps popping up again and again and again – Robert Oster. His Signature range of 80 fountain pen inks of rich vivid Aussie character have quickly become of the world’s most popular handwriting ink brands with great flow and colour definition. From a creative angle, they blend beautifully with water, and each other, while demonstrating chromatography and sheening in abundance AND, of course, they react with bleach to give that fabulous neon glow.
So what about Ink.Art? Targeting the growing art journaling and illustration markets, it’s essentially the Signature range, same names etc, with added UV protection. As you’ll see from the swatches, all of those creative qualities from the Signature range are in evidence – chromatography, blending and sheening – but with 2 differences. Bleaching – I’ve had to use double strength bleach to get a reaction – it could be the UV protection agent but the usual strength bleach wasn’t having any effect. The other difference is that these are only currently available in 100ml bottles. So what’s the verdict? Well the UV protection is, in my opinion, a very important move forward and doesn’t appear to have affected any of the lovely behavioural qualities. Fountain pen inks are notorious for quick fading so this UV protection will give both protection and longevity to any art created, allowing the art to be framed and admired without fear of fading. I must also add, that these inks are naturally fountain pen friendly and are intended as such.
With regards to price, I have no doubt that these are worth every penny, but for many, a full set of 80 colours may be out of reach. I’m still trying to find time to investigate the possibility of finding a limited palette i.e. making all the colours of the rainbow from 4 colours – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. It maybe that this might be achievable with selected colours from this extensive range which would then leave funds to purchase the more complex colours. I’ll keep you posted.
If my vision of fountain pen inks expanding into the art sector should ever become a reality, it’s innovative individuals like Rob who are helping to realise that dream!
Ink.Art colours tested: Soda Pop, Blue Water Ice, Green at Night, River of Fire, Ryde Green, Sublime, Marrone Mustard, Terracotta, Plumb Nut, Clay Red and Golden Brown.
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 Robert Oster
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.