FPUK Monboddo’s Hat and Scribble Purple Review

Earlier in 2019 Fountain Pens UK decided that it would be fun to try and create the ultimate purple fountain pen ink. With the help of Diamine, ten purple ink samples were supplied for the members of the Facebook group to vote on their favourite of which the top two were actually produced!


Images above: Inks swatched onto Bockingford 200llb watercolour paper (top). Onto Cartridge paper (bottom).
Images below: Monboddo on Rhodia and Tomoe River (top). Scribble on Rhodia and Tomoe River (bottom).

Monboddo’s Hat  Lord Monboddo was a Scottish writer who delved into evolutionary theory while teaching orang-utans to play the flute. As far as we know, the latter-day purple ink enthusiast who goes by the nom-de-plume of Scribble Monboddo may or may not be a distant relation – but he definitely has a top hat in this splendid colour, a mid-purple veering towards the blue with a feint yellow sheen. The Fountain Pens UK community on Facebook selected this as one of their two choices from ten Diamine prototypes, in an exercise co-ordinated by Bernardo Gomes. The ink is recommended for fountain pens which naturally run wet.

Scribble Purple This is one of two inks to be developed by Diamine in collaboration with the Fountain Pens UK community on Facebook, who selected this as their top choice from ten prototypes in an exercise co-ordinated by Bernardo Gomes. A luscious deep purple, it also has a subtle golden sheen. Suitable for any fountain pen, it will show its true colours when laid-on thickly; for the best effect, use smooth FP-friendly paper. Named after Scribble Monboddo, the purple ink enthusiast responsible for the ‘Too Many Purples’ blog, it’s available for anyone who enjoys a scribble, a scrawl, or even a few lines of proper calligraphy.

Swatch paintings on Bockingford 200llb watercolour paper (above)

Abstract alphabets on Tomoe River paper. Monboddo (left) Scribble (right)
Abstract alphabets on cartridge paper. Monboddo (left) Scribble (right)

Squiggles – Monboddo (left) Scribble (right)

You can see the ten original sample swathes by clicking here.

Both the chosen purples, 765 and 768x, are fabulous creations. Monboddo’s Hat is more pinky purple with hints of a feint green/gold sheen while Scribble Purple is more of a dark blue purple with a heavier copper/gold coloured sheen. As an active member of the group it’s been a great project to be involved with and I believe that more are to be announced into near future.

I used Bernardo’s FPR Flex Nib pen for the handwriting and abstract alphabets. As you’ll see from the images the nib flexes easily from hairline to a maximum 2mm width before tram lining. More flexible than a Noodlers Ahab but not as much flex as some vintage Swans I have tried. For the price, I’d go with this over the Noodler’s Ahab but as mentioned, once you’ve tried a vintage Swan flex nib, it is a pleasure that’s hard to forget.

WORKSHOP – I am running a fountain pen ink illustration workshop at the Huguenot Museum in Rochester, Kent, England on Saturday 28th September 2019 (next Saturday!). For anyone who is planning to do the INKTOBER challenge this year and can get to the workshop, I will be offering top tips on how to maximise ink skills, design layouts, concept development etc. Top Tips! Loads of inks to try (including these, of course)! For further info please email Hannah Birkett: learning@huguenotmuseum.org

Swatch cards are now available to buy. Click for details. If you’d like to know how to create these yourself, why not check out my tutorials course? Click for details.

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