L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Swatch Tests – the Ochres

This is part three of my swatch test investigation into the rustic world of L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio. Many thanks to Jon Rabbet, who runs Pen Sharing, for organising a group buy of these.

GROUP FAN with the ochres – the pinks, purples and greens feature in the next post

The above crops were photographed in strong sunlight at an angle

The Callifolio range currently consists of 36 rustic fountain pen ink colours and this post takes a look at the next nine colours which are the Blues. Click here if you’d like to check out my first post featuring the Greys and Blue Greys. And click here if you’d like to check out my second post featuring the Blues.

I have photographed all the swatches in two ways. Firstly, head on in the studio and secondly at a slight angle in bright sunshine. The studio shots are true to the actual swatch cards when viewed inside. The more vivid and dramatic crops are the latter, and reveal very subtle and beautiful sheen accents where the ink is more concentrated.


heure doree, canelle, yalumba


inti, itzamna, anahuac


aurora, inca sol, havane


The above crops were photographed in strong sunlight at an angle. 

As handwriting inks, these are faultless. I used a Serendipity dip pen with a Noodlers flex nib – the flow was easy and the colours dried quick and even.

What is noticeable with these these particular inks during the swatching process, is the absence of any chromatography. But these nine colours are quite lovely in that they are so rustic and earthy. The terracotta reds and yellow ochres are so distinct in the architecture and in particular the roof tiles of Southern France from where they originate. These really are rustic and so painterly. Beautiful.

All of the inks here react easily with bleach with a range of neon, white and gold effects. Although these are not sheening inks you can detect a feint gloss at the edges of the more concentrated marks made. Please ref the square block of nine above.

There is one more post to follow and in the meantime a little more experimentation to do me thinks.

Tests conducted on Bockingford 140lb rough using a Noodler’s Creeper fountain pen and a Serendipity dip pen with a Noodler’s flex nib.

Many thanks to Jon Rabbet for Sourcing these. If you are interested in fountain pens and like the idea of trying a pen before you buy, check out Jon’s very successful pen rental website PenSharing.com.

AND HEY! If you’re interested to know more about how to use fountain pen inks in more creative ways – whether it’s simply to observe their chromatic behaviours, or, to recreate one of my swatch cards, or, to learn how to use them in watercolour painting, illustration and calligraphy, why not check out my online course ?

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