Welcome to my third post of Kobe fountain pen ink swatch tests, made by one of the world’s most revered fountain pen ink creators… Sailor.
When Anja from Papier und Stift asked me if I’d like to swatch test the entire Kobe ink range, I just couldn’t believe my luck. And in spite of the courier delays due to Covid and Brexit, all eighty sample vials eventually arrived and the wait was definitely worth it. So here is the third of nine posts which I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I enjoyed swatch testing them:
Minatogawa Lime – A rich grass green that grades out nicely when added to a wetted paper surface. A clean gold reaction to bleach. Great tonal range but no chromatic effects.
Motomachi Rouge – A powerful rich orange pink that bleeds out pinks and yellows when dropped onto a wetted paper surface. A feint gold reaction to bleach in the less ink concentrated ares.
Taisanji Yellow – a reddish yellow ochre hue that bleeds out canary yellow and acid greens when dropped onto a wetted paper surface. A white gold reaction to bleach.
Shinkaichi Gold – a yellow ochre that bleeds out canary yellow, olive and acid greens when dropped onto a wetted paper surface. A white gold reaction to bleach
Nagata Blue – A deep blue grey grades out blue grey when dropped onto a wetted paper surface. A dull gold reaction to bleach.
Nakayamate Black – A heavy concentrated black that barely reacts when dropped onto a wetted paper surface. A very feint reaction to bleach.
Tarumi Apricot – A bright deep orange that bleeds put orange and yellow when dropped onto a wetted paper surface. A bright gold reaction to bleach.
Wadamisaki Blue – A vivid cyan blue that bleeds out a fluro cyan when dropped onto a wetted paper surface. A white gold reaction to bleach.
Konan Maroon – A deep dark maroon that bleeds out crimson, pink, salmon and cyan when dropped onto a wetted paper surface. A negligible reaction to bleach when used in the more concentrated areas.
There’s just something about the fountain pen inks from the far east – a sophistication and a delicacy. Looking at the handwriting examples one wouldn’t have a clue about the chromatic wonders these inks have to offer. And as this project develops I am trying my best to seamlessly integrate writing and illustration together just using this one fountain pen ink medium. The more calligraphic based alphabets of the middle and far eastern cultures do tend to integrate with illustration a little more easily than our Roman based western alphabets, but with more fluid handwriting styles, abstracted calligraphic shapes and inks like these I think there’s plenty of visually impactive opportunities ahead.
Many thanks to Anja at Papier und Stift for sending me the samples. All art created on Bockingford watercolour paper. Keep a look out for the next post – Kobe inks 28-35.
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 ?