Ink Swab: De Atramentis Van Dyck Brown

I got my first two De Atramentis ink bottles from Elias Notebooks yesterday afternoon. Of course I got a brown and a green ink. I was trying to decide over this brown or Khaki, but since I haven’t found too many reviews of this ink online, I decided to be adventurous and try this out instead. After all, I haven’t yet met a brown ink that I didn’t like. I’m so happy that Elias brought this ink in the Philippines. It’s always great to have more options for fountain pen users in the country. I haven’t been able to try this ink before because I can only buy it online, and the shipping and taxes would have made the purchase too expensive.

This morning I made writing samples of this ink and I have to say that I’m very pleased with it. I wrote the review using a Parker 75 with a #65 nib. Even with a fine nib, you can definitely see how expressive the shading is. The flow is excellent. It’s a wet flowing ink and (quite surprisingly) it dries fast too.

This brown reminds me of light brown-colored horses, though the name of the ink was probably derived from a photographic printing process called Van Dyke Brown. In medium nibs, the ink is decidedly darker, though the saturation is not so dark that you cannot tell at first glance that it’s a brown ink. It’s not water proof, though it leaves behind a blackish outline of what you wrote.

I absolutely love the shading of this ink. In a fine nib, it has a silvery-brown quality to it. Here are a few close ups of the shading:


It’s a conservative brown with expressive shading. It’s great for everyday writing and it’s a very well-behaved ink. It’s not prone to nib creep and when using a fine nib, it doesn’t feather too much on thinner, cheaper paper. Overall, I really like this brown. Below is a scan of the writing sample:

da van dyck brown001

Used in this review:
Ink – De Atramentis Van Dyck Brown (From Elias Notebooks)
Paper – Elias Notebooks (Dot Grid, Large)
Pen – Parker 75 with a #65 nib (Fine)
Maroon Pen Slip – Elias Notebooks


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