Review: Kyo-Iro Stone Road of Gion


Here’s another Kyoto Ink from the Kyo-Iro line. It’s called Stone Road of Gion. It’s a delicate shade of brown. It’s earthy and soft, almost a bit silvery, at least on tomoe river paper. It has this old-timey feel to it and it’s really gorgeous when used on ivory-colored paper.

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

It reminds me of the color of Raw Umber, which is one of my favorite watercolor pigments. I guess because I see the color a lot in nature, I use it for woody parts of plants, mushrooms, soil, etc. Stone Road of Gion has a very organic look to it. I really like it a lot. In terms of performance, the ink flows very wet, but it doesn’t feather or bleed. If anything, it almost feels a bit watery.

The delicate color may strike some people as a bit translucent, but it’s very easy to read in person. Because the color is a bit light, I would suggest using it with a wet-writing nib. I used a Cross Century II with a custom medium cursive italic nib for this review. I like the gorgeous shading on the ink, I think it would make a nice addition to my brown ink collection.

It dries pretty fast, at around 15 seconds. It’s not water resistant, a few seconds of soaking with droplets of water almost completely erased the ink.

Overall, I think it’s a gorgeous shade, especially when used with a wet writing nib or nib sizes from medium upwards. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.


Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Kyo-Iro Soft Snow of Ohara


Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Here’s another Kyo-Iro ink from Kyoto Inks, Japan. It’s called Soft Snow of Ohara. It’s a pretty interesting ink because under certain kinds of light, it looks a little purplish. In natural light, it is a beautiful shade of blue. A familiar kind of blue, I thought. It actually reminded me of this article I read before about indigo dying techniques in Japan. It’s called Aizome or that indigo dye that comes from the Japanese indigo plant. It became popular initially because indigo was an effective insect repellant. The color of indigo extracted from the plant came in different ranges from “indigo white” to dark indigo and was so extensively used that it became popularly known as Japan Blue. I think this ink’s color is pretty close to it.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

It’s a muted shade of blue that is eye-catching and has a subtlety to it. It’s nicely saturated, but still manages to look delicate. The shading is quite gorgeous, and shows a range of different shades of indigo blue. It’s also very well-behaved. The flow is quite wet, but it doesn’t feather or bleed through. It feels almost as if it’s lubricated. My pen just glides on paper while using it.

It dries relatively fast at about 15 seconds. It’s not water resistant, 30 seconds of soaking in droplets all but wiped out any trace of the ink. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Overall, it’s easy to fall in love with this ink. It’s a beautiful color and it flows great. I like that it’s really close to an iconic color in Japan. I don’t think I own an ink that’s similar to this hue yet. Looks like it’s a keeper. 🙂

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.


Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Kyo-Iro Moonlight of Higashiyama


Kyo-Iro Inks

The nice people from Everything Calligraphy sent over a few samples of their new line of inks from Kyoto, Japan. There are Kyo-Iro and Kyo No Oto Inks. I’m eager to review them because all the Japanese inks I’ve tried so far have been excellent. I’m curious to see how these inks perform. Kyo-Iro inks are named after famous places in Kyoto Japan. It may be a bit hard to distinguish the colors on the bottle because for Kyo-Iro inks, the names are printed in Japanese characters. I’ll dive right in and review one of the colors that really got my attention. This one’s called Moonlight of Higashiyama.

Kyo-Iro Inks

I like that the packaging of Kyo-Iro inks are so reminiscent of what makes Japanese aesthetics so pleasing. It’s minimalist, simple, elegant, and functional. I love the print on the box and the labels on the bottle. Each bottle holds 40ml of ink, and the opening is convenient to use, no matter what the pen size is.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Moonlight of Higashiyama is an earthy brown color that leans more towards orange or terracotta. When wet, the yellow component of the ink is more obvious, but it gets a lot darker as it dries. The color reminds me of autumn leaves, or caramel. It’s warm and pleasant, and really gorgeous especially on cream-colored paper. I like that it has subtle shading that shows different hues from light terracotta orange to dark brown, the color of burnt brown sugar. It’s saturated enough for daily writing, it’s very comfortable to read. The flow of this ink is also quite good. It’s a touch above moderate flow, and my pen just glides on paper when using it. The drying time is relatively fast at about 15 seconds using a medium nib on Tomoe River paper. It’s not water resistant. So don’t leave your journal out in the rain ;-). Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Overall, it’s an eye-catching color. I enjoy using it in journal entries. Kyo-Iro inks and I are off to a great start, it seems. 🙂

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.


Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Birmingham Inks Edgar T. Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)


I’ve been using this ink for a week and it’s about time to write a short review. What surprised me most when I was only beginning to explore different kinds of inks for fountain pens is that not all black inks are alike. I’ve come across several interesting black inks like Diamine Onyx, which has some subtle hints of purple. My least favorite is Parker Quink which seems so diluted and has terrible flow with most of my pens. It seems weird to review black ink, but if you look closely enough, different kinds of black ink do look…different.

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

So, Birmingham Inks’ Coking Coal Black. While wet, I had the impression that it was a bit on the warm side. A little purplish brown. As it dries, the color develops to a more slate grey hue. It reminds me of the color of the core of a pencil. Under certain lights, it reminds me of the color of nori wrap. I wouldn’t say that it’s highly saturated, it doesn’t look jet black and it doesn’t look “thick” on paper, like J. Herbin’s Perle Noir. It doesn’t look watered-down either. For a dark-colored ink, it certainly shows some nice shading which highlights different gradations of gray. There’s a slight hint of purple, too.

The flow is really nice, it flows moderately wet in a medium nib. The pen glides on paper while using the ink, I like the flow a lot. It dries relatively fast, too. About 10-15 seconds. It’s definitely not too water resistant, only leaving behind a faint purplish line after 30 seconds of soaking in drops of water. Overall, it’s a pretty nice coal-black ink. Here are some closeups of the writing sample:

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Birmingham Inks – Andy Warhol – Pop Art Purple


Here’s another Birmingham ink that I tried this week. It’s called Andy Warhol (Pop Art Purple). I was expecting a bold, loud, violently violet color but it turned out to be quite a demure and dusky purple color.

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

At first it looks very similar to Diamine Bilberry when wet, but it gets darker as it dries. After it’s completely dry, it looks more like blue violet. It’s very subdued and nicely saturated. While it’s not exactly a screaming purple ink, it’s something you can use for daily writing, without calling too much attention to it. I would put the flow at dry to moderate, depending on the nib you’re using. It dries up pretty fast, considering that I used a stub nib for this writing sample (obviously, I need to clean my other pens soon, haha). It’s not waterproof but does leave a faint purple line behind. Overall, it does look a bit flat, but it’s something you can use for work or class notes if you want a purple ink that, at first glance, can pass as dark blue. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Birmingham Inks Point Park – Fountain Turquoise


Finally, I found time to post this review. I really enjoyed trying out this ink. I’m afraid the photos didn’t really do justice on how pretty this ink is. It’s really better to enjoy it in person. Anyway, I’ll try my best.

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Fountain Turquoise is quite a pretty ink. It kind of reminds me of Pilot Iroshizuku SyoRo when it dries, without the sheen. It’s a simpler version of it, I think. A nice blue-green color that tilts just a little bit towards the green side of the spectrum. It’s sufficiently saturated to make it suitable for daily writing, even for work-related notes, but the color is ambiguous enough to give you pause and wonder about it. I love the flow as well, it’s a moderate to wet-flowing ink. It dries relatively fast at 15-20 seconds, without noticeable feathering. It’s a head-turner, for me. It’s not water-resistant, though it leaves behind a faint, purplish line. It washes away pretty easily. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks are available exclusively at Everything Calligraphy.

DangerShrooms


P2230583

After a couple of paintings on edible mushrooms, I made a series for poisonous ones. They’re really interesting, I wish I had more time to study and explore them, but it was a busy week at work. Looks like poisonous mushrooms have more interesting, vibrant colors than edible ones. ^_^

Colors used: (Sennelier) Naples Yellow Deep, Venetian Red, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Alizarin Crimson, Phthalocyanine Blue, Forest Green, Phthalo Green, Vert Sapin Forest Green, French Vermillion, Payne’s Grey (Artnebulaph.com)

Paper: Global Art Materials Travelogue Watercolor Journal (Stationer Extraordinaire)