More Eye-Popping Colors from Australia!
But first…a song!
There’s red in my head, but I don’t want it
The blues were swarming there in my soul
Shadows over me and
The only colour I can paint my soul
I want black and don’t fade away
I want it black forever
Inside of me, all I wanna see’s the colours in my head
I’m in black the only way
And make it black forever
Go inside and…go inside and…never come back out again
—Black Forever by WASP (One of the best bands, EVER!)
Sorry…I’ve expended the interesting bits of inside information I have on Robert Oster and his inky endeavors, so I don’t have much to lead off this post with. So instead, you get heavy metal lyrics about colors. Yes…it’s your lucky day.
Honestly, by this point, the man and his company probably don’t need much of an introduction.
Robert Oster Signature Ink: A bright, fiery meteor streaking across the sky, its tail of sixty-something colors leaving indelible streaks of sheen and shading across the night for all fountain pen users to look up at, to marvel at, and to throw money at.
In this post, I continue to reach into the miasma of vibrant hues and playful, saturated tones to attempt to convey the depth of beauty found in these little plastic bottles from Down Under. Okay, that’s enough poetry…on with the inks!
Robert Oster Signature Ng Special ’16
But I will say that it’s a beautiful, pumpkiny-orange color, although it is fairly light in tone. The writing I did with the glass pen was dark enough to read, but the two calligraphy nibs produced a few really light areas. So I’m not sure how great this would be for everyday writing…I guess different nibs could yield vastly different results.
This lovely orange ink has a wide range of tones, from a pale, lemony-orange to a really punchy-pumpkin orange color. The shading is stunning. Stunning, I tell you! There are some areas that come out extremely light…but it’s so pretty!
I’m not seeing any sheen, but it does have a dark, terra-cotta edging that is just…freaking…awesome.
Robert Oster Signature Orange Zest
Orange Zest looks lighter and pinker on the Bristol Board than it does on the Rhodia, where it’s definitely more vibrant and more orange.
There’s a huge difference in the cotton swabs between the two papers. On Bristol Board, it looks pale and lame. But on the Rhodia, it’s deep and fiery and it really pops off the page.
It’s got some nice shading. It’s not dramatic, but it’s nice. I found that the shading was most apparent coming from the C4 calligraphy nib.
There’s no sheen, but similar to Ng Special ’16, it produces a beautiful brick-red edging around the wettest areas.
Robert Oster Signature Summer Storm
Most Robert Oster inks are super saturated and vibrant, but a handful are more on the pale/subdued end of the spectrum. Summer Storm is one of those. Its base color is a steel blue with some violet tones in it. I think the name is really appropriate. It has a muted, misty spring morning rainstorm feel to it.
I do like the variation in colors that emerged in the smears. Some areas are clearly a pale, grayish indigo, but the violet component really emerges in some of the wetter, heavier areas.
This probably isn’t an ink I’d reach for, although it does have a bit of an antique look when used with the C4 calligraphy nib, so I can see some good use for it.
Shading is excellent. No sheen, but it does have a thin, dark blue edging around the areas where the ink pooled.
Robert Oster Signature Tranquility
I’ll be honest, Tranquility is almost identical to Marine (which I covered in Part 4). It’s slightly darker on the Rhodia paper, and it produces more sheen on the writing with the glass dip pen. I’m looking at the samples from the Bristol Board of Tranquility and Marine side-by-side, and the two colors are virtually indistinguishable.
The ruby red sheen is even the same color with both inks, but Tranquility definitely produces a greater amount of sheen.
Tranquility has some really pretty shading, although it’s slightly less dramatic than the shading that Marine gives.
If you’re looking for a great, light, happy-looking teal and you’re trying to decide between these two colors, choose Tranquility if you value sheen more than shading and if you’re interested in a darker ink; but choose Marine if shading is what you’re after.
Robert Oster Signature Verde de Rio
Far and away, Verde de Rio is one of my all-time favorite inks ever. It’s a beautiful, grassy green that leans toward yellow. It behaves differently on different papers. For me, normal writing was far darker on the Rhodia, and much lighter & flatter on the Bristol Board. However, the smear on the Bristol Board is really dramatic in illustrating the ranges of lights and darks this ink produces.
This is an ink I quickly loaded into a fountain pen, and I was really happy with its performance.
The shading is magnificent (at least on the Rhodia). It doesn’t really produce any sheen, but does have a wonderful, purply-black edging where the ink pools.
Robert Oster Signature Yellow Sunset
I’m really torn on Yellow Sunset. Overall, it’s probably too light to use as an everyday ink. It’s way too light on the Bristol Board…it’s just kind of a pale yellow—hard to read against the white paper. It shows up a lot different on the Rhodia, though. It’s probably still too light, but it shows off a range of orange tones that are very pretty.
I can see maybe using this in a stub nib or with a wet EF nib that can eke out the oranges. I think it would need to be used on coated paper, though: you need to let the ink to dry on top of the paper to get the darker colors (vs soaking into more porous paper).
The shading on the Rhodia is phenomenal. I just wish it was a bit darker to separate it more from the paper it’s on.
This is another one with no sheen, but has a nice, think burnt-orange edging that’s just incredibly pretty.
I think if you can find the right pen and paper combination that can maximize this ink’s visibility and shading, then this would be a very nice ink to use. Will probably take some experimentation to find that combo, though.
So there’s a couple inks in this batch that, although very nice, are probably not going to find their way into my wishlist. If I was creating artwork, then I’d be all over Yellow Sunset, but for general writing, I’d want something darker. I will say, though, that this is one happy-looking batch of inks. They’re all beautiful, and Verde de Rio is just simply wonderful.
With this post, I’ve now reviewed 30 Robert Oster Signature inks (I still have 18 to go), and I can’t express how impressed I am with the quality and range of colors I’ve seen, especially from a relative newcomer in the industry. His inks are exploding in popularity, and it’s easy to see why.