Another Set of Exclusive Inks from Robert Oster

Edit: I’ve added a picture of my final pen and ink sketch below. Enjoy!

Just when I thought I was done with acquiring new inks, Robert Oster comes along and creates some new exciting and exclusive inks. The first set that I blogged about a few days ago was an exclusive trio that included Charred Hickory, Hemp, and Blue River.

From a previous blog post, new exclusive Robert Oster inks from Vanness.

Now, there’s another set of exclusive ink colors that includes some beautiful and saturated colors. The trio of colors are called: Sedona Red, Saguaro Green, and Monsoon Sky.

Here’s the new set of Robert Oster exclusive colors from Pen Chalet.

The colors in this new palette reminds me of my time spent in Arizona many years ago. Unfortunately it was not for vacation time, but for work. I had an opportunity to travel and spend a few weeks with a team of fellow co-workers.

We spent our days and nights working on a project and then we were given time off on the weekend to go exploring. I grabbed my rental car keys and my girlfriends and we headed to Sedona. The red rocks of Sedona took my breath away. I have pictures of my adventure, but unfortunately will have to dig deep into my archives to locate them. For now, my color swatches, writing samples, and artwork will have to suffice.

The new colors are bright and bold.

Swatch cards, writing samples and my Prefountes filled with beautiful ink colors!

The only non-inked art pens I had available were my Prefountes with fine nibs. Sometimes I find it harder to draw with finer nibs and create a good water wash of colors. Here’s my artwork:

Sagauro Green used for the cactus and greenery. Sedona Red for the red rocks. Monsoon Sky used for the sky (of course). I also used RO Thunderstorm and Heart of Gold.

I was surprised at the Monsoon Sky color. The label on the bottle looked like a dark blue color. Once I applied the ink to the paper, I found it leaned more towards a beautiful teal blue color.

My plan is to continue working on my artwork and adding more color especially in the sky. I’ll be back to post a finished version later this week.

Stay safe and have a great day!

Here’s my final Sedona sketch.

Pens: Platinum Prefountes with 03 Fine nibs and TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1

Inks: Robert Oster Sedona Red, Saguaro Green, Monsoon Sky, Heart of Gold, and Thunderstorm.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta

More Pen and Ink Wash – Exclusive Inks from Robert Oster

I had a busy and productive weekend. I was able to spend some quality time sketching with my favorite fountain pens and inks.

Looks like I’m still in the tropical/ocean/beach mood. At least for the month of January.

Using the latest Robert Oster fountain pen ink colors

I was able to fill a page in my art journal. For the hermit crab I used Robert Oster Charred Hickory and Melon Tea for the shell and body and Thunderstorm for the shadows. For the whale, I used RO Hemp. For the shells, I used RO Blue River and Thunderstorm for the shadows.

Using a single ink color I can create some unique depths of color when I apply water using my water brush.

For the whale, I applied a first layer of ink color around the whale and then take my water brush to blend the ink on the paper. I continued to add additional layers of color letting each layer dry. For the darker areas, I added more layers of color.

Pens: Platinum Preppy (Carbon ink) and TWSBI GOs with stub 1.1

Tools: Pentel Water Brush small

Inks: Robert Oster Charred Hickory, Melon Tea, Hemp, Blue River, and Thunderstorm

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta

New Fountain Pen Inks!

With so many fountain pen ink colors available and from many different manufacturers, I never thought I would be devoted to one favorite ink brand. Yes, that would be Robert Oster Signature Inks. There is a reason why he is the king of blue inks and why artists drool over his ink colors. Yes, I am one of them.

This morning, I was in the midst of doing some artwork when a small packaged arrived. It caught me by surprise as I was not expecting to receive the inks until early next week. So, naturally I had to stop what I was doing and go play with my new bottles! I do have my priorities! Hahaha!

I wasted no time and filled my last three empty TWSBI GOs.

Believe or not these three colors are not duplicates in my RO ink stash. That’s how good his colors are!

A few weeks ago when I saw the three colors appear on my radar, I knew I wanted the Charred Hickory color. I have several brown inks, but nothing as bright as this color. The other two special colors made their way into my cart. They are exclusive inks. A collaboration between Robert Oster and Vanness.

Beside using swatch cards, I also have a swatch ink journal where I apply water washes over the ink to see what type of ink characteristics appear.

My ink swatch journal on the top part of the picture. On the bottom I swabbed the colors onto a paper towel and applied drops of water and watch the colors spread. Did you catch my mistake?

My ink swatch journal is a Stalogy 365 B6. The paper in this journal is thin and gives me an idea of what to expect when I sketch with the ink colors. This paper is also capable of showing me some shading and sheen qualities. Not the same as Tomoe River Paper (TRP) quality, but fairly close.

You can see from the paper towel sample, more than one color appears in each swatch. Turns out the Hemp (green) color is a lovely surprise. In case you are wondering, the blue swatch is called Blue River. Sorry about that. I was so excited to have the colors in my possession that I forgot to double check my work before taking the pictures.

My Col-o-ring swatch cards and paper towel swatch together

Robert Oster has created some amazing ink colors. Not just for writing in my journals, but for creating artwork. There are other ink manufacturers that I’m currently experimenting with (KWZ, Diamine, Taccia, etc) and I will share my ink experience and artwork in future posts.

Now, I need to go and finish what I was doing and also create more artwork with my new inks. Have a fantastic weekend!

Palm Tree Pen and Ink Wash

Some of you already know that I love to take pictures. This has been an ongoing hobby that started many, many years ago. I have a huge collection of pictures that I’ve been using to create my artwork. I don’t have a photographic memory and so I have to rely on my photos for shapes, size, colors, etc. I also use my photos to avoid any copyright issues.

I start my rough sketches with an HB pencil and go over my paper with a very light touch. Sometimes I do have to erase rogue lines and erasing the light lines will avoid tearing or roughing up my paper. I then take my Platinum Preppy filled with Carbon ink and gently go over certain areas of my sketch to show a few outlines of my shapes and also to show where I might want darker areas (shadows and shading) to be.

Here’s an initial sketch with my pencil, Carbon ink, and the first fountain pen ink (Robert Oster Gold Antiqua) application.

I leave a few pencil lines to remind me of where the object’s edges will be or lighter areas (e.g. right edge of the tree trunk). I applied carbon ink to the left side of the tree trunk to remind me to place darker shading

Once the initial sketch starts taking shape, I will continue to add other colored inks to my drawing. I typically start with the lighter colored inks and then work my way to the darker inks. I’m careful to watch where my light source is coming from and place the appropriate shadows. In my sketch, the light source (the sun) is coming from the upper right side of my paper. I applied more gold to the right side of the palm leaves or fronds to make them glow a bit and a few on the left side of the tree.

I apply a water wash over certain areas of my sketch. I do this in stages and by sections before the ink dries on the paper. A little bit of water goes a long way. That’s why I use the smallest brush size. By the way, the Pentel Water Brushes comes in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and Flat.

I’ve added the palm tree’s shadow at the bottom and on the left side of the tree. I applied a few lines RO Melon Tea and dabbed a bit of RO Thunderstorm into the Melon Tea and used 2-3 strokes of my water brush to blend the two inks together and careful not to overdue it. It’s okay to have some hard edges where the ink colors pool together.

I used two shimmering inks to add highlights to the palm fronds (Vert Atlantide and Heart of Gold)

I used the Melon Tea ink for the shading of the tree trunk (left side) and also used that color for the tree’s shadow. I use the Thunderstorm ink color for all of my base shadows and it mixes well with other colors on paper. It’s a dark blue black color the shades beautifully when water is applied to the ink. My palm tree looks grounded versus floating on the paper.

If I have diluted the ink on my paper too much, I will let that area dry completely. I go back with my pen and redraw the lines/shapes over the diluted/faded area.

All the ink colors I used to create my palm tree sketch

I have been carving out some “art time” during the day and enjoying my time playing with some gorgeous ink colors. I plan on showing some incredible inks in future posts. Stay Safe!

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs

Inks: Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide (shimmer) and Robert Oster Heart of Gold (shimmer), Eucalyptus Leaf, Thunderstorm, Melon Tea, and Gold Antiqua.

Tools: Platinum Preppy 02 Extra Fine nib and Platinum Carbon ink (permanent) and Pentel Water Brush (Small).

Paper: Strathmore 500 Premium Watercolor Cold Press

A New Rose Gold Ink & Shimmering Ink Experiences

Lately, I’ve been in the mood to draw and sketch with shimmering inks. I love sweeping my water brush over the sparkling colors and seeing the ink move around. Right now, half of my pens are filled with shimmering particles of various colors. I saw a new sparkling ink popped on my radar a few weeks ago and there was a lot of chatter about a rose gold shimmer. I saw a picture of the ink swatch, but it was hard to tell if this ink was going to wow me.

I was able to get my hands on a new bottle of ink for 2021 called Rose Gold Antiqua by Robert Oster. It’s a beautiful pinky ink and to me it’s a tiny bit on the dry side. Not wet and not too dry. Somewhere in between.

Here’s my Platinum Procyon Luster in Rose Gold and filled with this new ink

The actual base ink color is more of a dusky pink. I was able to validate the shimmer color by looking at the bottom of my bottle and saw a ton of rose gold shimmers staring back at me.

Close up of my swatch card and all that rose gold shimmery particles!

I knew ahead of time I would be keeping this ink color in rotation and I selected my Platinum Procyon Luster in Rose Gold pen. Most Platinum pens have the “slip ‘n seal” caps which keeps the nib/feed nice and wet. I’m pretty sure I will keeping this ink in this pen for at least two or more weeks.

I was able to write my pen & ink entry into my ink journal and do a quick sketch on my Rhodia paper along with a writing sample. Oh my! A ton of rose gold shimmers can be seen all over my paper.

Of course I have to share my writing sample and sketch

I left my pen on my desk overnight and came back to write some notes. I noticed my handwriting was getting lighter and lighter in color and finally no ink flowed out of the nib. Yes! We have a clog! Day #2! Hahaha!

I primed the nib with a damp paper towel. Removing any excess ink blob under the tip of the nib and at the top edge of the feed where it meets the nib. I also wiped the top of the nib and breather hole to make sure ink was still flowing. It was! Good sign!

I did my typical squiggles and lines across my paper to get the ink flowing into the nib. Still nothing. I primed my nib again and then decided to dip the nib and feed into some water. Again I wiped any signs of an ink blob under the tip of the nib. A few squiggles and my beautiful dusty rose ink was flowing again! Except, the rose gold shimmers were no where to be found. Where did they go?

I went ahead and stored my Procyon pen in a pen cup with its nib up. I wanted to wait and see how the pen and ink would perform a few hours later and the next day (Day #3).

Day #3 arrived and I found my Procyon writing brilliantly. Slowly, the rose gold shimmers started to appear again and I was writing a few paragraphs in my journal.

Day #4. I was able to write a sentence and then the ink slowly faded across my paper. Another clog! Primed. Squiggles. Dipped in water. Squiggles. Primed. Squiggles. It’s writing again.

This Rose Gold Antiqua reminds me of RO’s Australis Rose ink color without the shimmers of course. It definitely has more pink than his other shimmering Rose Gilt Tynte ink. Rose Gold Antiqua is lighter and not as “rosy” as his Blood Rose shimmering ink.

My favorite shimmering pink ink is still Robert Oster Blood Rose. It’s a true medium pink color that’s easy on the eyes and readable on paper.


For the last two weeks, I’ve been experiencing some clogging issues with my pens and shimmering inks. Some are not playing well together. I’m thinking it has to do with the timing in which I fill the converters. Yes, I give the bottles a decent shake and make sure the shimmers are mixed with the ink. I do immediately fill my pens. Maybe I should have waited 45-60 seconds before dipping my pen into the bottle. Do I want to fill my pen right away and maximize the ink’s characteristics? Or do I wait a bit to avoid having my pen clog? Priorities! Hahaha!

With the Robert Oster inks, I have had a few issues with the Schwarz Rose (TWSBI Diamond 580ALR-medium), Heart of Gold (TWSBI GO-stub1.1), and now Rose Gold Antiqua (Platinum Procyon-medium). I have been storing the pens nib up overnight to avoid further clogs. Over the next few days, it will interesting to see how these three pens perform as I will be carrying them in pen cases and not nib up all the time.

The other ink I had clogging issues with is Diamine Enchanted Ocean in my TWSBI GO with a stub 1.1 nib. Rarely, do I have an issue with Diamine shimmers. This will also be in my pen case for the next few days. We’ll see how it does as well.

My other current shimmering ink Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide is in my Conklin Endura Abalone (JoWo Omniflex nib) and performing brilliantly. No issues at all. I have not had any reason to store this pen nib up. It’s been writing flawlessly. As soon as the nib hits the paper, the ink is flowing nicely.

I’m sharing a bit of experience here. No need to be afraid to use shimmering inks. It’s just a matter of knowing how to remove the visible clogs, getting the ink to flow, and mostly enjoying the beautiful sparkling ink colors.

An Interesting Ink: Schwarz Rose

A few pen-friends mentioned and recommended Schwarz Rose to me, but that color never made it onto my inky wish list. Initially, I thought the ink was too dark for me to use. Was it a black ink color? Or a green? Was that a pinky shimmer I saw?

As I was placing my last ink order for the year, this ink appeared on my radar again. I thought let’s give this ink a try. I’m so glad I did!

Oooops! I misspelled Schwarz. There is no “t” in the name.

Can you see what this ink is doing in the above picture? There is so much color and so much shimmer. I am talking rose gold shimmers. The ink itself is a dark saturated green color. In certain lighting the ink color can look almost black. Did I mention the rose gold shimmers? I had to tilt the bottle over to see what shimmering color was sitting at the bottom of the bottle. Some folks mentioned copper, but to me it looks more like rose gold.

Wow! Right?

How about a few close up pictures?

A lot of shimmer came out of my pen!
It looks pinky/rose gold to me!

I have to add that a few minutes after writing my sample and creating my quick sketch, my TWSBI stopped writing. Squiggles and lines on my paper produced nothing. I primed my nib with a damp paper towel. A few lines came out and then the ink stopped flowing.

Here’s the results of trying to get the TWSBI and ink to work. You can see the ink is trying to flow. My test paper is a sheet of HP Premium 32.

I ended up dipping my nib/feed into some water. I could see the ink flowing out and swirls of color floating in the water. After a few more scribbles and lines, the ink was flowing again. I decided to leave my TWSBI alone and let the ink settle down. I stored the pen nib up in my pen cup.

An hour later, I went to check on my pen and it is writing nice and wet. So, I’ll place my pen nib up in the pen cup for a few more hours and write a few paragraphs in my journal to make sure the ink is flowing.

This ink is beautiful and stunning at the same time. The ink has a lot of personality. It’s an interesting dark green color and I’m looking forward to using this ink in my pen/ink water wash sketches.

(“J”: This is another fab color! The rose gold shimmers really stand out against the dark green! You made another great choice! BTW…still waiting)

My Ink…Finally Arrived

Note: This had nothing to do with shipping issues, other than my bottle of ink made a pit stop in Houston on Christmas eve before arriving to its final destination. I’ve been waiting for this ink since the middle of September.

What say you? I did a pre-order for this ink. I knew just by looking at the color that this ink would be special. I waited. Patiently. Saw other online shops were slowly getting their inventory. There were a few times I was going to jump ship and go with another online store, but I was getting a really good price for this ink. So, I waited some more. My online shop of choice was more than likely going to be the last one to get theirs. They did. Right before Christmas. They immediately shipped my bottle which probably ended up in one of those USPS pictures you saw where boxes were piled so high at the sorting facility. Hahaha!

Introducing Jacques Herbin’s latest addition: Vert Atlantide. This ink was worth the wait!

You can see in the picture that my Conklin Abalone was going to be a perfect match for this Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide. Not my chrome trim version, but my rose gold version.

Now, I have prior experience with using Jacques Herbin shimmering inks. Personally, it’s the best shimmering ink to use in a non-vintage fountain pen. Jacques Herbin shimmering inks are wet inks. They have less shimmering particles in their inks versus Diamine or Robert Oster. It would appear that the pens would be easier to clean. It is, but you still may have some shimmering residuals to deal with. Still, it won’t be loads of particles that you would see from the other two brands I just mentioned. Okay. Onto more pictures….

I actually made a mistake in my sketch of the bottle. There’s a lighter green shade at the bottom of the bottle that’s not the Vert Atlantide ink. I accidentally picked up the wrong pen which had Monteverde Olivine and used it for the shadows. Ooooops! Still, looks pretty cool!

Note: Make sure you read my caption in the picture. Ooooops! That’s what happens when I have too many pens on my desk and reach for the wrong one while I’m sketching.

This Vert Atlantide shimmering ink is…beautiful! I love a good green color. Not too dark and not too light or bright. This one lands right in the middle. I was going through my other color swatches and the closest color that I have (non-shimmering) is Robert Oster Sydney Darling Harbour. So, if you are looking for a shimmering version of Sydney Darling Harbour…Vert Atlantide is a great choice.

I think Robert Oster has the closest match. You can also see how dry the Graf von Faber-Castell ink is in comparison to the other two. That’s what I typically find with Faber-Castell…they are dry inks.

I gave my bottle a good shake and checked the bottom of the bottle to make sure no shimmers were stuck. After a good shaking (of any bottle), l always do my ink swatches. That gives the ink time to mix, settle, and bubbles to disappear. After the swatching, I can give the ink bottle a gentle shake and fill my pen.

When I was filling my Abalone pen, I made sure I dipped my pen all the way into the shimmers. I wanted to see everything this ink had to offer!

You can see how much shimmer is on my swatch card, including my writing. There’s silver and gold shimmers!

You can see how wet this ink is on my swatch card. Hardly any streaks towards the bottom. Oh the shimmers! Not too much to distract from the color. Beautiful intense ink color. Easy on the eyes to read. Oh and did I mention the subtle shimmers of silver and gold?

Remember to ignore the light green at the bottom 1/3 of the bottle. Wrong color. My boo-boo.

This “350” ink is an anniversary ink celebrating the launch of the Jacques Herbin brand in 1670 (Paris). It’s a limited edition ink. I’m not sure what that means, but there are still plenty of bottles available online.

Jacques Herbin did a great job with this color and the blend of different shimmers. This might be my favorite shimmer for 2020. That says a lot about this ink.

My First Benu Fountain Pen

I found Benu and Galen Leather under our tree and in person!

Just wanted to say that I have an awesome Hubby. He supports me in all the hobbies I have under my belt. Whether it’s my left brain for building home computers (years ago) and enjoying new gadgets or my right brain that sews masks (currently), puts vinyl designs on coffee cups and water jugs, creates little watercolor paintings for gifts, and “dabbles” in pen and ink. Did you get all that? He supports me and is my cheerleader.

Naturally, he had asked me “what do you want for Christmas”? Only this time, it was a bit earlier than usual to ask. I have to mention. Here and right now. My man does not like to shop. In the stores. When he needs work clothes (works at a nursery/garden center), we go out one day for a few hours and pick out some rugged pants and all weather boots. Try them on. We are done. For the year.

I knew he would need some help and we had plenty of time. I mentioned to him about a Bora Bora pen. I mentioned Galen Leather and I helped him out by placing the orders.

It’s one thing to see pictures of pens and desk accessories and then to know they are in boxes hidden away for several weeks. Hahaha!

Which brings me to the above picture. I did not realize I would be getting a pad of Tomoe River Paper to match my new pen! How cool is that?! Oh yeah, more pictures of the pen…please. Here it is! My Benu Euphoria in Bora Bora!

My first Benu pen. Sitting on the Galen mahogany pen rest.
I think we need a closer look at the colors.

I took the cap off the pen and grabbed my loupe. To check the nib and tines. Yes. I always do that to a new pen. Looked perfect. I did a few scribbles and I could tell the nib would be smooth. I went ahead and grabbed my Col-o-ring ink swatch cards to see which Robert Oster ink would become one with my new pen. Fire and Ice!

I dipped my pen into the bottle and filled the included converter up with ink. Screwed the body into the pen went to add an entry in my Ink Journal and got nothing. On paper. I tried a few scribbles. Nothing. What?!

I grabbed my loupe and checked the tines. I could see “daylight” between the tines. Ummm…that would be good to see when there is no ink in the pen. Not in this case. I just filled this pen and there should be ink in between the tines to suggest flow.

I did notice at the tip of the nib I could not see “daylight”. No space. At all.

A light bulb popped into my head. I went looking for a brass shim that I purchased last year from Goulet. I never had to use it until now. The brass shim is an extremely thin sheet of brass. It’s used to file away metal.

I stuck a small corner of the brass shim in between the tines and gently pulled it towards the tip and then away from the nib. Tried to write a few more squiggles on paper and nothing. I placed the corner of the shim again in between the tines and this time I gently moved the shim up and down towards the tip and moved the shim up and down on the tip once and then away from the nib. That worked brilliantly! I double checked the nib with my loupe and sure enough the space between the tines had ink. I grabbed my Ink Journal and made an entry.

You can see the brass shim on the lower left. Take a look at the upper corner of the shim and you can see marks from where the shim was in contact with my pen’s tines/tip. It really does work!

I was able to write with my new pen and oh it was a joy to see the ink flowing onto my paper. Check out my writing sample.

All I can say is Wow! Another EDC for me! Extremely smooth writing experience.

I think we need a closer look at this beauty.

Love the silver and gold shimmery effect with the turquoise background.

I’m impressed with this Benu pen. It’s lightweight. Comfortable in my hand. Well balanced as I write with it. I’m getting used to not posting my pens. This model can be posted, it just lengthens the pen a bit. I do not notice any imbalance when posted.

This pen is well made. It comes with a converter and a long international ink cartridge. That’s a huge plus for me as I prefer to use long cartridges (when I can) and its huge ink capacity.

The nib. My pen has a Medium nib. A Schmidt nib. It is smooooooth! Hardly any feedback. Unbelievable pen. It’s now my second fave pen. Right behind my Estie OS Sparkle Montana Sapphire. Yeah, I know. Wow!


Using a brass shim. I would use the shim only when needed. It removes metal in a fine manner. That’s why I used it gently. Remember a little bit at a time. To give you an idea, I had no reason to use one until now.

A Pen & Ink Sketch on Christmas Day

A Christmas day stocking. When the sketching mood hits, I have to grab my pens and just draw something.

So, this sketch is a much more subdued pen and ink drawing. More thought was put into it. Placement of object(s) on my paper, angle of the stocking, shading, etc. Still trying to avoid getting into the details. Sketch loosely. Leaving enough white on the paper. That’s a hard one for me. The white areas you see in the stocking have no ink and no water in that area. That’s where my happy surprises come about. While I would love to see soft edges, hard edges are just as nice. Plus when the ink and water dries, the sketch looks different.

That poinsettia sketch in the previous post was pretty wild. I enjoyed the spontaneous process of not thinking about it too much when I had my inky nibs on the paper. Then I had to figure out when to stop. Because I was having too much fun. Playing with all the beautiful colors. Like the bold reds!

Robert Oster Signature inks used: Red Candy, No Fixed Address (shimmer), Thunderstorm, Silent Nite, Eucalyptus Leaf, Peppermint, and Heart of Gold (shimmer).

Fountain Pens: TWSBI GOs Stub 1.1

Water brush: Pentel

Journal: Stillman & Birn Zeta


Sketch loosely. Don’t get lost in the details. Objects closer to me will show more details. Objects further away will have less and can be blurred.

Work in layers and let each layer dry before adding more color or more water.

Perfection doesn’t exist in my art vocabulary. Practice sketching daily. Quick sketches. Sketch shapes and shadows. Things around the desk, the kitchen, food, cups, tools, etc.

Keep a pad of paper or a journal on the desk/creative place for quick doodles. (Oh…this sounds like a great idea for a future post).

Check This Out!

I have to admit, I enjoy matching my fountain pen inks with my fountain pens. It comes natural to me. Okay, it helps that I have a lot of inks to choose from.

You can imagine what went through my mind when I purchased a pack of hair clips. One of the clips caught my eye. I just knew the perfects pens to go with it.

My hair clip and matching pens

It didn’t take long for the lightbulb to go off in my head. I gathered my pens and took a quick picture.

Still. It would be cool to find a matching resin fountain pen. Hmmmmm….

Happy Friday!