Pausing for Station Identification: Most of My Swatch Cards

Today is day 3 of the Diamine inky calendar. I’m pausing my blog as I need to spend some time tackling today’s unique chameleon inky color and find some decent matches from my collection.

Speaking of my swatch collection, I wanted to share with my readers what I look at when I typically see a color I’m interested in. Do I have this particular color in my collection? For example, for the first few weeks of December what swatches come close to the daily colors I see. What is the base color? What are the underlying colors? Is there any sheen and how much? If it’s a shimmering, what color(s) do I see?

I process a lot of color information in my head and as a watercolor artist who enjoys mixing paint colors, I tend to see a range of colors that an average person may not see or recognize at first. Okay, let’s get back to my blog post on swatch cards.

I create and keep swatches of the many bottles of inks I have in my collection. The pictures in this blog post does not include the sample ink vials I also have. Awhile back, I’ve stopped swatching the many vials of ink as they were a waste of time for me and resources. If the color did not appeal to me, why create a swatch card?

Let me introduce to you to my largest swatch collection on a rather large binder ring. Here is my Robert Oster Signature swatch ring.

Yes, I am a big fan of Robert Oster inky colors. I’ve lost count on the number of bottles I have. I’ve probably used half of his colors in one of my many pen & ink wash sketches. My RO shimmering colors are at the front of my ring (upper right) and stop at the white Col-o-ring card. This rather large collection is organized by colors. I enjoy using these inks for writing in my journals and for my pen & ink washes on a variety of art paper.

My next largest binder ring is a collection that contains several of my favorite inky manufacturers. This ring is organized by ink manufacturers and colors. This ring includes Birmingham, Colorverse, Diamine, Jacques Herbin, Platinum, Private Reserve, Rohrer & Klingner, Sailor, Taccia, Van Dieman’s Ink, and Vinta Inks. These are the inks I would use for both writing and sketching in my journals and art papers.

My next largest ring contains a smattering of bottles of inks I have, but may not use the ink on a regular basis. Many bottles/colors end up on this ring which I would use for writing in my journals and not necessary use in my inky sketches. This ring is organized by ink manufacturer and color.

Here’s is my swatch family together.

I do have smaller rings of swatch cards. For example I keep all my Red Inkvent swatch cards on a smaller 1″ binder ring. I keep a small ring for my shimmering inks organized by color. That ring includes shimmering inks from various ink manufacturers. My Anderillium test swatches are still in its own ring.

When I have a few minutes later today I’ll try to remember to capture pictures of the other smaller rings I have and update this blog post.

In the meantime, I need to pull out my swatch cards for today’s chameleon inky color.

My Opus 88 Mini vs Omar Fountain Pens

I saw a fellow fountain pen user ask a question about the diameter sizes between my Opus 88 Mini and my Opus 88 Omar. I thought I would show a few pictures and try my best to show the differences!

When you read the specs about the diameter in mm, it might appear to be a slight difference between two fountain pens. When you put each pen in hand, I can say that there will be a noticeable difference between these two pens.

It’s better for me show in pictures and then try to describe what you might see and feel. So here we go.

Here are the two pens side by side with their caps off.

Let’s take a look at each pen individually. Here is my pen and it appears to be a short and chunky fountain pen. It really is!

In this close up picture, the section has a slight taper towards the nib and feed.

Here is my Opus 88 Omar.

The section is also tapered towards the nib and feed and there is a slight lip at the edge.

Here is a side view of both pens. The section on my Mini is quite a bit shorter than my Omar. At the top section of my Mini there is a thick metal band.

My Mini takes a #5 JoWo nib while my Omar takes a #6 JoWo nib.

Personally, the section of my Omar feels comfortable in my hand and I prefer #6 nibs for extended writing. Every time I start writing with my Mini it takes me awhile to get used to the shorter section and the thick metal band.

I basically use my Mini for taking quick notes and mostly for sketching. I prefer to use my Omar for longer writing sessions.

I hope my picture helps some of you who are undecided whether to get an Opus 88 Mini. Would I purchase another Mini? Probably not. One is enough for me.

Pens: Opus 88 Mini Love in Bloom with Franklin-Christoph Stub nib & filled with Diamine Subzero (Red Inkvent). Opus 88 Omar with Stylosuite EF Xwing Harpoon flex nib & filled with Colorverse Hayabusa (glistening).