Have you ever thought of using regular, non-fluorescent fountain pen ink as highlighter ink? More than once I’ve heard people wonder why ink companies bother creating fountain pen inks in light colors because when used for writing they can sometimes be hard to read. Besides being good for fans of bright colors, for artwork and for ink mixing, these colors are often valuable for use as highlighting inks!
I started out using J. Herbin Bouton d’Or regular yellow fountain pen ink for highlighters since it seemed the most obvious choice from my ink arsenal. I had such good results that I added Noodler’s Yellow to my calligraphy highlighter pens with similar good results. Recently I’ve been using J. Herbin’s Bleu Azur fountain pen ink in my Pelikan Script 2.0mm calligraphy pen and find that it’s the perfect shade of blue for highlighting.
We selected what we felt are the six lightest regular J. Herbin fountain pen ink colors and made some samples for you to take a look at. J. Herbin Bouton d’Or, Bleu Azur and Rose Tendresse are pretty typical “highlighter” colors (minus any fluorescence). Compared to your usual highlighter green, Vert Pré has more of a yellow tone to it and is a fresh, spring green. Diabolo Menthe is a pretty, light turquoise green that’s a fun alternative to regular highlighter blue. Bouquet d’Antan is to pink what denim blue is to blue, it’s kind of a faded, worn pink color that’s more subtle and easy on the eyes than blazingly fluorescent highlighter pinks. (We wish the combination of scanners and computer monitors would depict colors more accurately.)
These are our choices among J. Herbin’s wide variety of inks for use as highlighter colors. What do you think of these ink colors for highlighting? What are your favorite highlighting ink colors?
(This sample was made using a laser printer, cheap copier paper, a LAMY pen with a 1.9mm calligraphy nib, and a Pelikan Script with a 2.0mm nib. The ink descriptions come from the J. Herbin website. Sorry, I cannot seem to draw a straight line even if my life depended on it!)
J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink is a limited edition red ink created to honor the 340th anniversary of the J. Herbin ink brand. Since it is only available for a short time, I thought I’d better start my experiments with this ink right away!
For this ink mixing experiment I used 5 parts of some common J. Herbin ink colors with only 1 part J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink. Here are some the the results:
Bleu Pervenche plus 1670 Anniversary ink creates a dark purple-grey color. It looks rather like a purple-black when writing with it.
Rose Cyclamen with 1670 Anniversary ink makes a color that I would call “fruit punch”. It makes me want to reach for a tall glass filled with ice and something delicious!
Bouton D’or and 1670 Anniversary ink created an amazing scarlet or vermilion color that I really love. It is a bright orange-red color even when you are writing with it.
Perle Noire with a touch of 1670 Anniversary ink makes a conservative espresso brown, or a black-brown color.
The next mix that I did is a little more complicated. I used green ink mixed from 5 parts Bouton D’or and 1 part Bleu Pervenche. This green turns out to be quite similar to J. Herbin’s Vert Pré. When you use 5 parts of this green and one part 1670 Anniversary you get a rich milk chocolate color with some very nice shading!
Finally, Violette Pensée and 1670 Anniversary ink makes a plum color that really reminds me of Cabernet Sauvignon wine. If you are a fan of red wine I think you’re really going to love this ink color! Hmmm…. I seem to be sensing a food theme for the ink color descriptions today. I think it’s almost dinner time as I write this post.
My favorites of this experiment are the scarlet, milk chocolate and wine colors. How about you? Do you think you might try mixing any of these or other colors yourself while the 1670 Anniversary ink is still available?
I’m really not quite sure what I expected with this ink mixing experiment, but then that’s what experiments are for, aren’t they? The 1670 Anniversary red ink is one of J. Herbin’s most saturated ink colors, so adding just a touch of another ink color made almost no difference in some mixes, but other mixes offered a more dramatic change. I’m not sure how much you’ll notice in this scan, but anyway here it goes. I used 5 parts 1670 Anniversary red ink and one part of another color of J. Herbin ink.
1670 Anniversary ink mixed with Bleu Pervenche made a red-black looking ink with a purplish undertone.
I didn’t notice much of a change to the 1670 Anniversary color when I added Rose Cyclamen to it, however, I can see a tinge of magenta when there is shading.
Bouton D’or also did not change the color of the 1670 Anniversary ink much. If anything, it may have warmed up the color an eensy bit.
1670 Anniversary plus Perle Noire creates a conservative black-red color with noticeable red in the shading.
1670 Anniversary with bright green (created from 5 parts Bouton’Dor and 1 part Bleu Pervenche – similar to Vert Pré) makes dark red.
Adding Violette Pensée to 1670 Anniversary ink also creates dark red, but this dark red is more of a maroon color. This was my favorite new color from the experiment.
What are your favorite red fountain pen ink colors?
I had some fun the other night experimenting with mixing J. Herbin Gris Nuage grey ink with other colors of J. Herbin fountain pen inks. For this test I used the ratio of five parts Gris Nuage and one part the other color of ink. I used a Clairefontaine Basics notebook for the paper, which held up quite well despite being heavily doused with ink.
Gris Nuage plus 1670 Anniversary Rouge Hematite ink turned out to be a toned-down version of red, not as bright as the 1670 ink on its own. Not a dramatic change, but who would want to change this great red color anyway?
When Bleu Pervenche was added to Gris Nuage the result was a turquoise-grey color. Nice shading in this combination.
The big surprise was Bouton D’or turned Gris Nuage into a great army green color with lots of shading. This was my favorite result and I filled up my Pelikano Junior with this color immediately!
Gris Nuage plus Violette Pensee resulted in a dark purple-grey color as expected.
My second favorite result was the Gris Nuage and Rose Cyclamen combination. This turned out to be a satisfying purple color with pink undertones.
Anyone else have a favorite ink mixing combination using J. Herbin Gris Nuage ink?
At the risk of revealing my age, J. Herbin Violette Pensee fountain pen ink brings back pleasant memories of elementary school. I can still remember as a wee child getting assignments & homework in the form of handouts printed on an old hand-cranked mimeograph machine. It was best to get these handouts straight off the press since they would still be warm and had the fabulous smell of freshly mimeographed sheets. It’s hard to describe this pleasant smell, but I still remember it very clearly. Can anyone else remember this smell? (It has probably left me slightly brain damaged, but that’s a topic for some other day 😉 Another thing I liked about mimeographed assignments was the most common color used for the printing – a nice purple color. I found a sample of what this purple color looked like in the article Remembering the Ditto and Mimeograph by Harmon Jolley. It is difficult to accurately display purple colors in digital photos and on computer monitors, but in real life J. Herbin Violette Pensee ink is very similar in color to purple mimeograph “ink”.
I find Violette Pensee to be a very practical, yet very fun ink. It’s conservative enough (in my opinion) to be used everyday in a professional office environment, it’s blue-toned enough that even my husband doesn’t mind it, and it is dark enough to be used in fine nibbed fountain pens. It looks great on both white and ivory colored paper. The color brings back fond memories for me and it is unmistakably purple, not black, not blue, but purple which is a very creative color.
Like other J. Herbin ink I’ve used, this is a well-behaved ink that performs well on pretty much any decent paper, without feathering or bleed-through. It’s not waterproof. It has a decent drying time which is important for a lefty like me. Violette Pensee is available in both universal fountain pen ink cartridges and bottles. What’s your favorite purple fountain pen ink?