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Ink Rainbow

Posted in Ink

I’ve got another tag post today, but it actually originates in the fountain pen world this time! Issue 338 of Ink Journal (6/11/23) featured Ginger Peachy Pens‘ YouTube video, A Rainbow of Ink Faves TAG #InkRainbow23.

An ink rainbow seems especially apropos given that it’s pride month. I’m following Sarah’s rule of going with the first ink to come to mind in each color category, but I’m adjusting the color categories somewhat.

I don’t have enough pink inks to need a magenta-specific category, but I do have enough gray inks to warrant their own category. I also have enough blues and purples to add blue-black and blurple.

Because I, like many of us, have way too many inks, narrowing down to one, even by limiting to the first that comes to mind, was rough. So, I’m stretching the rules a bit to allow myself honorable mentions. But I won’t include swatches for those.

I’ve done my best to photoshop the individual ink swatches to look true-to-life, but that’s easier said than done, especially with any color that has red in it. I have not edited the color on the full rainbow. Click on any swatch image to view it larger.

One last important thing, I’m sticking to ink I own bottles of. Sadly, for me, this disqualifies some fantastic inks I haven’t gotten around to buying yet, like Krishna Bamboo Shoots, Colorverse Delicious Sleep, and Inkebara Brown Gray.

Without further blathering, let’s jump into my rainbow.

Laban Aphrodite Pink

Pink: Laban Aphrodite Pink

I was hesitant to pick this one up originally, expecting it to be a pale blush pink. But, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s a brownish pink, plenty dark to be readable in even EF nibs.

While Aphrodite Pink is the first ink that came to mind, I also adore Birmingham Pen Co.’s Chrysan Themum.

Diamine Poppy Red

Red: Diamine Poppy Red

I was tempted to lie for this one. Because, while Poppy Red came to mind first, it’s not my favorite red. It’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong; it’s saturated, bright, and well-behaved. But, Diamine Matador wins out when taking into account my personal preferences.

J. Herbin Orange Indien

Orange: J. Herbin Orange Indien

If you haven’t tried this ink yet, order yourself a sample. It’s very well-behaved, especially for an orange ink. I love that it isn’t a screaming orange. Instead, it’s a bit darker, so you can read a full page of writing easily, but it’s still a quintessential orange. It’s become the only ink I put in my Platinum Izumo Kurikara Ken.

Colorverse Adobe

Yellow/Gold: Colorverse Adobe

Adobe is a fantastic color, and I love the hint of green when you lay down enough ink. I also appreciate the cool-leaning yellow. It’s so much easier on the eyes than the searing orange-yellows like Daikokuten — not that I don’t love those, too. But Adobe, like Orange Indien, is comfortable to read, even when you’ve written an entire page.

Colorverse Walk the Dog

Green: Colorverse Walk the Dog

I love how desaturated and grungy this one is. There’s some good shading, with a hint of multishading when you consider the slight yellow tinge you can get.

I have two honorable mentions for green: J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage — probably my favorite emerald green — and Birmingham Pen Co Artichoke — one of my favorite yellow-greens.

Diamine Eau de Nil

Teal/Turquoise: Diamine Eau de Nil

I’ve loved this ink for a long time, but, for some reason, don’t end up using it anywhere near as much as I’d expect. I need to fix that.

My honorable mention for this category is Vinta Inks Sirena. I love the multishading.

Diamine Presidential Blue

Blue: Diamine Presidential Blue

I don’t have as many straight blues as I used to. My blue inks tend toward turquoise, blue-black, and blurple. But, Presidential Blue is a fabulous, non-obnoxious, blue. I love that there is some shading, but even at its darkest, the blue is still somewhat desaturated.

Taccia Grey Jeans

Blue-Black: Taccia Grey Jeans

I don’t know how many people would consider this a blue-black. But, it’s definitely a blue with a lot of black, it’s just significantly lighter than most people typically expect.

My honorable mentions in this category are more along the lines of typical blue-blacks: DeAtramentis Madame de Pompadour and Diamine Prussian Blue.

Sailor Many Nekoyanagi

Blurple: Sailor Manyo Nekoyanagi

I love this ink. I’m such a sucker for multishaders and this one has enough to be interesting without so much as to become a completely different color.

My honorable mention is Vinta Inks Pluem. It’s Nekoyanagi without the multishading. It has shimmer, but you can let it sit to fall out of suspension and you’d never know.

Birmingham Pen Co California Raisin

Purple: Birmingham Pen Co California Raisin

I’ve loved this ink from the moment I got it. It’s fabulously dusky, but light enough to not turn black in wet nibs.

Honorable mention goes to Colorverse Milky Lavender. It’s just stunning.

Troublemaker Moon River

Brown: Troublemaker Moon River

I never know quite which color to classify Moon River as. It has pink, brown, and gray. It’s such a fun color. When I write with it, though, it tends to look brown, so that’s what I’m calling it.

Honorable mentions go to Colorverse Coffee Break — a lovely warm brown — and Diamine Macassar — a great milk chocolate brown.

Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri Same

Gray: Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri Same

Kiri Same is my favorite warm gray ink. There’s no confusing it with pencil lead, which is good. Also the warmth makes it more interesting than a watered-down black.

Honorable mentions go to J. Herbin Gris Nuage — a cool gray — and Caran d’Ache Infinite Grey — the closest thing I own to a neutral gray.

Alright, that’s all of the ink categories! Here’s my entire ink rainbow together. I think it’s rather pretty. And thanks to Sarah for starting this tag!

Full ink rainbow of swatches, from pink to gray.

What do you think of my ink rainbow? What would yours look like? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading to the end, I hope you enjoyed my post. Make sure to subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss any posts. I generally post at least once a week.


  1. Beautiful! Your fountain pen ink swatch rainbow is a joy to see. Thank you for curating the lovely arc of inks, a few familiar, and most new to me. I really appreciate your including the also-ran inks worth honorable mention (to look up separately.) Glad Pen Addict saw your little masterpiece and promoted your blog with this colorful treat. – RJ

    June 25, 2023
    • I’m happy you enjoyed it. 😊 May you find a new favorite among the new-to-you inks. 😊

      June 25, 2023

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