Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Raphael Ink by De Atramentis

The De Atramentis Historical Figures line has some great ink colors and interesting combinations (Sherlock Holmes is a night sky color and is actually very similar to Diamine's Twilight). One that I've really come to like is Raphael. a deep indigo blue that's just a touch darker than lapis. I don't know if the great Renaissance painter Raphael has any particular affinity to this deep blue color, although he would have used this or something like it for the robes of Mary and Jesus. But I don't see any of his works that shout "Raphael Blue" for a particular color, unlike Botticelli's beautiful red-gold that he used in The Birth of Venus.

I've compared the De Atramentis Raphael to a few other blues, including Sherlock, Sheaffer Skrip Blue, and Sailor Gentle Ink blue black. Very different colors, with the Sheaffer Skrip being the only "common" ink of the group that doesn't take much effort to purchase. The Raphael ink stands out for the beauty and clarity of its color--it's not bright or a stand out, more subtle and quiet. You really aren't aware of the color until later, when you read over your writing and notice what a nice shade of blue this is.

The ink does shade a bit with my Moore flex nib, but I'd expect that to happen with any vintage flexible nib. Whether I can get the same effect in a Lamy or Pelikan remains to be seen, but even with fine Japanese nibs the deep indigo color is noticeable. Drying time is average, and it is not waterproof. Definitely one of the loveliest blues in my collection.

Did you know that 1 out of 3 cats prefers to nap with De Atramentis Raphael ink?


  1. De Atramentis inks in the historical figures line have long been a favorite. Hard to figure how Dr Jansen, the master behind it all settles upon what name to apply to what color. Sometimes name and ink seem a perfect match— the Charles Dickens looks exactly like what the writer would have used—and others leave you wondering. I'm guessing you would like the Hans Christian Andersen ink.

  2. That is a subtle shad of blue. Nice review, Diane. Your cat is adorable napping on your journal. I hope that bottle is plastic not glass, it looks precariously perched. :)

  3. That last photo is priceless. I bet you've started a new internet meme :) Wish I had a cat so I could shoot my ink bottles and fountain pens next to it.