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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lightfastness Results of Fifteen More Ink Samples

As promised, here are the results of my lightfastness testing to date of the following inks:
  • Noodler's Bulletproof Black
  • Parker Quink Black
  • Private Reserve Gray Flannel
  • Diamine Graphite
  • Diamine Grey
  • Noodler's Lexington Gray
  • J. Herbin Gris Nuage
  • Iroshizuku Kiri-same
  • Omas Grey
  • Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogen
  • Iroshizuku Yama-guri
  • J. Herbin Cacao du Brasil
  • Diamine Damson
  • Caran D'Ache Storm
  • J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune
The left halves of these test sheets were in my south-facing studio window since April. The right halves were kept in a closed box in a cabinet.  It is worth noting that the sheets on the right, which were kept in darkness, have had no problem with retaining vivid colors, so please don't get nervous if you've been using these inks inside a book. They should be absolutely fine! These tests only reveal what happens when an ink is exposed to sunlight. If the inks you've used are not exposed to light, then these results are irrelevant.


Test sheet 2:




Test sheet 3:
You can click them to see larger, clearer images. I'm sorry that I'm not a better photographer, but even so, individual results are pretty clear. Most colors experienced fading, color shifting or both, but I feel the following inks had very little, if any, change:

  • Noodler's Bulletproof Black
  • Diamine Gray
  • J. Herbin Gris Nuage


Noodler's Bulletproof Black and J. Herbin Gris Nuage are both real workhorses for me, so I was delighted to see them perform so well. Some inks had so little change that I wouldn't worry at all about using them, though I still wouldn't be comfortable with exposure to UV light:

  • Omas Grey
  • J. Herbin Cacao du Brasil
  • J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune


I found it interesting that so many of the greenish grays lost some of their blue component, resulting in a yellowish-olive/umber tone, like Parker Quink Black, Private Reserve Gray Flannel, and Noodler's Lexington Gray. Diamine Graphite turned from a greenish gray to a more neutral gray. Iroshizuku Yama-guri (one of my personal favorite inks)  lost some of the cool color, transitioning to a much pinker color, whereas Diamine Damson lost some of its rosy glow and turned to a bluer, cooler violet. And who would have guessed that Caran D'Ache Storm would bleach out to pale orange?

Stay tuned for more lightfastness results tomorrow on 11 additional colors. To see previous lightfastness test results, click here. You'll always be able to find them easily by clicking "Lightfastness tests" on the left sidebar.


8 comments:

  1. Terrific tests, Jamie, thank you. Are any of your big winners waterproof? Can they be used in a fountain pen? (I know the bulletproof black is supposed to be waterproof, but it was not, for me...not sure why.)

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  2. Hi Kate. You're most welcome. I have and love your new book!

    All of these are fountain pen inks, so really none of them should be used for fine art that will hang on a wall and be exposed to light. I've not had the problem with Noodler's Bulletproof Black running on me that others have reported. It must be the sizing on the paper, which is preventing the ink from making contact with the cellulose fibers. Supposedly it is that interaction that makes it waterproof. You might want to try the Platinum Carbon Black Fountain Pen Ink. I like that one too, though it works better in some pens than others. (It's problematic in my Flex pen.)

    Noodler's Lexington Gray is a favorite of mine for inks that don't wash with water. As you can see above, it didn't fare so well in lightfastness tests, but in my sketchbook I'll continue to use it. Noodlers Kung Te-Cheng, which I adore, is totally waterproof and stood up extremely well on these lightfastness tests. I highly recommend that color! It's gorgeous and addictive!

    I still haven't found a totally waterproof brown fountain pen ink, but I'm going to keep looking!

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  3. Hi Jamie, sorry it took me a while to get back to you! I think it may also be humidity and how you're applying the Bulletproof inks...they work fine for my friend Vicky, using the same paper but living in a slightly dryer area.

    I use Platinum Pigment Sepia for a really gorgeous waterproof brown. Great stuff! But I haven't light-tested it...

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  4. Kate, thank you for your opinion about the Platinum Pigment Sepia. Sounds good! I'm going to order a sample. Then I'll test it for lightfastness, as well as compare the waterproof qualities alongside Noodler's #41 old formulation, and Noodler's #41 new formulation (both of which I already have).

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  5. That will be interesting! What color is the #41? Wonder what the difference in formulation is...

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  6. Kate, the #41 is the Noodler's Bulletproof Brown. Apparently some of the materials Nathan was using in the formulation of the ink are either no longer available, or would cause an outrageous hike in the price of the ink. So, he reformulated it with some changes in the ingredients. It looks great, but I want to test it more extensively later today or over the weekend, side by side with the old version, before I share any conclusions. :)

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  7. Looking forward to your report! How long does it take to show fading, normally? I've taken months, before!

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  8. Kate, since these are fugitive inks and not pigmented like paints, fading happens pretty quickly --- sometimes even within a few days or weeks! I have fugitive paints, like alizarin crimson, that have been in my window for years and still haven't showed much change! So, even the inks that have not changed in this seven month period (like Noodler's Kung Te-Cheng), I would not use for fine art that would be hung on a wall. I did just do the comparisons of the two Noodlers #41 Brown inks. You can see them on this post: http://hudsonvalleysketches.blogspot.com/2011/10/good-news-about-new-2012-noodlers-41.html

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