Private Reserve Blue Suede Ink Review

You can click on any of the images below to get a larger, clearer view.

Stillman & Birn Epsilon 5.5x8.5" Hardbound book
Border prepared with Golden and F&W Acrylics
Private Reserve Blue Suede ink, washed with a waterbrush

Private Reserve Blue Suede ink is so color-saturated that I probably should have put up a sunglasses warning icon at the top of the post! As winter gets colder, this color conjures up images of clear Caribbean waters and tropical skies. I love it. Not only is it colored strongly enough to create great washes, but it also shades when writing with it.

Here are some closeups of writing done with this ink using several different pens. These were done in a Stillman and Birn Alpha book, and posted previously in my long post on shading inks (though not in this closeup form.)

First up are three dip pens. Each crosshatched section was allowed to dry, and then washed with a brush dipped in water.

Below is Blue Suede with three fountain pens, which display better shading than the dip pens did:

I liked the broad range of shading that was present with the flex nib, so I wrote up a page of quotations, posted below. (Check out that first one from Erma Bombeck! Can any of you relate to that? LOL)

The writing in this sketch was also done with Blue Suede.

So, what's not to love? Well, I do wish the ink would hold a bit more line when washing with a wet brush. I had to go back once it was dry and restate some of the linework on the sketch where I had washed a lot, and put the darkest darks back in. Still, it didn't give up the line as easily as many others do. I haven't tested it for lightfastness yet, so we'll put that assessment on hold for now, and I'll start testing it soon, along with some other new samples. In the meantime, if you love teal and turquoise, you're definitely going to want a bottle of Private Reserve Blue Suede!


  1. Hi Jamie, this is KP commenting here. I don't know why my google account says "Anon", but I can't fix it just this moment. So, anyhoo....

    I am loving the fact that this sketch is entirely in blue suede! and not a "serious" color - like sepia, or ...whatever. I'm enjoying watching you have fun, Jamie. You really seem to be in your element. It's very inspiring.

  2. KP, thank you so much. We artists work so much with those muted, traditional colors; every once in awhile, it's fun to let go and do something really vibrant!