I have a sneaking adoration of orange inks, partly because they’re so different from the dark, heavy colours I normally write with; they’re like a palate-cleanser.
It’s also that they typically shade wonderfully, and are dark enough to use for writing (which yellow inks often aren’t).
So of my nearly 80 bottles of ink, I’ve managed to pick up a few oranges. Diamine Autumn Oak is a favourite, mainly because it shades so gloriously. It beats KWZ El Dorado on that score. And I have Kaweco Sunrise Orange (see my review here), a decent enough ink, although I only have it in cartridge form so rarely use it. Kyo-iro Moonlight of Higashiyama could best be called orange, although it’s straying more into red, next to Diamine Ancient Copper, another ink I adore.
On impulse I picked up a bottle of Sailor Kin-Mokusei at the LWES, and although I’m still on my first fill with it, I’d say it’s in the running to be my favourite “true” orange yet.
Why? It’s not the shading, which is decent but not nearly as spectacular as Autumn Oak’s. It’s not the handling, even though it behaves well, just like all my Sailor inks. No, what really does it for me is how it looks when wet.
See, most orange inks I’ve tried look a little green around the gills when they go on to the page. There’s a sickly undertone that makes the wet ink look unpleasant, which then vanishes upon drying to leave a beautiful warm orange. It’s the one thing that really puts me off both El Dorado and Autumn Oak. But Kin-Mokusei is utterly free of this vice. It looks like clarified orange squash, practically neon, whether it’s on the nib or dried on the page.
As a bonus, it’s transparent in the squat Sailor bottle, giving you a rare view of the little ink miser that Sailor uses, and a wonderful glow if you hold the bottle up to the light.
So: it’s probably not a daily user, but what an ink for putting a smile on your face!