A few months ago, I reviewed Jacques Herbin Violet Boreal (see review here). In the same purchase, I picked up Bleu Austral and Bleu Minuit, both of which are blue inks. Today, I’ll be reviewing Bleu Austral, a dark teal/peacock blue.
This ink and I had a rough start. When I received the three inks, Bleu Austral was the one I was most interested in so I inked up a pen (Platinum 3776 Bourgogne B – not too wet, not too dry) as soon as I unpacked the box. I had some Cream 68gsm (original) Tomoe River Paper on hand so that’s what I tested the ink with and my goodness, the feathering and bleed through that I saw, I’d never seen that in any Tomoe River paper of any sort ever. It was seen on multiple unused pages so it wasn’t a hand oil issue either. The pen was practically unusable. It wasn’t a great start for the new ink.
I have always found J. Herbin (or Jacques Herbin) inks to be wet and problematic on most papers I’ve tried, but Tomoe has always been able to tame them. This was not a good start to the experience, especially in a pen that I know not to be too wet. I didn’t experience any major issues with Violet Boreal and I’ve not yet tried Bleu Minuit so it was a bit surprising.
A few months later, I tried Bleu Austral again and I didn’t experience the same level of problems with 52gsm original Tomoe River (or new TR). There were still a few tiny dots of bleed through, but nothing deal breaking like the original experience, so I’m not entirely sure what happened that first time round.
Bleu Austral is an extremely pigmented teal blue, which is a really beautiful colour. Think Ku Jaku but deeper. It really is a beautiful colour. Its very deep however, so I didn’t see any shading except in the 1.1mm italic nib, and only on Tomoe and Cosmo.
For an ink this pigmented, I was also surprised to see that there was hardly any sheen. Only a small bit can be found on Tomoe River paper.
For Rhodia, the ink bled through significantly and feathered on the top as well. There was also dots of ink coming through 52gsm Tomoe River (OR and New – not pictured) which isn’t entirely unheard of and nothing that renders the back page unusable (for me). I didn’t see any bleed through or feathering on Cosmo and no bleed through on Fabriano.
For me, the key feature of these Jacques Herbin inks is the beautiful bottle that it comes with. For the environmentally conscious you can also purchase these by the ml in select stores. I’m not sure that I will keep this ink, it’s a bit too problematic for easy use.
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