Thursday, March 27, 2014

Product Review: Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi Ink

3/27/14 Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi ink, Strathmore 400 140 lb. paper
Not unlike some human relationships, I have complicated, ambivalent feelings about Pilot Iroshizuku inks. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a love/hate relationship – I definitely love most of them. The colors are rich and vibrant, and they flow beautifully wet in every pen I’ve used them with. Their price – $28 a bottle at and, a little less at – causes some of my ambivalence (though when purchased as $2.50 samples from GouletPens, I’m quite happy).

Most of my ambivalence comes from wimpy washes I’ve seen with some colors. A couple months ago I complained about Kiri-Same, and last December I was disappointed with Take-Sumi. But maybe it was my line work that was wimpy and not the ink wash, because I’ve definitely had a change of heart about Take-Sumi (Bamboo Charcoal).

To write and draw with, Take-Sumi is a nice, solid black, but nothing special; with the pens I use, I’ve not seen any shading. It’s the application of water, though, that makes it sing. If I lay down a fairly heavy line, the wash I get with Take-Sumi is a complex mix of blue, gray and even some brown. (With the right pen, I suppose you’d see this in the shading; let me know if you do.) It’s become one of my favorite inks to use when sketching people because I can achieve delicate shading on faces.

I’ve previously admitted to a blind love for Iroshizuku inks. But right now I have my eyes wide open, and I’m back in love with Take-Sumi. (I may have to re-evaluate other colors, in case I’ve misjudged them also.)

11/6/13 Take-Sumi ink, Sketchbook Project sketchbok

4/2/13 Take-Sumi ink, Stillman & Birn Alpha

1 comment:

  1. It does give you nice shading, but I don't see any touches of brown. I really like that top sketch...a perfect pose!


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