Monday, August 31, 2015

ONLY PICTURES FOR NOW...

Pretty nibs group photo
While I'm working hard to get ready for the final two exams next week, I just can't find the time to publish new material. So to break the blogging silence that's going on, here are some of the pictures that I took recently. They'll give you a sneak peek of what's coming in the next months!

Exactly one week from now, when my exams are over, I'll start working on some more reviews, so stay tuned!

PS: I can make some of these available as wallpapers for your computer (or smartphone, or tablet,...). If that's something you'd be interested in, let me know in the comments!
pencil madness!
Edison Collier Antique Marble
Graphite gear
Lamy Studio brushed steel

Friday, August 21, 2015

INKTASTIC: DIAMINE EVERGREEN

I have quite a soft spot for dark green inks. So when I was shopping around for inks at La Couronne Du Comte, I couldn't resist picking up a bottle of green ink. As It was the first time I actually got around to buying Diamine inks, I decided to go with Diamine Evergreen to satisfy my need for more green ink!
And that choice turned out to be an excellent one! It's funny how, even if you own over sixty different inks already, new purchases never look like something you already own. I honestly had my doubts about getting this particular color, as I thought it would be an exact replica of Sailor Jentle Tokiwa-Matsu, which turned out not to be the case. (I didn't picture the Tokiwa-Matsu swab below, but it is a bit lighter, which makes the shading a bit more prominent, and it has sheen which evergreen hasn't)
Evergreen is a fairly subdued dark green. I guess it could be categorized as 'Green-Black', as it's quite a lot darker than what would qualify as a 'normal' dark greens (Kaweco Palm Green for example, as seen above, apears much lighter compared to evergreen). On the other hand, it isn't washed out like J.Herbin Vert Empire (Even though I really do enjoy that one!). Diamine Evergreen makes for a nice intermediate: dark enough for daily use, but still with a splash of color to it. 
Properties of the ink are good. It's not an overly wet ink, but performance doesn't suffer from that at all. It's well-behaved ink, and didn't cause any problems with flow so far. There's definitely some shading present, but it's not over the top. I've had a few troublesome experiences with green inks that didn't behave well at all. This one however, doesn't seem to have a tendency to bleed or feather, at least not on decent paper.
Diamine inks normally com in 80ml bottles, at a pretty fair price of 8 EUR/ 14 USD. At that price point, it's one of the cheaper inks around (price/ml ratio is excellent), but it's also one of the better ones I've used lately!

Note: La Couronne Du Comte Supports this blog. I received a discount on this purchase, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared here are completely my own! This review does not contain any affilate links.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

PALOMINO BLACKWING PEARL PENCIL REVIEW

Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil
It's time for more pencil talk! A few weeks ago, we discussed the ever so popular Palomino Blackwing 602 pencil. Today, we'll take a look at another type of Blackwing: the Palomino Blackwing Pearl!
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil
The Pearl comes in a pearlescent -somewhat metallic- white finish, with the typical blackwing brass ferrule and black eraser. Finish is one of the aspects Palomino really got down. The laquer coating is absolutely flawless, which can't always be said about woodcased pencils. 

Personally, I like the white pearlescent finish a bit better than the metallic grey 602. I really like how the white finish is contrasted by the black imprint and eraser. I would have loved it even more if they had replaced the gold-colored ferrule with a silver one. But then again, production of a new ferrule would've definitely upped the production cost on an already fairly expensive pencil. 
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil
The unique ferrule on the Blackwing is what differentiates a Blackwing from the rest, at least on a visual level. But it also changes the way it feels in the hand. Woodcased pencils in general are very light, so the larger ferrule on the Blackwing adds a small but noticeable amount of weight. Because of this, the balance is ever-so slightly more towards the back, which gives it a more substantial feel in the hand. 
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil
When it comes to performance, the Pearl is a bit of a special one in the Blackwing lineup. Its graphite core is situated somewhere in between the extremely soft Blackwing Classic, and the relatively firm 602. In practice, this means that it's slightly smoother, and darker compared to the Blackwing 602, which can be confirmed from the results of my test below.

Other properties of the Pearl lead, such as smear-resistance, and erasability, are almost similar -if not identical- to the 602. Point retention is better than I expected, as it can hold a point almost as good as the 602, even though the graphite is noticeably softer. Overall, the better darkness and smoother overal writing experience, combined with pretty decent point retention, gives the Palomino Blackwing Pearl a slight edge over the 602.
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil
Comparing the Blackwing to normal HB pencils shows that the blackwing indeed provides a much darker line. There's a noticeable difference when it comes to point retention, erasabilty and smear-resistance, which is to be expected due to the much softer lead (Blackwings don't come with a lead grade indication, but I'd guess the pearl is somewhere around 3B or even softer!). 

As I probably already mentioned in the review about the blackwing 602, the special flat eraser is quite a nifty feature, and it performs quite well on small tasks. I definitely find myself using the on-board eraser more often than I would with other pencils. For more serious erasing tasks however, I still prefer a decent block eraser.
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil
Point retention test. L to R: Blackwing classic, pearl, 602, Faber-Castell Design, Staedtler Noris.
I'm quite a sucker for smooth writers, and the Pearl definitely delivers just that. It does smear a bit more, and it won't retain a sharp point as long, compared to a regular #2. But if you're looking for a really smooth pencil, it probably won't get much better than this!

All three blackwing styles come in at 22 USD/ 20 EUR for a pack of twelve, which is just under 2 USD per piece. Blackwings aren't exactly the cheapest pencils around, but they aren't the most expensive either, and you get a great pencil for what you pay. 

Note: these pencils were sent to me by Firehose, so I could write this review.  I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own!
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil written review
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil test