Grey ink is not boring [Fuyu-Syogun ink review]

I'm trying to rein in my desire to explore every ink on the planet... even inks that have not yet been invented. I'm reaching for colors that I don't have, gaps in my cache, my knowledge, my collection. Colors that I can see in my imagination, colors that are not there, like the green of a ripe bartlett pear, a deep velvet red, a particularly frilly pink, the yellow of an overripe lemon. Bright, intense, pure colors that burst with energy.

Also, a long time ago, I wrote that grey acrylics are not boring. There will also be lots of criss-cross links to inky posts across Daisy Yellow for you to explore.

Inked abstracts by Tammy Garcia

As you know, I’ve been creating 365 inked abstracts this year which is a wild adventure into ink. It’s driving this quest to figure out the characteristics of each of my inks and what to expect in different situations + conditions. My search for grey was quite intensive, meandering onto a bunch of useful information across interweb rabbit holes. I’m using ink with a dip pen and brush but of course most folks use ink in a fountain pen [you can see the lighter lines from a fountain pen in this review at The Pen Addict].

Ink is seriously fascinating, my friends. I wanted a grey that was a true grey, not too light, not gloomy or dull, but not quasi-black or charcoal. And not yellowy! A tad to the blue was OK. So I indulged in a bottle of 🦈⛓🌪⚗️🕊 pilot iroshizuku fuyu-syogun aka Old Man Winter.

You know that I don’t do too many reviews — and when I do, I always wait until I’ve used an art material for 6 months. I want to “understand” the material and put it through the paces, work with it under different conditions, etc. I also reviewed Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay inks if you are curious to see them in action:)

Inked abstracts by Tammy Garcia

Here’s the Cliff Notes Version; the geeky details ⤵️.

The ink is dye-based, bleeds beautifully, and is definitely not permanent. It’s described as an ink that is not fast-drying, but I found that it dried very quickly. Not lightening speed but fast enough to play with the dry/wet aspect. I was able to get super light grey thru deep dark grey that’s approaching {but definitely not} black.

This is a fantastic ink — it’s delicious and peppy 😋 grey with lovely flow in a flex-nib dip pen. Nice and juicy for sure. It's a goodie! I love the variations I can achieve with brush and dip pen. This is my 2nd Iroshizuku ink [the other is Shin-kai Ink (Deep Sea) which is absolutely STUNNING deep blue].

Grey ink is uplifting!

Inked abstracts by Tammy Garcia

On these 3x3” squares I did some mark-making in Fuyo-Syogun and a bit of black Zig Sumi ink on Strathmore 300 Series watercolor paper. Photos are taken outdoors in natural light — I like the color quality that natural light yields — the paper is textured and slightly off-white. That splotch of yellow on right lower quadrant is errant splatter from a different ink. The lovely purple echoes are from the fuyo-syogun. [Note, these are No. 191-194/365]

Fuyo-syogun ink grid

Notes on this grid, left to right, row by row and my ridiculously unscientific analyses…
1) Drawn in Pilot iroshizuku fuyu-syogun painted with water; added the slightest tinge of pink J. Herbin ink.
2) Drawn in fuyu-syogun painted with water; photo shows the ink as a bit more to the blue than in reality. The purple is an undertone.
3) and 4) Line art drawn in Dr. Ph. Martin's bombay black; colored with fuyu-syogun. Gold undertones are from the black ink. 
5) Drawn in fuyu-syogun. Again, you see the purples.
6) Drawn in fuyu-syogun with a smaller nib, no water. Much lighter.
7) Drawn and colored with fuyu-syogun. The ink is more concentrated here and you can really enjoy the blues.
8) Drawn in fuyu-syogun and zig sumi black. Lovely purples.
9) Drawn in fuyu-syogun painted with water. Lovely purples.

Inked abstracts by Tammy Garcia

I purchased all of the inks in this post and have used them for over 6 months. I get my inks at Jet Pens or Goulet Pens because they have fantastic service and information on their sites!

I hope you found this review and analysis helpful! Let me know!

1drawing, ink, reviewDaisy Yellow