So a while ago I wrote about my then-favorite ink, Holbein. I'm still a Holbein fan, but I've discovered another ink I think I like even better.
Dr. Ph Martin's Black Star Matte
I've tried a few of the Dr. Ph Martin's varieties, and most have left me wanting. But the Black Star Matte flavor is excellent. It's become my go-to ink. I mean, to be honest, I'm really splitting hairs at this point; the Holbein ink is quite comparable. Also, I have a tendency to change my mind ad nauseum.
Nevertheless, this is great ink. Covers just as well as the Holbein, but it doesn't gum up my brushes quite as bad or as fast. And it flows ever so slightly better.
What Makes a Good Ink
What the Black Star Matte and the Holbein inks share is that — unlike average-coating inks which absorb into the paper requiring multiple coats to create a deep rich black tone — they sit on top of the paper and are fully black with a single coat. This is what I look for in ink coverage, a rich, dark black with a minimum of coats, ideally only one.
But flow — how well the ink moves from brush to paper — is also key. The darker the ink, though, the thicker it tends to be, and thus the worse it tends to flow from brush to page. The Black Star Matte, for my money, has the best balance of these characteristics, flow and coverage. The Holbein standard comes in second, and the Holbein Special third, for what it's worth.
These are all great inks, though, and you'll do well to use any of them. But I wanted to incude another ink option here in the blog. And it just so happens that this one is my current favorite.