Organics Studio’s Vintage Writing Fluid Series was inspired by pens that are difficult to clean. They’re basically perfect for lazy fools like me who leave ink in pens for long periods of time and then have regrets. They’re designed to be low maintenance and unfussy, in other words. Willow Green is part of a series of eight, released in 2016. It comes as a 55ml bottle.
Organics Studio has a had a reputation since its return for producing “monster” sheen in its inks. I’m a magpie when it comes to pretty and shiny, but I think the non-sheening inks they produce deserve attention as well. I wasn’t at all happy with what I produced in my previous ink review; I was just excited to get something up on the blog. With this, I wanted to be a lot more thorough.
Willow Green’s namesake is an Australian Shepherd named Willow. Four of the others in the Vintage Ink Series (Oscar’s Copper, Blue Merle, Maebel’s Scarlet, Barkley’s Blue Teal) are also named after Aussie Shepherds, which I think is just extremely good.
It’s a little confusing that the colour on the packaging and bottle label doesn’t remotely reflect what the colour of the ink is. Just looking at the box you’d think it was a leafy green, but that’s not remotely the case. Oh well, I guess that’s what ink reviews are for. Speaking of which, let’s get to it.
I’ve featured the following notebooks/papers in this review:
- Milligram (85 GSM, white)
- Leuchtturm1917 (80 GSM, ivory)
- Rhodia Webnotebook (90 GSM, cream)
- Tomoe River Paper (52 GSM, white)
- Col-O-Ring (160 GSM, white)
The pen I used for most of the writing is a Pilot Custom Heritage 91 with a SM nib. I’ve also used a Wancher pen with a #6 Bock M nib and a Pilot Kakuno EF, plus way too many cotton buds.
Willow Green is a murky, vintage-looking olive green with a decent bit of shading. It skews more yellow than green for me, and in a wetter nib with higher saturation it approaches brown in spots. It looks fairly nice on white paper, but I think it really looks its best on cream paper.
I picked up a couple of Milligram Basic Notebooks from my local bookstore the other day, attracted by the design of the covers and the FP-friendly claim. They use Fabriano Bioprima, which I believe is the same kind that Fabriano EcoQuas contain. It’s a relatively smooth, heavier paper at 85GSM that can take a good bit of ink.
I found a little bit of bleedthrough with the notebook, though oddly I had no issues with a sheet from an EcoQua notepad. There was no noticeable feathering, at least.
I found the ink to be on the wetter side and pleasant to write with in both a Western and Japanese M nib. It was difficult to write with in the EF, the only instance where it felt particularly dry, but I suspect that’s an issue with the pen itself.
For just about every type of paper I tried, the dry time came out to over 30 seconds with a M nib. This includes Fabriano, Rhodia, Leuchtturm, FRANK, and Tomoe River Paper. I managed to avoid smearing in normal writing for the most part, but I wouldn’t use it in a hurry with anything thicker than a Western F.
There’s no water resistance, but I also wasn’t expecting any. It’s a really neat colour for some amateur ink washing though.
No sheening detected, though it looks beautiful and shades spectacularly on Tomoe River. There’s maybe a hint of a reddish halo if you look close enough.
The closest in terms of colour in my extensive collection of green/yellow/olive inks (there are three) was Robert Oster Khaki, which leans significantly more brown to my eye. I’ve linked to Mountain of Ink‘s better and more cohesive review of that particular ink.
Final Blathering and Where to Buy
Overall, I found Organics Studio Willow Green to be a really nice shading olive green. It comes off the hands easily and true to concept, was a breeze to clean from a pen as well. The only major downside was the dry time for me, but it’s a type of colour I’m heavily biased towards, so I do see myself reaching for it again.
If you have any ideas for what you’d like to see reviewed, drop a comment or contact me via email.
I purchased the products mentioned in the review with my own money and have no affiliation with any business mentioned above, which is why I wrote an entire blog post about an ink that came out in 2016.