Introducing the new Crystal Inks by Lamy

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Those of you who follow me on instagram may have noticed I had a rather special delivery from Lamy towards the end of 2018. There had been rumblings about the new Lamy inks for a while so when these arrived I was so excited to use them that I couldn’t find the ideal moment.

check out the intense colour

I’m wondering if anyone else suffers from this … waiting for the perfect opportunity, when everything is just as you’d like it ? The light, the paper, the mood, the space, the music, the planets have aligned …. it’s never gonna happen but if it comes close I can be so crippled by the perfection of it all that the outcome is wooden and controlled (Incidentally this is why I like live sketching, it takes away my choices). So when Christmas was finally over and a state of calm had returned I knew a birthday trip to Aberaeron, (a much loved destination in Wales) was the ideal opportunity to give the inks a test run.

Birthday in Aberaeron

The Harbourmaster has the most amazing view of the harbour. I visited the same spot 4 years prior and had sketched the harbour as part of my studies for an MA I was doing at the time. I could recall two things from my last visit :

1) it was really hard to sketch 2) the colours !!!

Processed with VSCO with v4 preset
The Harbourmaster – boutique hotel & restaurant in Aberaeron, Wales.

The combination of a new working space, the comforts of a hotel and the harbour view enables easy drawing without procrastination.

crystal inks
Lamy Inks on a surface I found washed up at Aberaeron

Using a Lamy Vista fountain pen with the piston operated converter so that the ink can be sucked up through the nib into the pen rather than using a cartridge. The line quality produced with the Vista and the Beryl ink is vibrant, dark enough to make an impact but still beautiful when watered down and mixed with other shades.

While staying at the Harbourmaster you get a complimentary afternoon tea (this is one of my favourite things in the world). We sat in the corner with papers and cake, I had no intention of sketching … as a couple sat down opposite I couldn’t resist the opportunity to capture the moment.

Saturday 12th Jan 4pm
Saturday 12th Jan 5pm

The first couple were very unaware of me and I could have sketched them all day the second more mature couple were very savvy and clocked me straight away which made me more tentative when sketching. The ink worked well, giving strong smooth vibrant lines. The Vista responded well – the ultimate test requiring speed and fluidity.

So how well do the inks cope when combined with other colours and when used with a paint brush. I’ve done two examples below –

  1. undiluted ink creates very bold colours. As a result I used a black pen to lift the details above the dark colours. The intensity can be quite striking. In the end I began introducing some water.
  2. combining the inks with water and using the vista pen to provide detail.
Mostly Undiluted Ink
Diluted Ink

The ink is very responsive. You can add water and with tissue actually remove a certain amount. This revelation is fantastic as quite often with black ink there is no going back.

combining the 3 colour inks gives a broad selection of shades
a couple get close to the edge
The ever changing tide keeps me painting

I will continue to use these inks – ideally I’d need a pen containing each colour so perhaps that will be my next challenge. Lamy have certainly delivered with the quality of these inks. I haven’t checked out the range of colours but this combo worked nicely in this location. Thank you Lamy and Harbourmaster – a most enjoyed birthday weekend.

Artwork available on a first ask basis.

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