There’s something rather fascinating about sepia-toned ink. It looks beautiful in writing and in drawings and sketches made using a fountain pen. This shade of ink is often reminiscent of an older time, such as when photographs were in a similar hue, the subjects of each picture waiting patiently for the photographer to capture their likeness. You may even imagine old scribes carefully printing important facts into their huge tomes using fountain pen ink of this color. Here, we’ll talk a little bit about sepia as a color and give you recommendations on which inks to try.
A Little Bit About Sepia
Before we jump into the ink recommendations, let’s first talk about what sepia actually is. So, what is the color sepia? The truth is, it really depends. Some will immediately think of old photographs that have a reddish-brown hue. Others who are more knowledgeable about marine life might associate sepia with cuttlefish since it is a genus of the animal. It is also known as the name of an ink color derived from the cuttlefish itself, used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for writing.
While different dictionaries all define sepia as ink secreted by the cuttlefish, their definitions of what the color actually looks like differ slightly. Wikipedia describes it as a “dark brown-grey color” while the Collins English Dictionary says it is a “dark reddish brown pigment.” Another describes it as a “dark grayish yellow-brown to dark or moderate olive brown.”
We’ve gathered inks with shades of sepia that lean toward the reddish-brown variety that is the hue often seen in old photographs, which is what is commonly associated with the term “sepia.”
Here are some of the best sepia-colored inks that you can try.
Best Sepia Fountain Pen Ink
1. Platinum Carbon Pigment Ink Bottle in Brun Sepia
If you’re looking for something highly water-resistant, then this is the sepia fountain pen ink for you. Platinum Pigment in the shade Brun Sepia is a lovely warm brown, simple enough to be used for professional settings while being anything but boring. Though it has a longer dry time, it is completely waterproof when it settles into paper, making it suitable for outdoor use.
2. Diamine In Bottle in Raw Sienna
Some people may prefer a cooler-toned look to their sepia ink, which Diamine Raw Sienna is perfect for. This ink is a nice, unsaturated brown that behaves well on most paper types — as expected from many Diamine inks.
3. Diamine In Bottle in Warm Brown
Diamine Warm Brown leans a little more to a true sepia color if your definition of sepia is a medium reddish-brown. This ink comes with a little bit of black sheen that shows up more on large swabs. It performs well on many fountain pen-friendly papers.
4. Robert Oster Ink Bottle in Caffè Crema
Robert Oster is known for a unique range of colors in their line of fountain pen inks, and Caffè Crema is no different. This is a medium sepia color with a black sheen. You get plenty of shading with this ink, so it looks more interesting on paper, especially when using larger nibs. Writers who prefer wetter inks will enjoy this one.
Those who prefer inks with a drier flow will like J. Herbin’s Lie de Thé, which is a medium warm-toned brown. There is low shading, no sheen, and no shimmer, so the color stands out on its own. This is another great warm sepia to have in your collection.
The Bottom Line
Sepia is a beautiful color to use in a fountain pen. Whether you’re writing out a journal entry or sketching to pass the time, sepia gives your work the look of being from another time.
Happy inking and happy writing!
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting