Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Adventures in Pen and ink: it’s all about the line.

As I inch towards the completion of my first coloring book, I wanted to stop and reflect for a moment on the importance of good ink. I have already talked a bit about the fact that I’m a pen fiend, always looking for a pen that can perform well in pen & ink work. I am VERY picky. For my coloring book images I have been using my Noodler’s Flex pen (bless its little split nib!) and a couple of Pitt pens for heavier lines.

Having found a couple of pens that I like, the next thing to discover was a good ink to put in them. I have used Higgins Black Magic ink for dip pens for a long time but wouldn’t dare put that in my fountain pens. I don’t even want to guess what that ink would do to them! Instead, I've gone for proper fountain pen inks. I have tried both Noodler’s and Platinum inks so far. I really like Noodler’s Lexington Grey ink for drawings. It’s not as dark as black but still pretty dark. It’s waterproof and doesn’t have a terribly long drying time.

I also keep a little “stable” of pens on my taboret filled with a variety of colored inks. Sometimes, I'm testing the inks and sometimes, I just like having certain pens available with certain inks in them.

Here’s my current line-up.

Parker Sonnet with Noodler’s “bulletproof” Black
Flex nib #1 with Noodler’s Lexington Grey ink
Flex nib # 2 with Noodler’s Blue Nose Bear (I haven’t really put this one through its paces yet. But I'm excited about it.)
Piston fill # 1 with Noodler’s Lexington Grey ink
Piston fill # 2 with Noodler’s Polar Brown ink (A good brown so far!)
Platinum Preppy fountain pen with Noodler’s Nikita (I like this ink – it’s fun.)
Platinum Preppy fountain pen with Noodler’s Squeteague (I LOVE this blue-green ink. It's very pretty.)
Platinum Preppy marker with Noodler’s Whaleman’s Sepia (Too dry for my fountain pen I like it in the marker. Also, it turned the chamber of my Flex nib clear demonstrator neon green. :-( No one knows why.)

For those who don't know about Platinum Preppies, they are pretty decent cheap fountain pens. Sometimes they will give me a drip of ink but they are great for testing ink samples. I like having them around and for the price – they’re really great!

Ink sample sheet


  1. What if you watered down the Higgins Black Magic ink. Would that make it work in a standard fountain pen and not ruin it?

  2. I don't know about that...I probably wouldn't try it myself as I'm pretty particular about my fountain pens. But if you decide to try it, do let me know how it goes. It would be an interesting experiment. :-)