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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ink Review - Noodlers Black Swan in English Roses

Here's another ink that was given to me as a gift, and therefore, I decided to review it!

This is a fairly new ink from Noodlers, and I think it's going to be quite popular with the release of their new "flex pens". This ink is made for flex pens, providing lots of shading with the variation that comes from a flex nib.

As a normal thing now, I'm going to add a text version of the review since my handwriting is so bad. :) The underlined parts are afterthoughts. Things I may have forgotten, or changed my mind on since the original review.


Ink review: Noodlers Black Swan in English Roses

Pen and nib: TWSBI Diamond 530 with a B nib

Color: I'd call it a brown with a slight red undertone. In the bottle, it appears to be a beautiful blood-red color. I was hoping it would stay that way but it dried as a more light-brown color.

Dry-time: 20 seconds - That's not bad considering this nib is very wet.

Smear when dry: NO

Lubrication: Good - not much to report here

Shading: Excellent! This ink was made for shading in flex pens. Honestly, I would expect nothing less from this ink. My TWSBI, though not a flex pen by any means, does exhibit a slight amount of springiness. Just enough to give a little variation and produce some great shading.

Feathering: None, even on my cheaper paper (like this...) I think the slow dry time can be forgiven on account that this ink doesn't feather hardly at all.

Bleedthrough: It all depends on your paper. Certainly no more than any other ink.

Notes: Overall I find this ink a very nice one, but I probably won't buy any. The color just isn't to my personal liking. I'm not, and never have been, a fan of understated colors such as: blue-blacks, grey-blacks, or any other dull, non-vibrant color. This is all just my personal opinion though. I do like the shading though! I'd say if you like the color - go for it and by some. This ink some really neat qualities to it.


Now for some scanned images of the actual ink! Please note: The picture below look a tad darker to my eye than the actual ink in real life. The color is accurate, especially the swab in the second page, but the first page is a bit dark...

I hope you've enjoyed this review of a semi-new ink that I find quite interesting. Let me know what you think of the review, and the ink - Drop me a comment below!

Be sure to subscribe too, that way you won't miss out on my next review coming out soon!

777 - Tyler Dahl


  1. Hmm this looks better in your review than others I've seen. Maybe I'll pick up a sample but on the other hand I'm wondering if it's not possible to obtain a similar shade by mixing red and black inks. Gotta try that...

  2. I agree.  This looks more interesting in your scan than it has in others.  Of course, nothing compares with having your own sample of writing from your own pen; but this is encouraging.  I have the Australian Roses and I like that very much, but thought I might pass on this one.  Now I'm not so sure.  I think I need to get a sample in my next Goulet order.

  3. Well, I must say, this ink is sort of weird. It changes colors on me sometimes. I filled another pen with it the other day and it was totally brown. Almost NO hint of red in it. And the pen was flushed very well too, so it's not mixing or anything... That's why I call it a very "interesting" ink! :)

  4. Yea, I think I'd like the Australian Roses better than this. Looks more like a red, which I like...

    I need to do a re-scan maybe as this run of the ink does look much more decidedly red than normal. Maybe my first fill of it was "contaminated". :|

    I'll look into it! I'll report back my findings to you all.

  5. Yeah the pen (and even the paper) can drastically change the characteristics of an ink. I've had pens that I hated how they wrote with a certain ink, only to love them with another.

  6. I have a bottle of this and quite like it.  However, as you have discovered, it does seem to have a mind of its own. LOL.  Have you seen Nathan demonstrating his latest shading ink, Blue Nose Bear?  If you watch it, and then watch Brian Goulet's video demonstrating it, you'd think they were two different inks.  These shading inks probably depend on the pen they're in, how they are being used (art work vs. penmanship), and the user him or her self.

  7. Very interesting, and helpful observations Freddy. I think you've hit on a key point. These inks probably rely (more than most inks) on pen, nib, and paper, for what they look like/how they perform. I need to test this theory. I'm going to try and get up a scan of this ink, coming from a bunch of different nibs...

    Thanks for this insight, it's going to prove very useful I think!