I received two Noodler’s fountain pens, a Neponset and a Konrad, as well as a bottle of Noodler’s Rome is Burning ink for being one of forty winners of the Catfish Drawing Contest. I really wanted the grand prize (as I’m sure everyone else did, too.) which was one of every fountain pen Noodler’s makes. I’m smiling anyway. How can I be grumpy when I have two new fountain pens to play with?
I immediately tested the bleed of the Rome is Burning ink. It dried instantly and showed no signs of bleed at all. I tested the ink on cardstock. The Rome is Burning appeared to fall into the category of ‘browns‘. It is a new color from Noodler’s that’s not yet available to consumers. Upon second look at my test, the color appeared to be somewhat green rather than brown. The quick drying quality of the ink, and the fact that it didn’t bleed when water was brushed over the dried lines makes it useful to me for my ink and watercolor sketches when I want consistency of line and color. I promptly filled the Neponset pen with the Rome is Burning ink and drew Trumpet Parts No. 81.
You can imagine my surprise when I added a wash of watercolor to the drawing and the ink bled into the color. I was drawing on Rives bfk paper. Obviously the paper made a huge difference. Since most of my inks bleed on the cardstock, I’m not surprised when they bleed on the Rives bfk paper. Since the Rome is Burning hadn’t budged on the cardstock I assumed there would be no bleed on the Rives. I was wrong. The bleed was neither brown nor green. An iridescent yellow, similar to the coloring found in vaseline glass, appeared. I saw a similar, odd, separation of colors in another artist’s work, Anachroneironaut, in which she used Noodler’s Dr. Zhivago ink. Funny thing is, I was hoping that if I received a free bottle of ink it would be the Dr. Zhivago ink. I may not have won the entire set of fountain pens, but I did receive ink that’s similar to the one I wanted.
Testing paper is as important as testing ink, pens and brushes. The Rives bfk paper swallows the intensity of colors. I like the surface and I enjoy drawing and painting on it. I am glad that I learned the the Rome is Burning ink bleeds on it before spending hours on a larger, more detailed ink drawing expecting to be able to wash over it safely with watercolors.
Sketchbook drawing: Trumpet Parts No. 81. Drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.