Posts Tagged ‘Noodler’s Tiananmen Ink’


Warming Up To Red


After years of resistance, I am finally warming up to the color red. Call me biased, but red is not in my color wardrobe. However, last night I painted a birch tree and felt compelled to add a few red dots to the branches, leaves and a blush of it to the sky. Am I a convert? Not exactly, but I am open to possibilities beyond apples and stop signs.

It started about six years ago when I was introduced to Diamine Monaco Red, a dark, brooding color, that has good properties for drawing. Then Ann Finley sent a small bottle of Diamine Vermilion, a lovely orange-red. Eventually I purchased a bottle of Rohrer & Klingner Morinda, a more saturated slightly pink-red. With those three my red range was serviceable. Noodler’s Cayenne, a spicy, orange-red, sent for review by Jet Pens fit in nicely. Last year Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands sent Noodler’s Tiananmen, a saturated dark red, and my red rotation was set. Even so, red rarely got used.

Red Ink

Once a doodle journal became part of my routine, it was evident that I could go through a large quantity of ink in a very short period of time. Using paint was the logical next step. I could lay down a lot of color with a brush, but reserve ink for my pens. With the addition of watercolor to my casual sketches, closely matching some of my inks was the next step and promised to add more dimension to my doodles. I started with red.

Red Watercolors

These are similar enough to work together in a monochromatic drawing.

  • Diamine Vermilion – Winsor & Newton Scarlet Lake
  • Rohrer & Klingner Fernambuk – Daniel Smith Quinacridone Coral
  • Noodler’s Cayenne – Daniel Smith Transparent Pyrrol Orange
  • Rohrer & Klingner Morinda – American Journey Alizarin Crimson
  • Noodler’s Tiananmen – Daniel Smith Anthraquinold Red
  • Diamine Oxblood – Daniel Smith Perylene Maroon

So far I haven’t found a companion for Diamine Monaco Red. Neither have I found an ink that is comparable to Winsor & Newton Winsor Red, my favorite red watercolor. If you are a Cadmium Red fan, I tried to match the paint from Schmincke, M. Graham, and American Journey. They look like entirely different colors in my paint swatches book though they have the same name. Diamine Vermilion comes close to AJ Cadmium Red Medium. Nothing on hand matches the other two.

No one needs as many red inks and watercolors as I have. But if you have a favorite red ink, try a watercolor substitute in your journal. Anything from pink puppies to red skies goes. Make it reflect your imagination. After all, it’s your journal.

Watercolor and Fountain Pen Ink DuosTake these as relative – not accurate colors.


Seeing Red – Ink That Is


No true red in this lot but they are the red inks I use most often.

Red Inks with Bottles

Red Ink Swatches

Diamine Monaco Red Ink

Diamine Monaco Red Ink Written Sample

What is your favorite red ink?

Diamine Vermillion Swatch

Thank you Tessa Maurer for images 2-5. The out of focus one at the top that required the most editing was my doing using Tessa’s old camera. Obviously, I have a lot to learn.


Three Noodler’s Inks – Beaver, Purple Martin, Tiananmen


Nathan Tardiff, grand master of the Noodler’s realm, never ceases to invent new colors and types of inks. For that he deserves the highest marks. But the colors that have been around for years are no less worthy of note. Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands USA kindly sent three fan faves for review. What could an inkophile do but accept the opportunity and set to work.

The trio includes Beaver, Purple Martin, and Tiananmen. Brown, purple, and red are workhorse colors so they were easy to incorporate into my rotation. My Levenger True Writers leapt at the opportunity to test new inks and away we went.

Noodler's Inks Meet Levenger True Writers

Noodler’s Inks Meet Levenger True Writers

Fair warning that my scanner lamp is dimming so colors are not as they should be. For better color renditions, go to

Noodler's Beaver, Purple Martin, Tiananmen

Noodler’s Beaver, Purple Martin, Tiananmen

These are clean, saturated colors. No dramatic shading or other exotic properties but the flow is especially well-suited to a fine nib on smooth paper. The True Writers were perfect mates especially on Rhodia Bloc No 16 paper. My Apica 6A10 daily journal was a good match, too. There was a small amount of feathering on Staples (pineapple) bagasse paper and in a Mead composition book with Tiananmen. Moleskine performed as expected. The full-sized image of the Mead composition book shows feathering with a number of inks. Caveat emptor on that one.

Noodler's Ink Test On Rhodia Paper

Noodler’s Ink Test On Rhodia Paper

Noodler's Ink Test On Staples Bagasse Paper

Noodler’s Ink Test On Staples Bagasse Paper

Noodler's Ink Test On Moleskine

Noodler’s Ink Test On Moleskine

Mead Comp Book Ink Test

Mead Comp Book Ink Test

Should you be as silly as I was this past month and forget that Beaver was in a pen that got no use, well, it might not start up instantly. All it took was priming the flow to get it back on track. No damage noted.

My three-pen leather case stocked with these new friends and a pad of paper would carry me through any day. Brown for work, purple for personal notes, and deep red for edits that don’t scream. Now if I could just find that pen case…

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