Ink Review: Black Swan in Australian Roses

Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses has long been an ink that I've wanted to try out in my art. It has an incredibly poetic name and the color is a dusky rosy-purple-red similar to a dark Merlot. Honestly, it even smells a little like wine. When I've seen other people write calligraphy with it, I've always admired how striking of a gradient it shows. But I've had inks before that don't work as nicely in drawing as they do in writing, so I was a bit worried that it wouldn't live up to my hopes for it and had to purchase a test sample before committing to a whole bottle.

I ordered my sample from Vanness Pens Shop. After it arrived, I tested it out on a small piece of paper first. Passing the initial test, I took the dive and decided to use it on my most recent large piece, "Wilting is Inevitable, Blooming is Not." Using an ink with the word "Rose" in it also seemed appropriate for this piece.

"Wilting is Inevitable" has taken me months to finish. There is so much ink on this picture already just with the black Sailor Kiwa-Guro ink that I have managed to push my Borden & Riley Paris Paper for Pens to the limit and it's beginning to warp on me (but no bleedthrough). I've long since lost count of exactly how many hours I've worked on "Wilting is Inevitable," but I estimate it had been about 12 before I added Australian Roses. Applying the color added another 2 hours giving me a very rough estimate of ~14 hours of work on this piece.

The Australian Roses ink is a very dark color. When I first started applying it I thought it would actually be too dark and nearly indistinguishable from the black, especially in small spaces. However as it dried it quickly lightened up significantly as you can see a little bit in this video below. As it really soaked into the paper, it also ended up blending together very easily in spots where I had to apply many strokes of color. I can still see a little bit of my strokes, but not very much which is really nice and not easy to find with a non-black ink. Also when used as lines it ends up much lighter and pinker, giving some sections a great shading effect.

Overall I'm extremely pleased with Black Swan in Australian Roses. The shading I was looking for really came out, it's blending together in thick areas, and the color is fantastic.

I think for "Wilting is Inevitable, Blooming is Not" the color accent choice of Black Swan in Australian Roses was perfect. The scene itself is very dark, set at night, and there is some cautious conflict brewing between the three birds in the center of the scene. The Merlot color and shading of Australian Roses adds to the broodiness of the scene without making it sleepy. Will definitely be using this again and would recommend it to other fountain pen artists.

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Thank you so much for reading my review and enjoying my art! If you want a piece for yourself, I'd love to create something just for you! Just back my new Kickstarter and we'll get creating together. :)