Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses-The Search for the Perfect Stroke

I've been drooling over Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses ink for a while now.  I didn't have a fountain pen, so it seemed a fruitless desire.  But then I was given a fountain pen for Christmas, and then a gift card which I used to purchase a Noodler's Flex pen.  At last! I could satisfy my desire, and I ordered a bottle of the ink without delay.

According to descriptions, if your pen nib is wet enough and broad enough, you can get a stroke where the darker ink--the Black Swan--runs down the middle and the light ink--the Roses--blossom on either side.  I was eager to see this perfect stroke, this poetic shading of ink.

I started by writing in one of the handmade journals I received for Christmas.  I love the color of the ink, but I never got the black swan with roses on each side. 

I decided to try drawing.

You know me--I have to include a tangle pattern in these tests (not sure what tangle patterns or zentangle are? Check out my What is a zentangle page.)

This was done in a Rhodia dotPad.  The handmade journal (very thick, almost bristol like paper) and the dotPad did the best, with little to no shading, and no bleed-through.

I tried the Rhodia 'R' Pad next.

I had no feathering with any of my trials, but I got a crisper look on the 'R' pad, though it may just be the ivory color made it seem that way.

I did get more of the black swan on this paper, but still mostly at the end of the stroke, not the black middle with roses on the side.  My flex pen was set up to be wet, but I still couldn't get that perfect Black Swan in the middle of the stroke, with Australian Roses on either side.

I know the paper makes a difference so I decided to carry on.

The Black Swan ink can vary in color, according to light and paper and other factors.  In real life, I got more of a burgundy than it seems in the scan.  I was curious to see how it looked on a darker color paper.  I love the orange of my Daycraft Cookie Bookie notebook, and my Cookie Bookie cat was more than happy to play around with the Black Swan!

Orange and Burgundy might not sound like a good combination, but I like it.  The cat seemed happy with it as well, lol!

I decided to try out my Whitelines notebook, and see how the gray and burgundy did.

Now, I did this test late on Christmas Day.  There may have been wine involved, and not just the burgundy on the page, lol!

Even though I quit for the night and went to bed, I took up my search for perfect Black Swan stroke, the next day.

I decided to do a little more writing, and chose Oprah's LifeClass Journal.  I still didn't get my perfect stroke.

I decided it was time to try a different pen.  Really different.  I have piston-fill water brush, and I filled it with the ink.  I do love the orange and burgundy, so picked up my Daycraft Cookie Bookie again.

*sigh*  There was even less evidence of the Black Swan.  No matter.  It's a beautiful ink, and I love the way it shades from light Burgundy to near black.

 But one day, I want to get the perfect stroke.  You know what that means. ...I have to buy more pens!!!!!


  1. hahaahaha
    never miss an opportunity to Buy More Pens :D
    love it!! Have you tried the Diamine colour "Claret"? It doesn't do the fancy stuff you've been trying for, but it is one gorgeous colour, and I am reminded of it, everytime I see your Blackswan in Roses. I got a sample for less than $2 I think, from Goulet Pens. So you can try it out before you buy a whole jar. I'm going to, the next time spare cash shows up - it's one LOVELY ink. And I'm going to use it in my Noodler's Flex pen, which I love, and can't believe it was only $14!

  2. Have you seen the ink sample packs at Goulet pens? I just received samples of Caran d'Ache Grand Canyon,Diamine Monaco Red, Noodler's North African Violet,Private Reserve Sherwood Green, Waterman Florida Blue for a little over $10 (that includes S&H). They also have a program now where you can look through swabs and make up your own sample packages. I'm just waiting for one of my pens to empty up, lol!


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