It’s not often that a US company offers a product that’s a Canadian Exclusive but then Nathan Tardiff beats a different drum from most. Love ’em or hate ’em, Noodler’s inks and pens are everywhere in our sketching world and that’s in large part because of Nathan’s approach to business.
And it’s true that he’s produced a Canadian exclusive blue-black ink called Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham. It’s a reference to a famous battle (1759) between the French and British for control over Quebec City. I’ve talked about the Plains of Abraham here before as there is a lot to sketch there. We held our last sketchcrawl there.
I’ve only had the ink for a few days soI can’t do an exhaustive review. I bought mine from Wonder Pens, whose service was great and since they’re in Toronto, it didn’t take long for the ink to get to me. Currently I have it in my TWSBI Mini and a Sailor fude pen as I take my first steps towards using the ink.
It’s a very dark blue. So much so that you have to look closely to see that it’s not black. But the blue component is just enough to give the results a special look. The ink is one of Noodler’s “eternal inks”, meaning that it’s supposed to be “waterproof” but because these inks become waterproof by contact with cellulose, heavily-sized watercolor papers leave it susceptible to water. The Plains of Abraham ink is better than most in this regard, ranking up with Lexington Gray in terms of waterproofiness (is that a word?).
Otherwise the ink performs well, though it seems to write a bit drier than many Noodler’s inks, more like Bernanke Blue & Black. This can be a good or bad thing depending upon what you’re doing with it. I’ll talk more about it as time goes on but for now, I’ll leave you with a sketch I did with it yesterday.
I hadn’t heard about this ink — that deep blue is really nice. I’m not very familiar with this type of waterproof ink. . . what does it look like when you deliberately give it a wash on sized paper? Does it only partially wash?
Well, you know the problems with the word “waterproof.” Unless it’s a pigmented ink I’ve yet to find anything that’s completely waterproof on watercolor paper. According to Noodler’s website, the differences between ‘bulletproof’ and ‘eternal’ are ones of emphasis. Eternal composition emphasizes time (how long will it last) while Bulletproof emphasizes resistance to chemicals forgers use.
You wouldn’t want to use this ink if you wanted to use it wash lines for shading. It’s more like Lexington Gray in that it gives up just a hint of its blue. It’s pretty good as a ‘waterproof’ ink, just not as perfect as Platinum Carbon or De Atramentis.