Best drawing inks according to redditors

We found 79 Reddit comments discussing the best drawing inks. We ranked the 42 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Drawing Inks:

u/clearingpuppy · 24 pointsr/JUSTNOMIL

Make it Noodler's bulletproof.

Once this touches fabric it is never. Ever. Coming out. Not even with bleach. If you want something ruined forever, this will more than do the trick.

u/WAPOMATIC · 11 pointsr/whatsthisworth

It's a Chinese seal, often called a 'chop' in Western terminology. Traditionally they have a carving on the bottom and are used with bright red ink as a signature on artwork and business papers.

If you're in the West, they often come in gift sets like this with the seal, red ink, ink stone, brushes, etc. Yours, with the Chinese lion on top, looks like a common modern soapstone one, probably unetched on the bottom. I can't speak with certainty, but it's probably worthless, I'm sorry to say.

I also can't read the text; I study Japanese, not Chinese, but I'm sure someone who can will show up soon.

edit: Let me say, though, I've never run across one that had script on the side like that. It was definitely done by hand, as the kanji seem to be somewhat sloppy and undefined. It also seems a fair bit more weathered than I see in common ones, so it may have some age and history that gives it some value. You may want to post it in r/translator and see what the Chinese speakers have to say about what is written on it.

u/ARbldr · 9 pointsr/fountainpens

Some quick questions, do you write really small now?

Most of the engineers I know do write small, which is why I ask. /u/the_illest does this joke you see here every time this question is asked, but it is a good recommendation to start. I personally recommend the Pilot Metropolitan over the Lamy Safari, I think it is a nicer pen to use, and the I believe the nib is better. If you write fine, you might be better off going to Goulet and getting the new model in fine, than buying the medium nib on Amazon. If you write really small, I really like the Metropolitan with the nib from the Pilot penmanship swapped onto it. The link here is more than I spent on the penmanship, if you search you can find them cheaper (I think on Amazon sometimes, I got two for that price). The Japanese EF nib is closer to a western UEF nib (the medium on the Metro is very close to an EF on the Safari). The line is very thin, and comfortable if you are used to writing small with a mechanical pencil.

With this, pick up a bottle of Noodler's black , and you will be set.

Now, to deviate a little from the standard answers. If you want something a little different, the Nemosine Singularity is an good intro pen that has gotten a lot of good feedback.

For a cheaper alternative, but usually only in a medium nib, the Jinhao x750 or x450 are big pens that make a statement (Amazon has sellers that ship these from China, Goulet pens carries them for $10 in stock).

There are a few others on Amazon that people like in the starting range, Parker, Scheaffer, etc that some like, but generally, the popular ones are the Metropolitan and Safari.

u/_Panda · 8 pointsr/fountainpens

My suggestion is to buy a Pilot Metropolitan, which comes with both a cartridge and a converter so you can try both out. I would also suggest getting a bottle of a basic, workhorse ink. Something like Noodler's Black would be a good option, a nice saturated black that is waterproof and behaves pretty well on cheap paper.

u/browniebiznatch · 6 pointsr/fountainpens

Pilot Metropolitan <F> nib and Noodler's Black. Use a CON-40 or CON-50 converter for the ink as the included converter is more for cleaning than anything

u/YoungRichKid · 6 pointsr/mechanicalheadpens

Keyboard: WASD 61 Keys with custom cap colors (built on their site)

Headphones: Sennheiser HD 598 SR with open backs.

Pen: Baoer 388 with a medium nib

I want to buy a nicer pen but for right now this one (with Noodler's black ink) works perfectly. I use numbers a lot at work, so I plan on making a separate number pad soon, and I also am probably going to purchase a trackball to place between the keyboard and number pad. The headphones I bought on Prime Day for half their normal price (at the time).

u/InternationalAvocado · 5 pointsr/Watercolor

Maybe it's like this? The "Chinese watercolor chips" and maybe you have to grind off a bit and dissolve it in warm water?

What if it's an ink block, not watercolors? On this Amazon page in the questions section the lady says that first they have to be ground into powder and then they dissolve easily in water:

If it is an ink block, apparently you would need an ink stone to grind it on.

u/drzowie · 5 pointsr/InkPorn

If you're using a fountain pen, go with Noodler's Bulletproof Black. Amazon UK has it for under 20 quid, and it's both free-flowing and permanent.

If you're using a dip pen, basic black ink is less expensive. IIRC, I've used Senshi (their top item) and it worked OK. I grew up using Speedball Super Black India Ink, which is listed on that page for under £9. Most of those are for dip pens only, and not suitable for fountain pens.

u/Halgy · 5 pointsr/moleskine

Get Noodlers ink. The stuff is awesome and doesn't bleed through moleskine paper.

u/DefStar411 · 4 pointsr/SketchDaily

Thank you! I use a water based ink Sumi, Karetake ink. I got a bottle 2 years ago in my Inktober Art Snacks box and I've still got tons left.

u/thurn_und_taxis · 4 pointsr/makemychoice

I like the idea, but make sure you know (a) how much ink cartridge refills cost, (b) whether you'll be willing to pay for them going forward, and (c) how easy they are to obtain. If they're only available online, you may want to buy a few packs with your purchase of the pen so you don't have to worry about additional shipping costs when purchasing later. (Don't go crazy and buy a lifetime supply, though - sometimes they go bad/dry out after a year or two.) My experience with nice stationery and art supplies is that if they're too expensive and/or difficult to obtain, you won't use them for fear of wasting them. So make sure this won't be a problem.

If you can't find a pen you like that meets these requirements, I'd suggest buying a nice writing journal and a pack of several decent-but-not-luxury pens to use in it. (Assuming you want to stay on the writing theme.) I have one of these MUJI pens and it writes quite well.

Another less expensive pen alternative, if you're more of the old-school fountain pen persuasion, would be a stick pen with interchangeable nibs and ink bottle. It's honestly not very practical but it's pretty fun to write with.

u/Dvart · 4 pointsr/Pyrography

I’ve really liked [Dr. Ph Matin Bombay India Ink](
) as long as your careful with, and aware of how the ink bleeds when applying. I’m wanting to try a hybrid next; ink for the main color and colored pencil for the shading if anyone else has any experience with that they want to share.

u/onestopmedic · 3 pointsr/AnycubicPhoton
u/ulzo · 3 pointsr/Calligraphy

The advice that was given to me by /u/GardenofWelcomeLies was to start with a dip pen, so I will pass along the same advice.

Overall, a dip pen and some sumi ink will run you cheaper than an automatic like the pilot parallel's.

edit: Here are the 3 things you can use to start your adventure: 1. Manuscript Student Set 2. Sumi ink - make sure it is NONwaterproof 3. Rhodia dot pad

u/MrMooMooDandy · 3 pointsr/Austin

Online, the ink I use is on Amazon so I just get it there in recent years.

u/minimuminim · 3 pointsr/Calligraphy

Based off of my own experience... see if you can find a physical shop instead. Ordering online is going to be somewhat iffy. Sets are almost always tourist traps with low-quality brushes and ink, made more to be seen than to be used. I would suggest buying the equipment separately and packaging them up yourself.

So! Actual stuff:

  • Paper: Rice paper, full stop. Something like this would work - Japanese and Chinese calligraphy share tools, so it doesn't really matter if you use one or the other. Gridded paper would also be nice.

  • Ink: Get black sumi ink, which should be available at art supply shops as well as online. I recommend the bottled stuff to begin with, because it's just so much less of a hassle than trying to get the appropriate level of thickness if you're grinding an inkstick. If you do decide to get an ink stick, be sure to get an ink stone as well. I prefer the rectangular ones, but that's personal preference. You add a little water on the deep end, then dip the end of your inkstick in the water and grind on the flat portion at the top until the ink is as thick as you want.

  • Brush: I'd say a medium sized wolf or goat hair brush, like this one.

  • Other nice things: something like this practice book might be nice. Look for water-based practice sheets - the idea is you write over it in water, let it dry, and then you can reuse it. From my brief look at the preview, this book looks decent and also has good reviews. I like its stroke-by-stroke breakdown with examples.

    One thing's for sure - if your boyfriend isn't already learning the language, it will kick his ass, because the writing system is just so different. If he's not learning the language, he will also be limited to whatever words come in the instruction book, because it's not like in alphabets where if you know all 26/52 symbols you can write what you want. Each character is unique, and though there's a standard stroke order, you have to just be able to recognise the character in order to write it.

    Learning Chinese calligraphy from written sources is going to be hard. If at all possible, see if your local area offers Chinese calligraphy classes for beginners. It really, really helps to have a teacher who can correct your brushwork. A lot of the expressiveness and beauty of Chinese calligraphy IMO comes from understanding what it is that you're writing, and how it should look proportionally, and these things are hard to understand just by reading.
u/Thespeckledkat · 3 pointsr/Watercolor

Daniel Smith Essentials set $23 , Arches Hot Press Watercolor Pad $11, Pentel Waterbruahes 3 pack - $13 , and a bottle of [India Ink $3] ( If I had a little extra, I'd spring for the da Vinci round 6 sable travel brush - favorite all around brush for smaller paintings :)

What about you? What would you have purchased? Or are you looking to buy?

u/kur1j · 3 pointsr/fountainpens

Any of the inks that are considered "bulletproof" from Noodler's (Noodler's black, 54th Mass. etc.) will not smear (unless they haven't dried). Once a bulletproof black is on some cellulose material (e.g. paper, fibers) it is there for good.

u/ImmovableMover · 3 pointsr/pens

> Care to tell me the advantages? I'm open to new things, I might change my mind if the pros outweigh the cons.

Sure can! Here's why I use a fountain pen for most of my daily writing:

  • Fountain pens require much less pressure with which to write. A few years ago, I started using rollerballs for this very reason. Most ballpoints require you to press down so god damn hard. This strains the hand. Good luck writing for a long period of time with a ballpoint. That shit sucks. I started using fountain pens just a few months ago because I found that they required even less pressure than liquid ink rollerballs and gels.
  • If you pick the right fountain pen, it's going to be a pleasurable, buttery experience. I'm not kidding. The nib of a fountain pen glides across the paper. Nowadays, I look forward to when I have to write something down. It's not a chore anymore, and for me, it gives me just another slight motivation to do schoolwork (college student). Hey, nothing hurts, right?
  • A single fountain pen can last you a lifetime, and even more. I find that there's something admirable and even romantic about carrying a single writing instrument that you can refill again and again. You get to know the nuances of the pen; you get attached it the pen. I think that's freaking cool in our current "use and dipose" culture of shitty Bics. Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-tech or anything. I just find it super cool to always have on me my trusty fountain pen that's been with me through a lot! It's neat. I recently bought a vintage pen from the 1950s. It still works like a charm!
  • Speaking of refilling, the ink choices of fountain pens are a big plus! There are literally thousands of ink choices of all shades and colors. One of my favorite aspects of writing with certain inks is that it shades! It makes it look so pretty on paper. Check it out:
    Fountain pens can be refilled through disposable cartridges or through filling mechanisms that take up ink from a bottle (cartridge-converter, piston filler, etc.)
  • And speaking of shading inks, the nib options for fountain pens are awesome too! EF, F, M, B, BB, etc. And even flex! Flex nibs are nibs that allow you to get some line variation depending on the pressure you apply. That's sexy, lol. Oh yeah, and even italic, stub, oblique nibs, and a bunch more.
  • Fountain pens are usually much manufactured with a much high quality than most other types of pens. It's the niche it fills. It has to be higher quality because it's meant to last hopefully forever. Besides the high quality, they look really cool, with the nib and big barrel and whatnot. Here's one of my favorite pens:

    So yeah, that's why I use fountain pens. My first fountain pen still works perfectly. It was a Lamy Safari EF:

    My first bottle of ink was Noodler's Black:

    And to refill the Safari, I had to buy a converter:

    And that's it. After 6 months, I still have the pen (although I've bought a bunch more :D), the converter, and the same bottle of ink is still going strong. I call that a good investment. If only I hadn't gotten addicted and bought a bunch more fountain pens and inks. But, it's a cool hobby that I enjoy. Check out some videos on Youtube and let me know if you want writing samples or anything!

    So, tl;dr Fountain pens are cool. Get one.

    > I love them. The smaller the better. I like the precision they provide. I usually don't buy anything more than 0.5, as a matter of fact, I didn't even know there was 0.38, I'll definitely look into that.

    Along with your Safari that you should definitely get, you could toss on a Mach III and the Pentel Energel that I linked. ;) Orders of $25 from Jetpens have free shipping. :D

    > I've been looking for the Pilot Precise since I read this testimonial on LifeHacker but I just can't find it in Canada. I might have to order it online. Never looked for pens in Walmart though, I'll definitely have to give that a shot.

    Yeah, if you enjoy needlepoint pens, you should definitely start off with the Pilot Precise V5. That was my first good pen that started my pen addiction 4 years ago.

    Wow, I'm too obsessed with pens, lol.

u/CriticalityIncident · 3 pointsr/fountainpens

Noodler's Black is fairly well known for being bleed resistant:

For bleed through I've found that higher quality paper helps more than different inks. I like these A5 Clairefontaines:

u/Thjoth · 3 pointsr/guns

My Lamy Safari is getting quite worn out. I've had it for years and it's been riding around in my pocket the entire time. Switching back to writing in cursive with that pen made it so that I can actually somewhat keep up with notes without developing horrifying writer's cramp.

A large portion of the black coating is gone off of the wire clip, it no longer retains in the cap like it should, and I've had to replace the nib where it got loose in my pocket and got crushed. Still love the thing, though. In the end, it's wound up saving me money, because the $40 I spent on the pen, a bottle of ink, plunger insert, and replacement nib is all I've spent on writing implements in the last 3 years or so, whereas before, I was going through multiple G2 gel pens a month.

I have no idea why that caused me to go off onto such a tangent. I guess I'm just attached to that pen. I use Noodler's Bulletproof Black Ink in mine, by the way.

EDIT: Why not get that USP in .45 ACP, by the way? I think I would have gone with .45 instead. I already have half a dozen handguns in 9mm, though, so maybe it's just saturation on my part.

u/terransdestroy · 2 pointsr/fountainpens

i got these two with a metro

hope i got the right stuff lol

u/LadyJuggernaut · 2 pointsr/Art

Inks. Go play with these inks. You'll get way more contrast and enjoy the intense colors.

u/niouby · 2 pointsr/TheLastAirbender

That so nice that you are getting into inking !Personnally I prefer watercolor \^\^

For the materials :

sketch: a penécanique-clair/dp/B00195EEH0

a eraser


lineart: ink fineliner (I use very often the 0.4mm)


inking: a random india ink like this oneébéo-Peinture-Encre-Graphique-Flacon/dp/B005IW0VG8 I a have little conteners where I do my different dillutions

2 brunches I have a little and a medium one

highlight : white gel pen


That it ! \^\^ Sorry for all the french references... Hope that can help you !

u/Zediac · 2 pointsr/fountainpens

Noodler's Ink black. Item number 19001. I use the pen at work so I have to keep things simple and professional. I'd prefer a nice dark blue, but, eh. It's for my paperwork.

I like your handwriting. Mine is still sloppy but I'm working on it.

If cleaning doesn't work then I'll try the soap trick. Thanks.

u/ThisIsWhatICarry · 2 pointsr/AskMen

> Last year my mom passed down a Lamy Safari that was completely destroyed and after trying and failing to get it to work, I resigned myself to my good ol' cheap gel pens. But this post pretty much re-ignited my interest. Right now my Amazon cart has a universal cartridge, a Jinhao x750 in black night sky, zebra g nibs, and Diamine ink. So thanks for that :p

Speaking as someone who's recently done the same thing with calligraphy, I'm happy to help you do so. Except for the hit to your pocketbook, of course. ;-) I've heard decent things about Jinhao. Apparently they are very good for their price, but being a "cheap chinese knockoff", are more susceptible to defective units. Make sure you order from a reputable seller who will allow you to return it if it fails, but hopefully it won't. A nice thing about some Jinhao pens is that the nibs are replaceable with many #6 nibs, so you have some options there.

> I decided to go for the diamine because it was cheap and only 30ml, so if this is something that I actually really like (I print pretty small, my 0.4mm gel pens have become my holy grail, so I can be pretty picky about this stuff) I'll spring for the Iroshizuku and Noodler inks I've fallen in love with.

I've heard excellent things about Diamine ink. I ordered some Diamine Oxblood because I wanted something that looked like dried blood, and Diamine Majestic Blue because OH MY GOD look at those colors. Yes, that's just one ink being used: it goes from blue to red as you apply more ink. That's some magic ink, there. (This is called "sheening".) I'll be ordering some Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses (again with the glorious names!), J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor 1670 Anniversary Ink and Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrun (Old Golden Green) because they perform similarly. The Noodler's ink is definitely the most cost-effective, but you can order a sample kit of sheening inks from Goulet if you aren't sure which you want.

> I've also been lusting over water brush pens... anything you can tell me about those?

I'm afraid I don't know much about the brush pens as yet. I've used some micron brush pens before, but never one supporting fountain pen inks. That said, I plan to get back into it. There is an artist named Kevin Eslinger that does some utterly amazing work with Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay India Ink. He basically paints like you would with watercolor paint, and then blows on the fresh ink through a straw, making those cool blown/dripped patterns you see. I bought some of the ink and some traditional brushes, but I'm also looking into some brush fountain pens as well. Noodler's and Platinum both have some that I've been eyeing.

u/mrsmorton · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

My cheapest is $6 tea and my most expensive is this ink set at a whopping $23. Haha. I don't typically spend a lot of myself so at $23 it's probably something I'll never convince myself that I need.

u/Rybos · 2 pointsr/EDC

How about a nice pen? Have you ever used a fountain pen?

This pen is great. I have one with a silver trim. I've had many a fountain pen, and this is still my favorite, even more so than pens that cost me twice as much. Feels good, looks good, made very well, writes well. Just don't drop it. It will break. That's the only downside for me. However, I've broken mine 3 times, and epoxied it back together and polished it up each time.

When you start using a FP, paper becomes important too. Cheap paper and some fancy notebook brands (i.e moleskine) are horrible for fountain pens. Ink will bleed and spider on the page. I'd suggest looking at this brand of paper. They're cheap(er than moleskine), look good, and take fountain pen ink super well.

You'll need some ink too. I'd suggest starting with something from Noodler's ink lke this. Some FP inks are waterproof, some are not. Bulletproof, iron gall, or pigmented inks are usually water proof.

I know that probably puts you closer to $100, but imo, it's worth it if that's something that interests you.

u/Jesse_berger · 2 pointsr/fountainpens

The paper makes the experience and for the time being this will treat you nicely. You can get a 5 pack for three dollars at most Target.

If you can justify the price Rhodia and Clairefontaine makes excellent paper.

Ink:This is a well behaved ink that will work great on any paper.

Waterman is a nice ink sold on Amazon, I have inspired blue and it's excellent and a lot of fun.

The folks here will suggest all different kinds of ink, enjoy your new pen and try not to get addicted like me!

u/schmin · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Derwent Inktense Blocks for Drawing and or Dabbling in watercolors. =D

u/neverenoughblank · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I love this idea of an alphabetical contest series :)

Dr. Ph. Martin's India Inks so I can write colorful calligraphy :)


Decodyne™ Fruit Infused Water Bottle so I can make really tasty water! I drink 3 L a day so it gets a little boring :)

Do we need a raffle phrase?

u/Oncotic · 2 pointsr/fountainpens

My experience with inks is pretty limited, I hope others will help me out with suggestions. I use Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue, which is a full, darkish blue. My uncle recommended it to me because it is easy to clean and it is easy to restart pens that have dried up using a drop of water. HOWEVER, it has no water resistance whatsoever, so if you expect your notes to come in contact with water (aka rain), they will smear badly. Inks like a Noodler's Bulletproof Black are great if you want your notes to last a long time. However, I haven't used a bulletproof ink before, but I know they smell.

u/G0ATLY · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Oh goodness, if you like ink you muuuust try Inktense blocks!! There is a 24 set with WHITE! I know it's not "traditional" to have white, but I love em! They go on dry, then add the water OR you can premix with water and use the ink that way. Once it is wet and has dried. You can go over it again with out worry the under layer will smear!! (Long as all the dry portions were wet at some point and dried.) IT IS AWESOME!

The company Derwent also has a set of Inktense pencils that work the same way, and keep your hands somewhat cleaner.

Also you can set Inktense on fabric, so designing on shirts, quilts and what have you is just eaaasy! There are a LOT of ways to use these! Printmaking, watercolors, stamping, inking, washes!~ Add to gesso or Mod Podge for a colored glaze! Lots of things really... It can cater to the professionals, amateurs and beginners!

There is also a set of water pens that you may be interested in, with trying these. I have always used brushes though, with water.. Or I wet the brush, and just dab it on the lil block its self. Or chip off a lil piece of color and add water to it on a little pallet. (Piece of plastic lol.)

Question: Can the name be computerized, long as it is drawn? Aka mouse/tablet?

u/kierkkadon · 2 pointsr/PenmanshipPorn

I would recommend not getting a fountain pen, because it would be expensive to get one with the flexible nib necessary to have variable-breadth strokes like in the OP.

Just get a starter set of nibs and a nib holder like this Speedball set for $10, find a tutorial for pointed-pen scripts like Engrosser's or any of the scripts mentioned in this video.

Oh, you'll also need some ink. India ink or walnut ink both work fine.

u/GalactusIntolerant · 2 pointsr/fountainpens

Noodlers Bulletproof black has a pretty big following. I use it myself and it perfectly fits my ink needs. They also sell other inks that people seem to enjoy, but I personally have no experience with them.

u/LaisHasek · 1 pointr/Art

Thanks! I used a metal nib from zebra and indian ink.

u/Skepticalj · 1 pointr/fountainpens

I haven't tried many inks, but the one I'm using now is Noodler's Bulletproof Black, and it's just excellent. In a Lamy Safari EF, it's my go-to pen for everyday use.

u/kingfishery · 1 pointr/painting

I know they're both on Amazon at least, so maybe you can get them. And no problem! Ink + bamboo brush is one of my favorite mediums, you should try it out if you've been thinking about it :) You can dilute with water for different greys, like watercoloring

u/SabioHombre · 1 pointr/fountainpens

I just bought Noodler's black and it's exactly what you want. The only small thing is that it's not a pure, darkness of space black.

u/Ruff_Dog · 1 pointr/fountainpens

I just got a JinHao pen and it looks amazing. The reason I say looks is because I don't have ink for it. I've checked the sidebar and the sub wiki and such, but I had a question for y'all. What's your favorite non-blue and non-black ink? If I was going to go black I'd get this and blue would be this. But I want something.. different.

I'd like to stay around or under $20.

u/TofuTakahashi · 1 pointr/BuyItForLife

Oil based inks? No, it wouldn't flow as nicely and it wouldn't flow as nicely in the pen. However, there are some safe pigment inks that are "waterproof." I want to put a disclaimer here though, you should not use any ink not intended for fountain pens, ever. Specifically India ink. It's too heavily pigmented and will destroy the pen's feed (that's the piece that rests behind the nib and connects to the ink reserve).

There are a few notable waterproof inks out there, most of them are labeled as "taper proof" or "safety ink" intended for office use. After all, there still are a fair share of professionals who use fountain pens but need to have taper proof signatures (same goes for personal use and signing documents). Noodle's bullet proof ink is quite good, and inexpensive for a waterproof and tamper proof ink. Platinum also makes one as well. There are others out there, but they escape my mind. Only downside to the waterproof inks is they are not quite as "wet" as other inks., and they lack the verity of colours

u/Ardakilic · 1 pointr/fountainpens

Sorry, I should've been more specific. When I wrote Noodler's, I meant Noodlers Black, this one.

> if you find an ink too wet, you can add a tiny bit of water to make it drier. This works by diluting the amount of surfectants/other things that help the ink flow.

Well that's new for me. Thanks, that's awesome to know this! I'd think quite the opposite because all this wetness/dryness logic (such as add water = wetter).