Rotring ArtPen

El Lawrence Ink

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary,  Wednesday,  1st July 2009

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El Lawrence Noodler's Ink

A LUNCHTIME delivery; the El Lawrence Noodlers Ink and Pelikan fountain pen converter I ordered yesterday just arrived*. The Pelikan converter fits perfectly in my new Rotring ArtPen with extra fine sketch nib. It’s worth noting that Noodlers Ink bottles are always surprisingly full, so open with care, preferably on a flat surface, but I soon had my pen filled. I wrote on a piece of scrap paper and in the couple of minutes it took me to get my watercolours ready, it had dried enough for me to paint a wash of colour over the lettering.


Noodlers ‘Bulletproof’ Ink is unique in the way it reacts with cellulose to become waterproof; there’s no sign of it running into the wash. The colour is going to be useful for the natural history location drawing that I hope to be doing. It’s a very slightly greenish brown; discussion groups have described it as having a khaki or olive cast. One reviewer said on first impressions it reminded him of old engine oil while several have said it reminds them of the colours you’d see on old maps.


This is appropriate as T E Lawrence - Lawrence of Arabia - who is featured in a sepia coloured photograph with his motorbike on the bottle - was a cartographer. There’s an old map of the Middle East on the side panel of the bottle.


The ink, made in the USA for the UK market, is described as pH neutral and UV lightproof.


* My thanks to The Writing Desk for advice on pens and ink and for the speedy delivery.

I once met a Wakefield man whose father had worked in military intelligence in Cairo at the time that Lawrence was stationed there. A keen naturalist, angler and meticulous record-keeper, the man’s father had kept a wartime diary (that’s World War I of course) of his stint there.


When the father died, the man asked his brother what had become of the diaries;


‘Oh, that old rubbish; I’ve thrown them out!’

Noodlers Ink

(not waterproof)