I know I promised some comparisons of black inks, but I've faced some unforeseen circumstances with this snowstorm in the Northeastern US. The images of the results from those tests are on my desktop computer, so I'll have to wait until our house has power back before I can post them. We really got pounded!
I did the sketch above when I pulled out the candles today. You can click to read the text; it should enlarge enough to be fairly easy to read.
I test drove some new things in this sketch, like the new Noodler's #41 Brown (2012) that I reviewed the other day. In using it with watercolors, it didn't run at all on this Stillman & Birn Alpha paper, even though on the test I was able to get it to move a bit with hard scrubbing.
I also used one of my new Eversharp Symphony flex pens (this one with a B nib). After much practice by candlelight last night, I was finally able to better understand how to use these things. The title "Breaking Out the Candles" was written with that pen, using Noodler's Midnight ink.
I also have to say, this Stillman and Birn Alpha book totally rocks! I will give more of a full scale review once I've done some more work in it. Initially I thought the paper wasn't opaque enough for me, but today I realized the silver lining of that feature; I can slip a piece of lined paper behind the sketch to keep my writing straight! I'm also loving this 8.5x11" size. Usually I'm sketching out on location and don't want to bring along such a large book, but having that 11x17" space to spread out across two pages is a wonderful thing. It opens fairly flat, so it's quite easy to work across the gutter, which can be a challenge in some stitchbound/hardbound sketchbooks.
The journal writing on the page was done with Noodler's Kung Te-Cheng, one of my favorite writing inks, and it's completely waterproof to boot.