I've been searching for inks that have very solid water resistance and that can take having water dripped or spilled on them. Unfortunately, many of the colorful inks I like aren't very resistant, so I've been trying different one. I've concluded that only a few companies have truly water resistant inks. Among those are Noodlers, Pilot, and Rohrer and Klingner.
I decided to collect all of my water resistant inks and test them to decide which ones I can rely on to deliver what I want. My goal is to find a set of black, blue, red, and green inks I can incorporate in my daily rotation while throwing in some of my more ephemeral colorful inks for fun.
So, I selected 16 inks from my collection and conducted a water test. Using a Rhodia pad and a Rohrer & Klingner glass pen, I wrote one line for each ink. Using the glass pen ensured consistency in how each ink was represented on the paper. I let the paper dry for 24 hours.
I then cut the paper in half vertically.
I first did a water droplet test by dripping some water onto the grid pattern for each ink, letting it stand for about 5 seconds, and then wiping it off with a paper towel to simulate a spill at the office and quick rub off of the spill.
Next, I filled a small tray with tap water at room temperature and placed the right half of the paper into the tray, making sure it was entirely submerged. I took a photo of the paper in the tray within a couple minutes to get an idea of how the ink behaved initially in water. After fifteen minutes, I removed the paper from the water and placed it on a paper towel to dry overnight. I then taped the right half back to the left half and scanned the page with a color scale included to help with color adjustments for monitors.
The scans and photo are attached.
Noodler's Black - unmoved by rubbing or soaking
Noodler's Heart of Darkness - unmoved by rubbing or soaking
Noodler's 54th Massachusetts - unmoved by rubbing or soaking
Noodler's Kung Te-cheng - very light smear from rubbing, but unmoved by soaking
Pilot-Namiki Blue - a bit more color moved when it was rubbed and slight fade from the soaking
Noodler's Upper Ganges Blue - a bit more color moved when it was rubbed and unmoved from the soaking
Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher - smearing from the drop rubbing test and also significant color fade from the soak
Noodler's Liberty's Elysium - smearing from the drop rubbing test and also significant color fade from the soak
Noodler's Baystate Blue - no smearing from rubbing and just a slight color lifting from the soak. In fact, BSB got darker and brighter blue after the soaking!
Noodler's Bad Green Gator - very slight smear from the rubbing, but completely unaffected by soaking.
Noodler's Hunter Green - same performance as BGG. Only difference is that Hunter Green does not bleed through the paper whereas BBG goes right through almost any type of paper.
Noodler's Empire Red - very slight smear from the rubbing, but completely unaffected by soaking
Noodler's Fox Red - no smearing from the rubbing, but loses some of its red hue from soaking. Result is a rather orange remnant.
Noodler's Nikita Red - good deal of smearing when rubbed, and a lot of red color lifted off after soaking leaving behind a pinkish red line.
Custom Mix "Black Russian" - same performance as Nikita, but left behind a nice, dark black/red line. This is my red/black mix of 1 part Nikita and 9 parts Noodler's Black. I get nice shading from this mix, too. It's a well-behaved blend.
R&K Scabiosa - What can I say? It's an iron-gall ink. Absolutely un-phased by anything. Once dry on the paper, it doesn't go anywhere.