Noodler's El Lawrence Review

Bottle o' Organic Decay

What a cool dude.

I was excited when Goulet Pen Company got a fresh supply of this special ink a while back. I’ve been waiting a long time to try it, and pretty much pounced the second it was available. Incidentally, it really pays to sign up for their “notify me when this item is in stock” thingamajig! This sucker was sold out pretty much instantly, and I was one of the lucky ones.

What makes it special?

Well, for one, as an art supply junkie, the packaging. Very cool bottle with a picture of T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia on an awesome looking motorcycle, rendered in an approximation of the ink color. It really sets the tone for the ink itself, and I think Nathan of Noodler’s Ink chose well. 

Secondly, it’s a bulletproof and eternal ink. In Noodler’s parlance, this means it can never be destroyed in any way,  will outlast the death of the universe, and your bottle of ink will be awaiting you in the afterlife. 

Thirdly, the color is unique, though it won’t be everyone’s cup of swamp water. Swamp water? No, that’s not right. Maybe “dryad’s blood” or “spinach smoothie.” Ok, so it might appeal to a pretty narrow audience. Actually, I fancy it as an ink a hobbit might use when signing a check for delivery of high-grade pipeweed. It’s a very deep dark green, nearly black, with a desaturated browness to it. Someone once compared it to expended motor oil but I don’t quite get that. This ink is very alive and organic looking to me. Ok, maybe partially alive, like something on the verge of decay. The change of seasons, cycle of life and all that.

In the bottle, it has a creamy look to it. This creaminess does not quite translate to writing, however. It is a tad on the dry side out of my Platinum Cool. A bit of a slow starter too. Once it’s going though, it’s a great ink to write with. I experienced minimal to no feathering or showthrough on the typical subjects (Rhodia, Clairfontaine, Banditapple, Apica, various art papers). It is a slow drier, as are many of Noodler’s inks. Patience is a real virtue. So is blotting paper.


Click for an enlarged view to better see the green goodness.

As a bulletproof ink, it’s great for wet media artists in that it can be laid down first and won’t  disintegrate when water is applied. You may get a little color runoff, but your lines will hold fast.

All this doesn’t really capture the spirit of this ink. There really is something special about it I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s apparently made from some rare ingredients which explains the limited availability and extra cost.

As of this writing, Goulet has more in stock (not a shill, just a happy customer and the Goulets give a lot to our community), so if this sounds like your cup of partially-decayed organic matter, then head over there and order a bottle or sample. 

UPDATE: Here is The Lawrence compared to the closest inks I have on hand. Note that I upped the exposure to emphasize the difference.




Are You an Art Supply Junkie?



Welcome Addicts


Art supply geeks, freaks, and junkies I welcome you. Here is a place you will not be judged for your hobby! Your compulsive collecting of all those pretty colors will instead be accepted, nay, indulged!

Over the coming weeks you’ll be treated to reviews of all the things you love best. You’ll hopefully discover new supplies, new tricks, and who knows, maybe even see a little artwork too. And, you’ll receive “news you can use.” (To help you empty your bank account more efficiently).

This blog is not about being the best artist in the world. It is about celebrating the sheer joy of play. Before adults imposed their nonsense on you, there was a time that you would color with crayons, with fingerpaints, with food without a thought of the outcome. No guilt, no worry. Just the feel of the materials and the bright shiny colors. Totally in the present moment.

Our sincere wish is that you can recapture that spirit, and accept your craving for playtime.