Review: SketchINK waterproof fountain pen ink by Rohrer and Klingner

I've been seeing the name SketchINK appear quite often in the comments section of my Youtube channel and recently someone even messaged me directly talking about it. So I've decided to buy a bottle to try and see what's the big deal, and also so that I can link to my review the next time someone asks for a SketchINK review.

SketchINK is a waterproof fountain pen ink made by Rohrer and Klingner, a company founded in 1892 in Leipzig, Germany. The ink is made of nano pigments which makes the ink lightfast and also waterproof when dry. Since SketchINK is still a pigmented ink, it's good to wash out your fountain pens if you don't plan to use them for days or weeks.

This ink is said to be safe for use in fountain pens.

SketchINK comes in ten colours, namely Vroni, Thea, Marlene, Lotte, Lilly, Klara, Jule, Frieda, Emma and Carmen. Bet you can't guess the colours just by their names. Even the colour label on the bottle is not a true representation of the actual colour. The colour Thea that I bought looks gray but in reality it's actually a very dark brown. I actually like it better than the gray I thought I was going to buy.

SketchINK is sold in 50ml bottles. Each bottle is around US $12 - 15 but the price would of course depend on where you buy it from.

The bottle opening is big which makes filling fountain pens, or using a dip pen or brush easy.

Here's a sketch I drew with the ink and coloured over with watercolour.

This ink dries relatively fast. This is great for those who like to work outdoors or work fast when it comes to sketching and painting.

The ink is waterproof when dry.

Just for comparison, I pained a gray patch on the left with Noodler's Lexington Gray and the right was with SketchINK. Lexington Gray has a cooler colour temperature by comparison. The colour Thea looks slightly like Sepia.

This is Lexington Gray painted over the SketchINK lines.

The ink flows well in fountain pens. The fountain pen in the photo is the Duke 551 Confucius fountain pen. I was using this pen to test the ink flow.

This is ink on smooth Bristol paper. The ink doesn't feather here, as well as on the watercolour paper earlier.

The tone varies depending on certain factors. Thinner lines have lighter values while in concentration the ink looks much darker, almost black.

Here's a clearer look the transition of tones. The ink is relatively dark and transitions to almost black.

This is definitely a good ink for sketching. It dries fast, waterproof and lightfast. So when it comes to coloured waterproof inks, I now have another brand and product I can recommend other than De Atramentis Document Ink.

Highly recommended.


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Hi Teoh! I saw your other ink

Hi Teoh! I saw your other ink reviews and have been looking for a waterproof ink brand to use with brush does this ink perform with refilling them? Is there any danger of clogging? Or how does it compare to the other 3 you recommended? Nice review!!

Recently bought SketchINK,

Recently bought SketchINK, Kakuno fp and CON70 ink converter. Love all 3 but having ink flow problems. I sketch daily and stand pen cap facing down in a jar when not in use. It takes quite awhile next day before ink will flow. If I sketch with pen, paint, then try to use the pen to date the sketch, ink doesn't flow. Have washed pen and converter twice although haven't taken the nib section apart. Am trying CON40 converter which is smaller and has ball bearings. Am wondering if I can try anything else.

Yes it seems dry up after a

Yes it seems dry up after a short time (ie 1/2 hour). Am not in a dry climate. Pen is working better today after I left it on it's side rather than nib down. Weird. Am also swishing the ink bottle around before filling the pen in case particles are settling.

Hi ! I bought a few days ago

Hi ! I bought a few days ago the black SketchInk and a Lami AL-STAR fountain pen with extrafine (EF) nib and Z28 converter as deposit for ink; it work beautifully ! I have leave the fountain pen with the ink for one day and the next day worked perfectly. I repeated that day and the next day also worked perfectly. That last day I cleaned the fountain pen, just in case, because I don't go to use it right now. I store my fountain pen horizontally, but maybe that is not important. Cheers !

I bought into the whole R&K

I bought into the whole R&K Sketch Ink package only to be a little bit disappointed with some of the colours in the range.
My issue lies particularly with the absence of a straightforward Red and the Greens are also problematic.
The closest red value in the range is the R&K Jule bottle which, is rather murky and like the Greens, resolves on various watercolor papers with a very denatured finish.
Aside from developing a visual accent peculiar to the Sketch Ink range, it's a bit withering that I had to revert to deAtramentis document ink for a straightforward primary Red.
Who makes pigmented ink without the inclusion of the basic primaries!?
Apparently R & K does! Why?
The R&K Sketch Ink Yellow is very biased to the orange spectrum but can be managed thro' successive dilution but this process, aside from the tedium, uses up wells in the mixing palettes.
Anyway, that's some of my ob's to date.
Greg Hastings

Hi Teoh! I love your blog and

Hi Teoh! I love your blog and work. What sort of paper do you recommend to use with waterproof inks?

I bought the SketchINK Lotte since so many say its very fast drying and waterproof; however after testing, the only paper where it acted (mostly) waterproof was regular copy paper. Some of the paper I tested with included: Arches 300 gsm watercolor (one of the worst offenders!), Moleskin Art and Moleskin watercolor sketchbooks, Canson Mixed Media, and some other drawing papers. I waited a few minutes for the first tests and then an hour for the second with no difference.

Copy paper isn't ideal because I can't use watercolor over the top of a sketch. Any recommendations? Or is my ink possibly defective/not truly waterproof?

Hi Teoh, I saw your review

Hi Teoh, I saw your review with the Pelikan Classic M200 and also this R&K waterproof sketch ink. Thank you so much for showing these products! I have a question about the cleaning of the fountain pen using the R&K waterproof ink. What would you recommend? Rohrer & Klingner also have a fountain pen cleaner, but I'm not sure if I will damage the plastic of the Classic M200 cognac I have. Thanks for your answer!

Thanks for your quick answer.

Thanks for your quick answer. How do you clean your Pelikan fountain pens? With water only? I'm asking because the nib is not removable from the feed as far I know it well. So I'm not sure if water can also remove the R&K ink between those parts.

I use Rohrer & Klingner

I use Rohrer & Klingner sketchINK in Twsbi Go pens
I have four pens with different nibs with different ink colors
The inks are excellent for watercoloring, dry well and fast, and have a strong enough color to show thru if the watercolor is transparent
The are also strong enough to ink after painting
I leave the inks in the pens for weeks on end and have no problem with drying out, and the pens start up immediately
I recomend the inks and their range of colors

Have you tried mixing colours

Have you tried mixing colours to create your own tonalities?
I recently asked for a sepia on a shop and the ink I received was a relatively clear brown. I was disapointed at first but then mixed gradually with black until I got to dark sepia I wanted.

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