Water Resistant?

We have had dry conditions for the whole Spring and Summer, but now the monsoon season has finally arrived.

Cloudy days are such a rare thing here that Dear Me! thought we should do a journal page about it, and you know she always gets her way . . .

But wait a minute . . . something is wrong. Dear Me has eyes that look a bit blurry – and her mascara never runs!

The lettering on the sign looks a little rough too. Like the black ink ran. But that cannot be. I used my Pitt Pen which has never run a bit in the 4-5 years I have been using the brand.

I also recall that the UniBall pens did not seem as smudge proof in this Super Deluxe Sketchbook as they did in the Moleskine.

Can it be that the permanence of permanent ink can vary according to the paper being used? That doesn’t make sense to me, but Dear Me! thinks we should check it out. She is NOT happy about this runny mascara thing.

So, we get out four permanent ink pens we have at hand (or at least “water-resistant” in the Uniball case) and test them in the Moleskine and Super Deluxe sketchbooks.

The results were surprising!

Each sample was drawn in the book and allowed to dry thoroughly. Then, I washed over them three times with a waterbrush with more scrubbing than I would ever apply in the course of things.

Here, I have tested the Pitt Fine Tip Pen, the UniBall Vision Elite, the Prismacolor Permanent Ink Marker, and the new Sharpie Pigment Marker which is supposed to be waterproof (or at least resistant).

The small amount of smearing is what got me excited about the UniBall for writing in my journal. The other three pens did fine and did not smear at all.

Then I tried the Super Deluxe sketchbook by Bee Paper Co.

I have to say I was shocked. All the pens ran – even the Pitt Pen which had never run before on any paper. And no wonder some people emailed me that their Uniball Vision Elite Pens ran!

I guess there is always something to learn. I thought a permanent pen was a permanent pen – period. And I still can’t really figure out what about a paper surface would affect the permanence.

But for now, the Super Deluxe sketchbook has a lot going for it as the perfect journal, but with two flaws – the spiral binding, which many folks like but I don’t like working on the left page because my knuckles hit the big spirals, and this permanent pen problem. I do a lot of pen drawing, overpainting with watercolor or watercolor pencils and this ink running situation won’t do.

So, for now, I am back to the Moleskine Sketchbook. It is not perfect, but it is the most perfect for what I do.

If you do like spiral bindings and you don’t overpaint your pen work, the Super Deluxe Sketchbook might be the perfect one for you.


All WHENEVER Workshops are still on sale (25% off) for the remainder of the month.

Link to the WHENEVER Workshop page:



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