As a watercolor artist and urban sketcher, it’s vital to find the right waterproof inks that will keep you sketching and not get frustrated when water is added. I’ve tested so many inks throughout the years – many inks claim they are waterproof, but are not; and many that don’t claim they’re waterproof actually end up being partially waterproof.

I love to try out inks on various watercolor papers. Some cotton-based paper reacts extremely different than wood based paper fibers. And handmade papers will always behave in their unique ways. Many online pen shops offer samples of fountain pen inks to sample before you commit to a whole bottle. Unfortunately, I learned this from trial and error after making a purchase of a “waterproof ink” that bled like wild in the vicinity of a water drop.

1. Platinum Carbon Ink

Platinum Pen’s Black Carbon Ink is one of the most reliable waterproof inks. The pigment particles are extra-fine, so the ink flows well and dries quickly with minimal smudging.

The ink is sold in a standard bottle and as standard fountain pen cartridge refills. Works really well in their “Preppy” fountain pen, which I’m fond of.

Hands down, this is my favorite waterproof ink of all time.

2. Sakura Micron Pens

I’ve been using Micron pens for many, many years; they are very easy to find in many art supply/craft stores, and the ink is waterproof, fade-proof, and archival. They’re a classic reliable pen.

While Micron pens have excellent ink, a flaw with these pens is the nibs typically wear out and clog up due to pressure and general usage on many fibrous watercolor papers.

3. Copic Multiliner SP Pens

While they behave much like the Micron Pens, the Copic Multiliner SP boasts replaceable pen nibs so when the tip wears out, it’s easy to just replace the nib instead of trashing the whole pen.

That’s my summary of the best waterproof inks I actually continue to use. Did your favorite ink make the list or is it a different one not mentioned? Comment below!