Review – Higgins Black Waterproof India Drawing Ink

So a while back I reviewed Higgins black non-waterproof India ink for fountain pens. That’s a fine ink for fountain pens, but if one wants to do, say, an ink wash it doesn’t fare too well. There is a Higgins solution for this; Higgins black India drawing ink.

The ink comes in a tiny well with a small dropper. There is not nearly the same volume of ink, but the bottle takes up about the same amount of space.


The ink itself is very black. Very, very black. It is waterproof and a little thin. It can be used to create a very dark line right out of the bottle, or diluted with water to make various shades of grey. Unlike the fountain pen ink, which turns a greenish color when diluted, the ink remains black or grey. It colors the water completely black no matter the solution, so measuring the amount of the mixture before hand is recommended.

Overall the ink is superb for what it is made for, which is brush inking and ink-washing. It is very dark and handles very well. It dilutes nicely to create shades, and covers well when it does. It does take a little practice to get good at using it but when you get the hang of it it works wonderfully.

1 thought on “Review – Higgins Black Waterproof India Drawing Ink

  1. You are absolutely right that Higgins will give you a nice dark line, but if you want to cover a bigger area with solid black you may find that it is not as dark as one might hope for. A few ways to address this are to (1) shake the bottle really well before you start to get all the pigment floating, (2) leave the bottle open for a day or two to let some of the extra water evaporate, (3) put down a couple of coats to get it dark enough or (4) try a different brand for filling in bigger areas, like Speedball Super Black or Dick Blick Black Cat.

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