Red inks are a revelation to me. I’ve never seen much use for them except for correcting papers and since I don’t teach anymore, I saw no use for such reproachful-looking inks. However, I discovered that if I opened myself for new things, I’d find that I might actually like them. My first red ink was Diamine Oxblood. That took the dislike of red inks away pretty effectively. It’s still my favorite red ink. I ventured into oranges and pinks, and it’s been pretty interesting so far. Below are some samples of red, pink and orange inks.
See how vibrantly red-black Diamine oxblood is? It writes dark too and dries up darker. When I write with it, it does look like you’re writing with flowing blood, not superficial ruby-red blood. It becomes darker as it dries up too, like real blood.
I’m not very well-versed with pink inks but I think Amaranth is pretty. It reminds me of old rose, except it has a slight purplish hue to it. I like it a lot. There are a few inks that would make pretty highlighters or used for underlining and annotations, especially Hope Pink, Cerise and Peach Haze. Diamine Pink is adorable. It’s such a soft, subtle shade of pink that is a lot of fun to write with. Among the pinks that I tried, I would say that my favorite is Amaranth. I can see myself use it for everyday writing and annotations.
The reds are also pretty diverse. Aside from Oxblood, Diamine Strawberry is also interesting because it has this weird glow about it. It’s like luminescent red. It looks like it has some gold sheen to it, which would be more apparent with wetter writers. Then there are the interesting red shades like Ancient Copper, which looks like you’re actually writing with rust.
I’ve heard that some people have had issues with Ancient Copper crusting on their pens. I personally only experienced mild crusting in my Parker 88 (which has a nib that has no breather hole), though the crusting did not interrupt the flow. To be safe, I would recommend you use this with a pen that has good flow and to make sure that you thoroughly wash and flush out the pen to prevent Ancient Copper from mixing with other ink residues.
Monaco Red and matador both have this brick red shade to them and they’re pretty vibrant when dry. I’d say my favorite red would still be Oxblood, but I am definitely digging Ancient Copper, Wild Strawberry and Matador too.
I wrote a few ink reviews of individual colors, which I’ll explore more in the future. 🙂
Do you have a favorite red/pink/orange ink?
Used in this article:
Several Diamine ink samples from Elias Notebooks
Paper – Lined, large Elias Notebook
All samples are written with a Cross Century II, medium nib
Note: I realize that swabbing is a good way to have a general idea of the color of inks, but writing out the swatches gives me a better visualization of what the ink will actually look on paper when used with a fountain pen.