Tag Archives: diamine

Iroshizuku Fuyu Gaki v Diamine Vermillion

27 Aug

This red-orange-pink color category (just like violet) is near impossible to scan or photograph correctly. These images were scanned at 600dpi yet they are still pretty off. Nevertheless, I hope that these images can at least give you some indication of the differences between these two inks. Please note the color descriptions.

Up today is Iroshizuku Fuyu Gaki (FG) and Diamine Vermillion (DV). Color-wise, these two inks are nearly identical. FG is a medium red-orange with a slight pinkish undertone. DV is the same color but a shade or so lighter and a touch less pink. But be forewarned, Vermillion is a very VERY dry writing ink. Perhaps it is not as pronounces in a wider wetter nib, but it was particularly unpleasant with this Prera.

I’ve been asked how Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm compares to FG. Well, for starters it is of much higher saturation. It also has a much more pronounced pink attribute to it. This is especially true when put through the same Pilot Prera Fine nib. It looks almost salmon pink through an extra fine nib. Another color that falls in this category is Diamine Coral. It is the same color as Napalm but less saturated. Napalm or Coral could be great alternatives to Fuyu Gaki if (and only if) you don’t mind a more obviously pink ink.

To recap:

Fuyu Gaki is
Medium in saturation
Red-Orange with a slight touch of pink undertone
Rich in color

Vermillion is
Medium low in saturation (a shade lighter than FG)
The same red-orange color with less pink than FG
A bit more dull in color than FG

(Please click to enlarge and sharpen these images)

Other possible alternatives:
Rohrer and Klingner Morinda (darker, more red. no pink)
Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm (high saturation, brighter, much more pink)
Diamine Coral (Much more pink)

Do you have any substitute suggestions? If so, please let us know!

Disclaimer: The goal of these reviews is to find inks that are similar in color and behavior to the Iroshizuku line but at a lower price point. This should not be construed as an attempt to find exact replicas. That is not possible. The Iroshizuku inks succeed at being unique. The only way you can get an exact match is to save up for the Iroshizuku. Whether or not these suggestions work for you is entirely up to you.

The bottle of Diamine Vermillion was sent to me for review by the good folks at Diamine. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.

Iroshizuku Kon-Peki v. Diamine Mediterranean Blue v. Diamine Asa Blue

25 Aug

Now that I’m FINALLY back with all my review materials I can pick up where I left off on the Iroshizuku reviews and comparisons.

Today I’m looking at Iroshizuku Kon Peki (KP), Diamine Mediterranean Blue (MB), and Diamine Asa Blue (AB). Let me just start by saying that Kon Peki is a truer blue than either MB or AB. If you take a look at this swabbed comparison you can see that all three are roughly the same hue. They are swab from lightest (MB) to darkest (AB).

Mediterranean Blue is

Lighter than KP
Very slightly greener than KP
Feathers a bit more than KP

Asa Blue is

Darker than KP
Also slightly greener than KP
Flows better/faster than KP

While MB and AB are both quite similar to KP I think Mediterranean Blue is the better alternative in terms of color. However, take a close look at the review card and sheet for MB. It has some behavioral issues that might be a no go for some. If behavior is more important to you than the color match I’d choose Asa Blue as the alternative.

(please click to enlarge and sharpen the photos)

Other possible alternatives to Kon-Peki:
Noodler’s Eel Blue
Diamine WES Kensington Blue

Do you know of any other alternatives? If so, please leave a message listing them. We’d all appreciate it!

Disclaimer: The goal of these reviews is to find inks that are similar in color and behavior to the Iroshizuku line but at a lower price point. This should not be construed as an attempt to find exact replicas. That is not possible. The Iroshizuku inks succeed at being unique. The only way you can get an exact match is to save up for the Iroshizuku. Whether or not these suggestions work for you is entirely up to you.

The two bottles of Diamine were sent to me for review by the good folks at Diamine. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.

Diamine Green/Black

11 Aug

[tweetmeme source=”dizzypen” only_single=false https://dizzypen.wordpress.com%5D
My apologies for not putting up a review of some sort on Monday. There were two things working against me: the Iroshizuku reviews have hit a bit of a snag, and I’ve just started a new exercise and diet regime that is zapping up a lot of my time and energy.

Since the Iroshizuku reviews are at a bit of a stand still, I thought I’d review one of the new Diamine ink colors. Up today is Diamine Green/Black. Yes, it is a good Mont Blanc Racing Green (MBRG) sub. It actually seems to be a mix between MBRG and Noodler’s Zhivago. It’s dark but still visibly green, but it’s not as olive in color as the MBRG.

I’m not a green ink fan, but I like this one better than I liked either MBRG or Zhivago.

The details:

No feathering or bleeding
Excellent flow
Lubrication is decent: not bad, not excellent.
Drying time of fairly quick at 5 seconds.
I haven’t seen any shading with this combo.
There is some level of water resistance, but nothing spectacular really.

(Click to enlarge and sharpen these images)

I received this ink sample from the good folks at Diamine. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.


Scan of 7 new Diamine colors

5 Aug

[tweetmeme source=”dizzypen” only_single=false https://dizzypen.wordpress.com%5D

Today I received a package of 30 Diamine inks. In that package was 7 of the 8 new Diamine colors. Since I know several people are anxious to see what they look like I quickly swabbed and dip tested each one. There will be full length reviews just as soon as I can manage it. My favorite so far is Asa Blue.

Red Dragon: Appears brighter in this scan than in person
Oxblood: true to color
Syrah: true to color
Evergreen: a little too yellow here, but very close to true
Green/Black: a little too much blue
Asa Blue: true to color
Twilight: true to color

(Click to enlarge and sharpen the photo, but be forewarned, the image is huge)

These samples were sent to me by the good folks at Diamine. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.


Red Comparison

22 Jul

This post originally appeared on The Ink Nouveau, but since I use this blog as an archive I thought it best to put it up here as well.

(Click on any photo to view a larger size)

When Brian put out a request for guest reviewer I immediately volunteered. Since the J. Herbin 1670 ink had just launched I thought it would be worthwhile to do a comparison of red inks from a few of the manufacturers he carries. Brian sent me a sample of every ink reviewed here except the Diamine Monaco Red. I already owned that one. Apart from being a customer of his I am not otherwise affiliated with Brian. I am also not affiliated with any of the manufacturers reviewed herein.

Diamine Classic Red:

Dia Classic Red Card

I must admit that this was by far my least favorite of the bunch. It is the only one that misbehaved on my everyday paper: HP LaserJet 24lbs. However, it does perform well on Rhodia, Clairefontaine, etc. If you plan to use this ink plan to use it with premium papers. The shading is quite good and the flow is excellent. I’m not much on the color, but the name is fitting. It is a dullish medium red.

Caran d’ Ache Sunset:


This is an attractive pinkish red. It is the outlier in this group. None of the others exhibit this pink quality. This ink is the driest feeling of the bunch. But, has some of the best shading, and it is one of the fastest drying.

Private Reserve Dakota Red:

PR Dakota Card

This is a brightish medium red. When I researched this ink I found some complaints of the ink clogging pens and/or throwing precipitants. When I informed Brian of this he told me the ink has been reformulated, so I decided to test it out for a while. I put it in a Platinum Preppy and left it to sit for one and a half weeks. I am happy to report that there was NO CLOGGING and NO PRECIPITANTS.

Believe it or not, this ink is actually the best behaved out of the bunch. There is some shading, and it is fast drying. It flows well, and it is pretty good so far as lubrication is concerned. In addition, it is one of the least saturated, but also the most water-resistant. All in all not a bad ink.

Diamine Monaco Red:


This ink is from my own personal stash. I tend to use it for grading because its brick red blood color is dark enough to be easy on the eyes, but still red enough to catch the students’ attention. It is very well-behaved even on cheap student paper. I prefer it in an extra-fine or fine nib, but in a wider nib you get lots more shading.

J. Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite:

JH 1670 Card

Now for the ink of the moment! This ink is FANTASTIC! I have to say that I’m not the biggest red ink fan in the world, but as soon as I got this ink down on paper I was enamored. Furthermore, of the inks Brian sent to me this is the only one I went out and purchased (Brian is expecting a shipment soon. Until then, make sure to contact him to be placed on the waitlist). The color is similar to that of fresh blood. I’d describe it as a red-orange mixed with maroon. It’s very appealing. It’s also quite vibrant, but not unpleasantly so. It has the best flow and lubrication of the inks compared here. It is also the most saturated, which is surprising for J. Herbin. Unfortunately, because of that saturation this ink is slow drying and it remains smudge-able long after it is dry. Do note that this is a limited edition ink, so if you want some you may want to act fast!


Below are a couple comparison shots and a picture of the water test. I apologize in advance for the colors. I simply could not get these comparisons to display all the reds accurately. Please refer to the card shots above for more accurate representations of these inks.

Red Rhodia Comp

Red Pupitre Comp

Red water test


Dizzypen Guest Blog on The Ink Nouveau

22 Jul

Hello all,

I did a Guest blog for Brian of The Goulet Pen Company. He has posted it up on his blog. You can check it out at http://www.inknouveau.com/2010/07/dizzypen-guest-blog-reds.html .

In that post I’ve reviewed and compared J. Herbin 1670, Diamine Monaco Red, Diamine Classic Red, PR Dakota Red, and Caran d’Ache Sunset.

The photos are a little dark. I apologize for that. For some reason Flickr darkened them a shade or two. The files on my computer are lighter. I don’t know what’s up with that.

Take care, Dizzy.

Diamine Jet Black

14 Jul

[tweetmeme source=”dizzypen” only_single=false https://dizzypen.wordpress.com%5D

There’s no sense in beating around the bush here, I do not like this ink. Black is just not my ink color especially not one that shades. As a matter of fact, I no longer have the bottle. Last year I traded it to a fellow FPNer. I’ve had this review written up for quite some time, but I couldn’t bring myself to post it. That is, until I saw a thread on FPN about a member looking for an ink that writes similarly to his favorite rollerball refill.

At first I scoffed at this: ” FP ink like rollerball ink? Blasphemy!” I thought to myself. But, when I ran across this review card the other day I realized that this just might be a good candidate. The poster wanted a black ink (√), that wasn’t too saturated (√) and that shaded just enough so that he could see the paper behind his writing (√). In my opinion Diamine Jet Black fits that description. Now if I could just find that thread so I can recommend it to the OP…

The Details:

  • No feathering or bleed through
  • Decent flow and lub, but there is a dry feeling about it.
  • Slow drying time at 12ish seconds
  • It shades quite a bit for a black ink (especially one called JET black)
  • It is water resistant, but not waterproof

Dia Jet Black Card

No Affil.


Diamine Sherwood Forest (bespoke)

2 Mar

I don’t like dark green ink. I’ve tried, but it’s just not my cup of tea. A FPN friend sent me part of a bottle of this ink in hopes of swaying me. It didn’t work. Nevertheless, I know many of you love dark green, so I thought I’d review it for you.

The Details:

  • I’d describe this ink as a very deep dark forest green with a bit of a glow to it. My understanding is that this ink was formulated to be similar to Noodler’s Zhivago, but greener. I think it has done it.
  • There is no feathering or bleed through
  • It flows very well and is pretty lubricating
  • The drying time is rather speedy at about 4 seconds
  • There isn’t much shading at all
  • It isn’t waterproof, but does show some water resistance


No Affil.

Pink-Orange/Orange Comparison

1 Mar

Finally, I had a bit of sunlight coming through my window so I could get a good picture of this sheet. These colors are difficult to photograph, but I’ve done my best, and they seem pretty true to color to me.

pink orange comp

  • Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki. This is a red-orange, but there is something coral/pink about it in my eyes. I like it very much.
  • Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm. What a fun color! I don’t know what I’d use it for, but it is visually appealing. Definitely a Pink-Orange color.
  • Diamine Coral. This is surprisingly similar to Dragon’s Napalm. It is, however, a bit more orange. Still quite a nice pink orange.
  • JH Orange Indien. This is one of my favorite oranges. Seems a straight orange to me. Very little red.
  • Iroshizuku Yu-Yake. This has a little more red to it than Orange Indien. It does not photograph well here. Quite a lovely orange.
  • Private Reserve Orange Crush. I think my bottle may be turning a bit, which is a problem with this ink. It was a bit more orange several years ago, now it’s an orange-brown sort of color. I still like it though.

Diamine WES Kensington Blue

17 Feb

Ha! I’m on a role here. After weeks of inactivity I’m posting nearly every day. Sorry for the sudden hemorrhage of reviews, but I have quite a few just waiting to be typed up and I’ve suddenly come upon some time to do them!

Now, about the Diamine Kensington Blue… what a great blue!

I am currently drowning in blue inks. While I like blue ink I don’t like it nearly as much as my ink shelf would suggest. I just can’t resist giving them a whirl.

I received about 20ml of this ink in a trade with a fellow FPNer. Let me tell you I really like this blue a lot.

The Basics

  • I’d describe the color as a medium blue with turquoise blue tendencies. This ink does not, however, have any green cast to it whatsoever. It is a straight up blue.
  • This ink does not like cheap/poor quality paper. It will feather and bleed into next week if used on anything less than a premium paper. It does well on Staples Bagasse and HP LaserJet 24# but really struts its stuff on Rhodia, Clairefontaine, and Cranes. On high quality papers there is no bleeding or feathering at all.
  • The flow and lub are good, not the best I’ve seen but quite good nonetheless. You certainly don’t feel as through you are dragging your pen along the page.
  • The drying time is average at around 7 seconds. This is not a super fast drying ink so lefties need to take some measure of care to not smudge the page as they go.
  • Shading is there, but is not very pronounced depending on the pen and paper combo. I’m sure this ink could shade wonderfully under the right circumstances.

All in all, this is a pretty good ink. Probably my favorite thing about the ink is how it changes from nib to nib and paper to paper. The review card shows the ink to be quite light and uninteresting with a fine nib, but once I switched to the Broad and wet Stub the ink took on an entirely different personality. I’ve included shots of both so you can see for yourself.



I apologize for the gray cast of the papers. Getting the ink color right was more important and all attempts to adjust the exposure, white balance, etc. resulted in the ink color being thrown completely off.

No Affil.

%d bloggers like this: