Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Red Trio Ink Review: Diamine Oxblood, De Atramentis William Shakespeare, & Noodlers Black Swan in English Roses

So I decided to do a trio red ink review/comparison. However, with as dim and gloomy as it has been the past couple days, good lighting has been hard to come by for my photos. I suppose I will have to look into a better way to getting as close to the exact ink colors as I can.

Anyhow, continuing onward.

I figure I will show you some photos first, and then break down each ink color.
In each photo, the first ink will always be Diamine Oxblood. Followed by De Atramentis, and so on.

** Each ink is in a Lamy Pen with a Fine Point Nib (that way tests are fair)**

  1. Diamine Oxblood - Lamy Safari Black with F point nib
  2. De Atramentis William Shakespeare - Lamy Al-Star with F point nib
  3. Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses - Lamy Al-star with F point nib

The three red inks. In order. Diamine Oxblood, De Atramentis William Shakespeare,
& Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses


Diamine Oxblood:

Diamine Oxblood. This ink has beautiful coloring and wonderful flow in my Lamy Safari F point Pen. I notice that this ink tends to be more of a red with very little shadowing. Almost a dark Maroon.

  • Beautiful ink.
  • Wet
  • Flows nicely
  • Not much for shadowing (unlike the other two inks)
 Below is an actual swab from Goulet Pen Company.

As you can see, the color varies a bit differently than what I have pictured. I believe this is due to the light and camera used while taking pictures. What Goulet is showing is pretty accurate, except maybe a tad bit darker than what I am actually seeing when I wrote with it.

De Atramentis William Shakespeare:

This ink is a beautiful ink. Not quiet as wet as the other two. It does go on lighter and when it dries comes out a bit darker. This ink has nice shadowing with almost a hint of black in it. It reminds me of Wine, the color does.

Top line is 1 second, middle line 5 seconds, and bottom line is 10 seconds.

  • Medium in wetness
  • Flows smoothly
  • Can get some scratchiness now and then
  • Goes on lighter; dries darker
  • Hints of dark maroon or even possibly black in it.
Below is a swatch from Goulet Pen Company on the ink:

As you can see, again, two different colors. I believe that the swatch Goulet gives is much darker than what you actually get. You cannot see the light coloring or black shadowing in this swatch, as you can with mine.

Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses:

This ink also seems to shadow nicely. A very wet flowing ink (so watch the possible smudging & smearing) A tad bit darker than William Shakespeare. Also has black points in it as well. A deep, rich, dark almost maroon with black shadowing. This ink has been a favorite of mine to write with and still currently is.

  • Wet (maybe somewhat too wet, but that could be how it is flowing from the nib in my pen)
  • Rich, dark red with black shadowing
  • Seems to take a bit longer to dry
  • Beautiful ink, could possibly be used in a professional setting (that allows reds)

Below is a swatch from Goulet Pen Company of the ink.

 I feel that this is a pretty accurate swatch. In the writing above, you can see the black points. Although, I think color wise, it is a tad bit darker. Might just be the lighting in my house. This ink is one that I currently use on a regular basis and is a favorite.

Overall Thoughts:

Diamine Oxblood is a good ink, however little shadowing and character. Nice red ink.
De Atramentis is a decent ink for those who like lighter inks. May have an affect on appearance if it fades over time.
Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses is my pick out of them all for inks. Nice deep red/burgundy with black shadowing. Beautiful.
All inks have just about equal dry time.


  1. I have a bottle of the Black Swan in English Roses and really like it. Like the Black Swan in Australian Roses, too. Looks like I made a good choice. Thanks for the review. :)

  2. Ashley, thanks for the review. I have the Oxblood and the black swan. The oxblood was an early purchase for me and I was hoping for more burgundy. I have since accumulated more true burgundy colors and the Oxblood doesn't get many dips.

    1. You are quiet welcome! Thanks for reading!
      I would have to agree that the Oxblood is not as burgundy as the Black Swan is. It is more Red. I too was not really pleased with oxblood and tend to use Black swan also. However I am always on the search for Red-black or deep burgundy inks with great character and shadowing.