Diamine oxblood is one of the inks that always seems to crop up in lists people make of the X number inks everyone should have. Others that frequently appear in the lists are Watermans serenity blue, Pilots kon-peki and Noodlers black and Apache sunset.
The use of the name Oxblood as a colour dates back to the 17th century. Oxblood was used as a pigment to dye fabric, leather and paint. The blood would change colour as it dried from a bright red to a darker more brown-red as it oxidised and aged. Oxblood is also known as temptress, it is usually described as dark almost burgundy red with more purple and less brown hues. As you can see from the following two photos the colour of oxblood is not consistent.
The packaging for Diamine inks especially the 80ml bottles is fairly simple with minimal fuss to announce the ink within. The only identifier for the ink is a sticker on the top of the box and the cap of the bottle.
On opening the bottle you can see it is a deep red ink.
Chromatography and anyone would be forgiven for thinking this is a burgundy ink. It definitely fits the description of burgundy red with purple hues as that is the mix that can be seen.
On col-o-ring it looks more brown, I would describe it as a brick-red ink. On Tomoe definitely burgundy looking and if it was to be described as a red brown colour it’s a lot more red than brown.
For the writing I used a custom pen I had just received from Hardy Penwrights. If you are in the market for a one off pen I highly recommend them.
The pen has a medium nib. I used the usually trio of Rhodia, copy and Tomoe river paper.
Starting with Rhodia it was not quick to dry and looked very brown.
On copy paper it was more towards the red end of the spectrum. Dry time as much better than on Rhodia.
Last Tomoe – still a red brown ink, not so purple. The dry time here was the best of the three papers.
Other inks of a similar shade –
You probably wouldn’t get the impression from my review that I really like this ink. It is one of the first inks I ever bought and will probably be the first that I empty a bottle. I used to always have a pen inked with this, it went to the back of the ink pile as the number of bottles increased but when I received my new pens I wanted an ink worthy of them so filled one with this and the other with Diamine steel blue.
In previous Diamine reviews I have recommended buying directly from Diamine and I still make that recommendation.
In summary -
Saturation - high
Shading – subtle but there
Sheen – no
Shimmer - no
Nib dry-out - none
Nib creep - none
Start-up – Excellent
Feathering - no
Drying – depends on the paper
Cleaning - good
Water resistance - not sold as waterproof because it really isn't.