I’m nearly at the end of trying all of my mad purchase of shimmer inks from Diamine. Todays is dragons blood which reminds me of cocoa shimmer in that’s its quite soft / muted for a shimmer ink and therefore quite useable.
I thought the names dragons blood was more romantic than real however, dragon’s blood is real. Not the blood of the mythical beast but a bright resin obtained from species of the plant genera Croton, Dracaena, Daemonorops, Calamus rotang and Pterocarpus. The resin has had numerous uses through the ages the most obvious is as a dye but it is also found in medicines, incense and varnish. Daemonorops is the most widely sold nowadays but Dracaena is the true ‘dragons blood’.
From the picture of the powdered resin you would expect this to be a bright red ink – it isn’t, I would call it brick red. You can see it is dark in the bottle and in the cap when the bottle is opened.
Chromatography was not particularly revealing, I have found that with all the shimmer inks the base tends to be very monochromatic and not much of a blend. Here brown, browny-red and gold shimmer
Col-o-ring and Tomoe were similar. This is not a particularly bright ink and as with most of these inks you sometimes need to move the paper a round or get the light just right to appreciate it is a shimmer ink.
For the wrting I used a TWSBI go with a stub nib and copy, Midori and Tomoe river paper.
Starting with copy paper I would call this ink brown, I still think the base is brick red or red-brown but the shimmer makes it look just brown. There is nothing really special about it, it is quick drying and there was no feathering or show through. I take all my photos using natural light and you can see from the photo how the shimmer can show up depending on how the light falls on the page.
On Midori the red is more obvious but the shimmer is lacking. Again no feathering or show through.
The colour on Tomoe river paper is similar to Midori, the red is more obvious but still not that bright and as expected dry time was slower.
I know I said I like this ink and I do but as a shimmer ink it is a bit meh. The base shade is a variation on brown and the shimmer isn’t too ‘in your face’ so it is quite useable as an everyday ink. If you don't like shimmer inks Diamines ancient copper is a very good alternative, or Sailors Kobe brick.
I have previously said I have bought these inks directly from Diamine – postage was reasonable a flat 5pounds to New Zealand for 5 inks.
In summary -
Saturation – high
Shading – no
Sheen – no
Shimmer – yes, gold
Nib dry-out - none
Nib creep - none
Start-up – Excellent
Feathering – none, not even on cheap paper
Drying – very reasonable even on Tomoe
Cleaning - good
Water resistance – all the shimmer goes, and though there is some run off quite a lot remains.