Oxblood is almost (but not quite) dark enough to be used as an every-day ink as a replacement for black. In practical use, though, the ink is thin enough that even with a wet pen on good paper, the red color is pretty apparent when dry.
This was among the first group of reddish inks that I every purchased, all from Diamine (also including Blood Orange, Firefly, and Red Dragon). I found a good deal on them from the Pilotfish store on Amazon: I paid $6.71 for the 80ml bottle that normally costs $14 or so in the USA… but these inks ship from the UK, and there is a shipping charge ($6 for the first bottle, $2 for each additional) so I had to buy a lot of ink to make the most of the prices. 🙂
Compared to Diamine’s Red Dragon, Oxblood has a more burgundy/dark crimson tone, though it’s not purple enough to be a maroon. And here’s something I didn’t expect: Oxblood has a very minor sheen! Dried ink drops show a slight yellow-green sheen… or maybe just a residue; it’s not shiny.
Diamine’s Oxblood is a pretty low-flow ink. With a glass dip pen, the line produced is unusually fine and even. With a medium-nib pen (x750) on Clairefontaine paper, flow is low enough that I often have rough starts, though no actual skipping otherwise. On cheap copy paper the ink is pretty well controlled but does have a little more bleed through than I would have expected. Odd.
Dry time is on the long side but not terrible. It’s mostly dry at 40 seconds, and the thick strokes are dry by 50 seconds. There was not much water resistance on Clairfontaine paper, where the ink stays closer to the surface. On copy paper it fared a little better, but still ran heavily in water.
This was at the top of my list of red inks to try, and while I do like it, I don’t like it quite as much as I expected to. I’m not sure why that is, exactly. Maybe it will grow in me. It might be that the color isn’t as saturated and dark as I expected. Maybe it’s the flow. Mabye I need to find a better pen and paper combination for it. It’s one of Diamine’s most popular inks, so maybe you’ll like it more than I. Let me know in the comment section below!
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