My Favorite Diamine Red Inkvent Calendar Colors

So I’ve been wanting to do a blog post about my favorite fountain pen inks from the Diamine Red Inkvent Calendar. When I think about my favorites, it’s because the ink color looks great in my writing journal and also looks great in my pen & ink artwork.

Top view of my ink swatches

It’s rare that I will have two pens filled with the same ink color. If I do, it’s because I want to write with it and I typically will write with an Extra Fine or Fine nib pen. You already know that I enjoy sketching with my TWSBI GOs with stub nibs and so one of them will get the same ink color. I enjoy using my stub nib pens for sketching as I can get two different line variations from one nib.

Slightly angled view of my swatches to show off the sheen and shimmers

One morning while I was sipping my coffee, I went through my ink swatches from the Red Inkvent Calendar. I was narrowing down my choices and came up with a list of my favorite colors. I read somewhere and saw pictures that Diamine was manufacturing big bottles of ink from their calendar. I think April is the magic month when we might see some of the colors. It’s always good to plan ahead and figure out the faves. Right?

I decided to put my favorite colors together for a group photo. I wanted to show how uniquely different the blue colors are next to each other.

My favorite 10 ink colors each have unique personalities and nine of them have shimmers. Black Ivy (no shimmers & lots of sheen) is lovely dark green ink color. When I use the ink in my pen & ink sketches, the ink changes towards a teal/turquoise color.

Here’s a slightly angled view to show off some of the ink’s characteristics better:

Here are the individual photos of my faves and in no particular order:

My 10 favorite colors shown in the above photo collage represents the colors I’ve used for both writing and sketching. I’ve been happy with the colors and how they look on a variety of papers I have used to write and sketch with. Most of the calendar colors spoke to me. Some colors shouted more than the others. Hahaha!

I’m almost certain that Vintage Copper will come in a larger bottle. That was a color I saw in one of Diamine’s picture. I had to zoom in closer and take off my glasses to see the labels.

I have to admit, this was the first time I spent some quality time with Diamine inks. I was happy to spend the last few months filling & testing their calendar inks in my collection of fountains pens and in my TWSBI GOs. It gave me a better appreciation for their ink’s quality and gorgeous colors.

In case you missed all the colors, here’s my sketch using all the Diamine inks from the calendar:

Inks: Diamine Red Inkvent Calendar.

Double Wired Journal Notebook

(Edit: I forgot to mention I purchased my journal for $5 + tax. I need to remember that not everyone is familiar with some of stores I have access to).

I was at my local “Five Below” store and came across this journal/notebook. I was rubbing my hand across the paper (because that is what fountain pen folks do) to get an idea how smooth this paper was. I decided to give this notebook a try with my fountain pens and inks.

Here is the front cover with a cool looking design.

Here is the back of the cover.

This journal is 6.875″ x 10″ and about 3/4″ thick. This notebook contains 240 pages of lined paper. The front and back cover appears to be made of thick cardboard.

Overall, it feels like a chunky journal especially with the double wired spine.

Here is my test page written with some of the Diamine Inkvent calendar inks and my fountain pens with wet nibs. The shading and shimmers definitely appear on this paper.

Upon closer inspection, I can definitely see the shimmer from Vintage Copper and the sheen from Stargazer and Ruby Blues with this paper.

I can also see the shading from Candle Light and Raspberry Rose. Winter Spice is showing off a bit of shimmer.

I like how this paper shows off the ink’s color and characteristics. Hardly any feathering on the paper.

Here’s the backside of my test page. No bleed through at all. I was surprised even writing with my Stub 1.1 nibs. I would have expected to see “dots” where my nib stayed on the paper a bit longer.

I like the wider spiral on this journal. I have no issues flipping pages back and forth. Have you ever had a spiral notebook that was difficult to flip through?

I like the stiff thick cardboard covers that protects the paper in this journal. Also, I like how I can fold the pages back and can write on one side of the page at a time. The stiff cardboard provides a nice sturdy surface to write on.

For the price and the amount of pages in this journal I think this is a great buy.

Pen: Conklin Duragraph Brushed Titanium with Rose Gold trim and Omniflex nib.

Inks: Various inks from Diamine 2021 Inkvent Calendar

Journal: Five Below lined with 240 pages.

The 25 Days of Daily Inky Madness

I might have mentioned before that this was my first attempt at doing a daily ink post on my blog. Was I feeling a bit excited and overwhelmed at the same time? Yes! At first, it felt like an unknown adventure was going to take place for 25 days in December. In the back of my mind, I was concerned if I would be able to commit and finish this daily ink project.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, I started to think about a process of what I was going to do when I opened each new bottle. I knew I would keep my current ink swatching process. I would have to add a writing sample and I had to come up with a theme. I chose to write down Christmas songs in one of my journals.

Next thing I knew I had to include daily sketches to show off the ink’s characteristics. What was my theme for my daily sketches? A round ornament.

I also decided to create a large sketch to incorporate all 25 ink colors! Add a color a day to the sketch. I decided a wreath would be a good choice. I had no clue what the wreath would look like and decided to go with the flow. I’ve included a picture of this wreath in my previous post.

Initially, it took me five days to figure out my process and get into a rhythm. Open a new bottle. Fill a pen or use my glass dip pen. Create my swatch card. Create my writing sample. Create my ink wash ornament. Add a sketch to my wreath. Clean my glass dip pen (if used) and my automatic pen. If I filled one of my fountain pens with ink, I added an entry into my Ink Journal along with pen name & nib size, ink name, and the date I filled my pen.

Included in this process were the many pictures I had to take for each bottle of ink I opened. Also I had to check and make sure the ink colors were close to accurate before I posted my daily blog entry.

Well before I reached the halfway mark in the calendar, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. My friend “M”mentioned I was “obligated to finish. You can’t quit 10 days in. REVOLT!” Hahaha! While “M’s” comment lingered in my head, I continued to march on.

I mentioned in a previous post that I ended up opening two to three bottles of ink a few days earlier in order to stay ahead. That turned out to be a game changer for me as I had so many other projects grabbing for my time and attention. I was able to set aside a block of time and focus on each ink color and inky characteristics.

Some ink colors took a bit longer for me to write about. Their inky swatches required me to grab all of my other ink swatches and compare colors. A few ink colors had me stumped and I had to use my watercolor swatches to check the color range. Brandy Snap was one of those colors. The color Sienna kept popping into my head and I knew it was in a similar color range.

There were teal and turquoise colors that were very close. It wasn’t until I pulled out my other swatch cards that I could see whether the color in question was leaning more towards blue or more towards green.

This inky experience turned out to be a fun journey for me. I’m glad I took this leap into an unknown adventure and found a fondness and love for the new inks I have. It was definitely time well spent and I enjoyed getting to know each ink’s characteristics.

For those of you following my daily Inkvent blog posts I want to say “thank you” for following along and absorbing all this inky information. I hope you found it helpful and maybe take a second look at the beautiful ink colors. I hope Diamine will produce the larger bottles in the near future as they did with their blue version of the Inkvent calendar from 2019.

In my daily posts I had created the ornament pen & ink wash sketch for each ink color. The ornaments became part of my Christmas tree sketch.

Thank you for following along in my 25 days of inky madness.

Inks: Diamine 2021 Inkvent Calendar

Day #25: All the Best!

Inkvent Day #25: Diamine All the Best

This is Diamine’s 30ml bottle of inky wonderment. I feel as though I won a grand prize for getting through the last 25 days of inky madness. Oh my!

I was twirling this bottle around to see what inky characteristics to expect from the label. Nothing. Just the name of the color.

I can see some shimmering particulates. Looks like the same amount as in the tiny 12ml bottles.

I shake the bottle to disperse the shimmers. I know I may not get as much since this bottle holds more ink. I gave my bottle a good shake. Where did my shimmers go?

Okay. Let’s start by doing some breathing exercises.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Repeat two more times before scrolling further.

.

.

.

Here is All the Best! Oh my! Look at all of this inky craziness on my swatch card!

Here’s a close up. Remember to breath in and breathe out.

There’s a good amount of sheen in my writing sample.

Let’s look at my swatch card from another angle.

.

I can see the amazing sheen in my ink wash. There’s a tiny bit of shimmer there as well.

Al the Best is a dark magenta ink color. Initially, the magenta color seems to disappear off the page as the bright olive green sheen overtakes the ink’s color. The longer I write with this ink, the more the magenta color becomes more prevalent on my paper with less sheen showing. Oh and let’s not forget the purplish-blue shimmering particles that decides to show up every now and then. How’s that for a description of this unusual ink color?

This is the last ink color in my calendar and it’s also at the very top of my wish list for a larger bottle.

Ink: Diamine All the Best (shimmer & sheen)

Pens: Turnt Pen Co Primary Manipulation 4 with Franklin-Christoph Fine nib. Automatic pen.

Journal: GLP Creations with Tomoe River Paper (68gsm)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media

Day #24: Yuletide and Oh My!

Inkvent Day #24: Diamine Yuletide

I enjoy turquoise and teal ink colors. It reminds me of the beautiful waters in the Caribbean. I also enjoy intense pink, bright coral, and eucalyptus/olive green colors.

When I saw the label color on the bottle I knew this was going to be another favorite color.

Diamine says this ink is a standard ink. It shows quite a bit of shading on my paper. My swatch card shows some interesting inky goodness.

So I had a funny thing happen to me. I picked up my Maiora fountain pen and proceeded to fill it with this ink. Uh-oh. I could not get the nib/feed/section into the bottle. My pen’s section was a bit thicker than the bottle’s opening. I had a “you’ve got to be kidding” moment with my pen. I untwisted my converter from the pen and dunked my converter into the bottle and filled it with ink. Mission accomplished. ūüėä

Okay, let’s get back to my inky observations.

There’s a bit of pinky sheen showing up on my swatch card. I’m trying to figure out if this ink is a teal or a turquoise color.

Here’s a close up of my writing sample. Did I mention the lovely shading on my paper?

In the following picture I have my Subzero swatch from a few days ago next to Yuletide. I can see Yuletide is leaning a bit towards green.

I’m now thinking Yuletide is closer to a teal color. I pull out my Diamine Aurora Borealis and Robert Oster Deep Sea swatches and compare the colors (base and underlying). I can see it’s in the similar range of colors.

There is still something unique about this ink. My brain is telling me there’s more than one underlying color. Besides green I also see some blue. I have to say my swatch card came out brilliantly with the ink dispersing in an unusual pattern.

I added too much water to my inky sketch and so the sheen migrated to the edge of my sketch. I can still see some greens and blues in my sketch.

Yuletide is a gorgeous dark teal ink color with some medium pink sheen. Depending on the lighting there is also has some green and blue underlying colors. I would definitely use this ink in my artwork and for journaling. Another color on my wish list.

Slap the side of my head moment: I’ve been using Yuletide in a few of my sketches. There was something very familiar about this color. Yes! Of course! I have another favorite ink color I’m currently using in my lovely Lamy 2000 called Devil’s Kitchen! Here’s another swatch comparison.

The only differences I can see is Yuletide has more sheen and is slightly lighter in color. Other than that both ink swatches look very close.

Ink: Diamine Yuletide (sheen)

Pens: Maiora Impronte OS Posilippo with Fine nib. Automatic pen.

Journal: GLP Creations with TRP (68gsm)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media

Day #23: Wonderland

Inkvent Day #23: Diamine Wonderland

Wonderland is a bright orange standard ink color. Look at how clear this bottle is.

This bright ink shows some lovely shading on my Tomoe River Paper.

On my swatch card there is a beautiful underlying yellow color showing through.

Another gorgeous ink wash. All of the Diamine inks from this calendar has performed well as an ink wash.

So far, Wonderland is the brightest orange ink I have in my collection. It’s a standard ink with subtle shading and a bright yellow underlying color.

In the short amount of time I’ve been using this color, it has grown on me. To me this is a happy color and I can see using this ink in my artwork. It would be a lovely color to use in my writing journal as well. It would definitely stand out among my teal, blue, and purple ink paragraphs.

Ink: Diamine Wonderland (standard)

Pens: Glass dip pen. Automatic pen.

Journal: GLP Creations with Tomoe River Paper (68gsm)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media

Another Gnome Sketch

This past weekend I created this Gnome sketch using several different ink colors from the Inkvent calendar. I had to wait until today to do a blog post as there were a few inks that were yet to be uncovered and opened.

Inks: Various Diamine Inkvent Calendar inks

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nib. TWSBI Eco with Stub 1.1 nib. Esterbrook Estie with F-C Stub 1.1 nib. Conklin All American with Stub 1.1 nib. Conklin Duragraph with Omniflex nib. Pilot Prera with CM nib. Pilot Stargazer with Medium nib.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha

Day #22: Oh My! It’s Black Ivy!

Inkvent Day #22: Diamine Black Ivy

At first glance this ink label looks to be black. Upon further inspection, I can see a hint of green. The name matches the ink color.

In my writing sample, the ink is a very dark color with a bright red sheen. My swatch shows a bright green underlying color. Let’s take a look at this from a different angle.

Wow! I see a lot of red sheen!

So much sheen!

I decided to wait two days before doing another writing sample on different paper to see how the ink behaves. Hard to imagine, but more sheen shows up.

Writing sample on Cosmo Air Light paper
Another view of my writing sample on Cosmo Air Light paper

I can see some wonderful colors in this ink!

An amazing bold ink wash with bright red sheen around the edges.

Black Ivy is a dark green ink that shows up initially as a green-black ink color on my paper. As the ink dries the bright red sheen appears along with tiny hints of green. It brings to mind shading qualities where the darker ink becomes the red sheen and the lighter ink becomes the green color. When the ink comes into contact with water, that’s when a bright green color appears. In some areas the underlying ink color appears to lean towards turquoise. Amazing ink characteristics. Black Ivy is on my wish list.

Ink: Diamine Black Ivy (sheen)

Pens: Monteverde Innova Carbon Black Rainbow Trim with Omniflex nib. Automatic pen.

Journal: GLP Creations with TRP (68gsm)

Paper: Cosmo Air Light (2nd writing sample). Grumbacher Mixed Media.

Day #21: Brandy Snap

Inkvent Day #21: Diamine Brandy Snap

Brandy Snap is a good name for this standard ink.

This ink has a bit of shading and a tiny, tiny bit of sheen.

This ink reminds me of a color somewhere between Burnt Sienna and raw Sienna from my watercolor paints.

For a standard ink, it responds well with water and creates a lovely ink wash.

When I first saw this color on my swatch card, it reminded me of Robert Oster Antelope Canyon. Antelope Canyon leans more towards orange. I checked a few more swatches and realized my other ink colors leaned towards orange or brown. Brandy Snap sits somewhere in the middle.

(Note: I will be back to add a swatch comparison picture)

This is a lovely and bright brandy or Sienna color. The yellow underlying color reminds me of Diamine Candle Light from this same Inkvent calendar. This is on my wish list for it’s unique color and for use in my artwork.

Ink: Diamine Brandy Snap (standard)

Pens: Glass dip pen. Automatic pen.

Journal: GLP Creations with TRP (68gsm)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media