Day 7’s ink is Diamine Alpine, it’s a dark grey green with green shimmer in it, and it’s delightful.
The Col-o-Ring swab shows off some of the shading properties of this ink. It really reminds me of Diamine Umber, one of my favourite Diamine inks, with an additional pizzaz of sparkles.
Like Diamine Umber, Diamine Alpine is a fun ink to sketch with, and should work particularly well on cream coloured paper. Here is a sketch on tomoe river paper, where you can see the shading and a bit of the shimmer:
The shimmer here is subtle, which works well with this muted shade of green. It doesn’t overshadow the shading properties of this ink, but rather adds to it. The result is interesting and festive – a worthy addition to the Diamine Christmas ink lineup.
Diamine Ghost is day 6’s ink. It’s a wonderfully shading bluish grey, a close kin to the phenomenal Diamine Earl Grey.
Ghost is on the light side of greys, although not light enough to be unreadable in this fine nibbed Diplomat Aero. It is probably not the best for cream coloured paper, but on white paper it works well enough:
Ghost really shines on Tomoe River paper, as its shading properties are really prominent here. I had a lot of fun sketching this baby ruru (morepork) on this 52g original Tomoe River paper notebook:
I love grey inks so I am definitely going to buy a bottle of this no – it’s a bluish grey shading ink, what’s not to love?
Inkvent day 5 ink is Diamine Spiced Apple, a red chameleon ink.
Like Solar Storm, another chameleon ink from this year’s Inkvent, Spiced Apple is difficult to photograph.
Spiced Apple is a bright red ink with chameleon shimmer that makes it look golden brown from some angles, blue green or bright red from others. The left side of this apple sketch looks golden brown, which is why it came out darker in this photo.
I don’t normally use red inks, as I associate the colour with editing, not writing. However, the chameleon effect really does make this ink particularly appealing.
It’s Day 4 of the Diamine Inkvent calendar. What’s behind today’s door?
It’s Diamine Spruce – a saturated dark green that’s (unfortunately) scented.
The ink is a dark viridian green with a red sheen and relatively little shading, as it is so saturated. It also showed a troubling tendency to stain pens, perhaps because it is so saturated or perhaps because of the pigments involved. It’s not a super sheening ink, which means that drying times are long but acceptable, but it will feather on even normally fountain pen friendly paper.
Diamine Spruce is a very Christmas appropriate ink, and I’d have no issue with it if it wasn’t scented. Diamine doesn’t normally make scented inks and I don’t like scented inks, which means that this is not only the first scented Diamine ink that I own, it’s the first scented ink that I own. Did Diamine even make scented inks before this Inkvent calendar? I don’t like scented inks enough to even check.
I filled a Lamy Safari with a medium nib with Diamine Spruce, and the air freshener smell it gives off is so unpleasant that I’ll probably dump the ink in the converter right after writing this review. It’s not an overpowering scent, but it is present, and I don’t like it. It reminds me of hospital toilets and car air-fresheners, and not in a good way. Definitely not an ink that I would ever buy or use.
What does day 3 of the 2022 Inkvent calendar bring?
Something new and exciting: a chameleon ink:
Day 3’s ink is Diamine Solar Storm, a dark purple chameleon ink. What is a chameleon ink, you may ask? I did too. When I saw the label on the bottle I thought that there must be some new ink trend that started when I was abroad and I missed it. Was that the new name for the hue shifting inks that Sailor popularised?
No it was not. A quick internet search revealed that chameleon inks were a new kind of shimmer ink from Diamine, first offered in the Inkvent 2022 calendar. What is special about them is that the mica in them is very fine, and so the shimmer shifts colour as you tilt the page and view your writing from different angles.
Very cool and impossible to photograph (you’ll perhaps get a feel for the effect in a video review). There are angles where you can barely see the shimmer, and others where it is dazzling, angles where it’s golden green and others where it’s silvery. The ink itself is a wonderfully dark, dusky and rich bluish-purple with a good amount of shading. Even without the chameleon effect it would have been lovely.
Comparing Solar Storm with last year’s Stargazer, there’s something more subtle about the chameleon effect that makes it more appealing to me than the shimmering and sheening Stargazer. It may be the newness bias, and it may be that I’ve grown tired of blue inks with lots of red sheen, but if chameleon inks are the next big thing, I’m not against them. Solar Storm is a fantastic ink, with a very peculiar name choice for a Christmas themed calendar. However, if it will clean out well out of my Pilot Metropolitan cursive medium fountain pen, then it is definitely going on the shopping list for a full bottle.
Day 2’s ink is Diamine Yule Log, a brown shimmer ink. There’s a lot of coppery shimmer in this ink, and a good amount of shading. I filled a Lamy Studio fine nibbed fountain pen with this ink, and all the writing samples here are done with that:
Yule Log is a sketcher’s ink in terms of hue: if it didn’t have shimmer to it, I could see myself sketching landscapes with it. You can see how close it is in shade and shading to De Atramentis Urban Sienna, which is an excellent sketching ink. Yule Log tends a bit more to yellow and Urban Sienna tends a bit more to red, but they both look like classic inks for pen and ink sketching.
The coppery shimmer does add interest to Diamine Yule Log and it makes it more celebratory without being so much shimmer that you lose the character of the ink. It still shades beautifully, and has a warm richness to it even without the sparkles:
I love that this ink is part of the Inkvent calendar, but I’m not so sure where it lives once Inkvent is over. Yule Log is dark enough to use in serious settings, but then it’s a shimmer ink, so maybe not something you want your colleagues to see you write meeting notes with. It isn’t festive enough to be your ink of choice for Christmas cards, and I’m not sure it has a place over any other ink for any other purpose. I’m sure that it’s going to be someone’s favourite ink somewhere, it’s just that I don’t think many people will be rushing off to buy a full bottle of it.
It’s day 1 of Inkvent 2022, and it’s time to see what’s behind the first door (the illustration on the calendar is exactly the same as in previous years, just on a green background, instead of a blue or red one):
It’s Diamine Bliss!
I filled a Pilot Metropolitan fine nibbed pen with it, and created this Col-O-Ring swab:
It’s definitely a cheerful and calming colour, and it has distinct summery vibes to it. To test it out I created a quick sketch of the beach and the Mediterranean on a Tomoe River 52g notebook (the original Tomoe River paper).
I then wrote this quick review of The Expanse series using it. As you can see, despite this ink being labelled as “standard” it shades very well, even in a fine nibbed pen. It also remains readable throughout, which isn’t a given in turquoise inks. This was written on Tomoe River paper 68g (original tomoe river paper).
I like turquoise inks, and so I have a few swabs of them at hand (and one or two laying around that I haven’t swabbed yet). Diamine Bliss is very close to Sailor Bungubox June Bride Something Blue, and not far from Diamine Subzero (minus the shimmer). Not a particularly rare shade of ink, but a nice one nonetheless.
This is a quick sketch of our family friend Joe during our weekly zoom meeting with him. Joe is one of the smartest, funniest and kindest people I know, he’s 97 years old, and he’s been a family friend since I can remember myself. Do you have a similar inspiration in your life?
This was sketched using a Platinum Plaisir fountain pen on an A4 Midori MD Cotton notebook.
A friend was at a local vintage Indian motorcycle meeting and she took a photo of a 1948 Indian chief, so this is today’s sketch, directly in pen and ink. 3776 Plantinum UEF fountain pen with Sailor Epinard ink on an A4 Midori MD Cotton notebook.