Inks 1: Orange, Red, Pink & Burgundy

Note: The color swatches below were made with a swab on Clairefontaine Triomphe paper. I covered the entire length with a back and forth, then re-dipped and went over the first half again, to get an idea of the shade range of each ink. All these tests were white-point corrected with a preset correction curve, to keep the different colors from affecting the correction curves of each one. They are as accurate to the original as I can make them, but as you know, screens vary….

+ Indicates sample vial only

* Indicates scented ink

Company/Ink; Comments Swatch

Diamine Ancient Copper

A rich warm coppery brown, that shades wonderfully. Very much like a gently aged copper penny, but far from ancient; after all, wouldn’t that be verdigris green? Nevertheless, I love it!

Mont Blanc Special Edition DaVinci Red Chalk

This LE ink from Mont Blanc hits right in my sweet spot; somewhere between red, rust, and brown. It captures beautifully the rich hue of the red chalk favored by renaissance masters and artists today. It also comes in a gorgeous Mont Blanc inkwell, that I will definitely be using long after the ink is gone!


Noodler’s Antietam

It’s tough to know where to put this one, but I like it a lot! It has that same mix of red/brown/orange that I so clearly favor, looking much like the Diamine Burnt Sienna when laid down heavilty, but showing more of an arange when applied by a lighter or drier nib.


Diamine Burnt Sienna

A light orangey brown, lighter than I expected. Approaches what I would call a burnt sienna in its darkest shading, when lighter seems more like a café au lait (or maybe a chai latté!).

DA Amaretto *

I went on a bit of a ‘scented ink buyng spree’ recently, and this is one of the haul. It’s a really nice caramel-ish golden brown, something that will shine in a wetter, broader nib. It has a lovely rich amaretto scent that reminds me of almond cookies my grandmother made at Christmas.


DA YlangYlang +*

I grabbed a sample of this for the scent, and it’s lovely; sweet and rich with just a trace of the chemically undertone of ink. Interesting golden brown, too.

DA Michelangelo Buonarotti +

Another sample with an inriguing color. It’s a dusty, caramel-orange. It might be a tad too bland for larger stretches of writing, but I like it a lot, and will probably end up getting a bottle.

Private Reserve Orange Crush

I love this color! I grabbed it on a whim one day, and it’s fast become a go-to favorite for both grading papers and for longer stretches of writing. Occupies that perfect spot between red, orange, and brown.

Private Reserve Shoreline Gold

Bright, semi-saturated red-gold; not orangey, but still reddish. Bright, but with just a hint of desaturation to keep it from being to harsh.

Herbin Orange Indien

Brilliiant clear yellow-ochre-orange, shades slightly, but stays true. This color reminds me of saffron more than the Caran d’Ache of that name!

Noodler’s Apace Sunset +

Another gold/orange/red conundrum. Brighter and darker than Saffron, Orange Indien, or Shoreline Gold, it ranges from a pale juicy orange to a deep, rusty red.

Mont Blanc Mahatma Gandhi LE

After chasing this ink for over a year, I’m somewhat less thrilled than I would have thought. It’s a nice, bright, clear orange; but that’s it. No shading to speak of, and in most nibs, it’s a little light to be used for any long writing. Huge gorgeous bottle though!

DA Jasmine *

An interesting soft orange from De Atramentis’ scented ink line. The Jasmine scent is gentle (I could almost wish it stronger!) and fairly true. The color is a gentle orange with just a teensy whiff of pink, but not enough to distract.


Private Reserve Buttercup

I got this at my son’s behest, and it’s interesting. I think a little light for everyday, but would be lovely for calligraphy or in bolder nibs. A really pretty warm golden orange.

Caran d’Ache Saffron

Orangey-gold, bright but not too ‘day-glo,’ shades nicely to a rich sunset red.

Pelikan Brilliant Red

Orangey-red with almost a salmony tone, not as deep or true a red as I expected.

De Atramentis School Ink-Red *

Brilliant fire-red with lavender scent, not yellow or pink. Manages to shade to a light red, not towards either pink or orange.

J. Herbin 1670, Special Edition

Rouge Hematite, a fantastic flaming crimson, that shades to a deep rust, with an occational flash of bronzey green. In the bottle it has a shimmer, on the page it’s vibrant and striking. If you enlarge the swatch, you can just make out the gold/green shimmer at the edges.

Noodler’s Rattler Red (Eel)

This is a really nice, basic red. Deeper than a ‘pure red,’ but without either a pink/purple cast, or an orange tone to it. And the Eel (lubricated) version of this has opened up some more expressiveness in a couple of drier-writing pens.

De Atramentis Dante Alighieri

A.K.A. ‘Ruby Red.’ Bright, saturated, vivid crimson red, shades beautifully, but crimson hue stays true. Gorgeous; at last a real red!


Levenger Cardinal Red

This is a nice clear, true red, with just a hint of deepness that keeps it from going orange, but not enough to go burgundy or purple. This is the “cardinal red” of sports teams, not so much the bird, but it’s a great red for all that!


De Atramentis Chianti*

Very similar in color to Dante Alighieri, if a little deeper. This is one of De Atramentis’ ‘wine’ range; inks that are made from actual wine. Not only a rich, luxurious ruby red, but a heady true red wine scent. I’ve been using this one a lot!


Diamine Claret

Less of a Claret, more of a brilliant magenta. Very saturated (but not at all ‘day-glo’), not much shading in this swatch, but very clear and vivid. I think this will be a striking writing ink.

J. Herbin Bouquet d’Antan +

I don’t really do pinks. That said, this is a pretty nice dusty-rose sort of pink. Sort of the range of pinks I can almost tolerate.

J. Herbin Rose Tendresse +

A bright pink that leans more purple than salmon, if only by a hair. Very clear true color, but not really one I care for personally..

My Own Burgundy Mix

A mix of 2 parts Pelikan Violet and 1 part Pelikan Brilliant Red. It’s a nice color, but falls prey, I think, to the weaknesses of both the inks in it, especially the Red.

Herbin Rouge Opera *

Soft cool lilac/red, not very saturated. Shades from a faded red/purple to a medium greyed magenta. Light ‘violet’ scent.

Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses

Aside from possibly the longest ink name ever, this is a really gorgeous deep burgundy, but without a lot of the brownish tones that burgundies often have. Deep enough to be respectable, and a very well-behaved ink.

Private Reserve Arabian Rose

Take a brilliant rose, deepen it down just a shade or two, add a bit of purple, soften it with a trace of grey, and you have Arabian Rose. Not sure if I like this one or not.

A version of “Binder Burgundy”

Mixed by ‘dflorida’ on Fountain Pen Network, this is a similar color to my own mix, but with far superior qualities. It’s more saturated, relatively water-resistant (leaving a fairly vivid and very legible magenta after determined soaking). Much wetter flow, too. Fantastic!

Diamine Syrah

Another solid Diamine ink, in a nice deep, warmish burgundy. I think I have tapped out the “burgundy” offerings, as I can’t really manage to distinguish them by anything more than lighter, darker, redder, etc. Still, a very fine ink.

DeAtramentis Patchouli *

This color is unusual – not quite burgundy, nor really rose, not purple, not brown….but I like it. But what’s best about this ink the the scent. Of all the scented inks I’ve tried, this one is exceptional. It boasts a true, clear patchouli scent that stays for days, and is really wonderful when writing.

Visconti Ruby Red

This is an older bottle, one of the large glass champagne styles. I don’t know if I’d call this a ruby, maybe more of a plum or mulberry. It’s a rich purply-burgundy, subdued but not brown or faded.

Inks 1:
Orange, Red, Pink & Burgundy

Inks 2:
Rust, Brown, Grey & Black

Inks 3:
Purple, Blue & Green

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