Inkmas Day 5: DeAtramentis Document Dark Red

12 days of Inkmas


Review by Tina Koyama

Although I use water-soluble inks for sketching when I want to wash some lines for effect, I depend on waterproof inks when I know I’m going to be using water-soluble colored pencils or watercolor, too. And when addressing envelopes, I always use waterproof ink. Platinum Carbon Black has been my go-to for years because of its absolutely reliable waterproof quality. Happily, the DeAtramentis Document line of 19 waterproof inks gives both writers and sketchers more color options.

With a sad shortage of reds in my ink collection (Iroshizuku Momiji is a favorite, but it’s more pink than red, leaving Diamine Poppy as my only true red), and considering the upcoming holidays, I decided to try Document Dark Red with the possibility of using it to address holiday card envelopes. I was imagining it might be a sophisticated burgundy, but it’s much closer to rust or brick red. The inks in my collection that come closest are Diamine Red Dragon, though Document is more subdued, and Diamine Ancient Copper, which is more orange and has all that crazy sheen. Document Dark Red exhibits no sheen at all. In fact, if you look at it in the bottle, it has a surprising opacity.

I tested its waterproof quality after one minute (the bottom scribble in the swatch) and after 10 minutes (the scribble above it). I see an insignificant trace of washing in both tests.

For a writing sample, I used my Sailor 1911 with a specialty Cross Point nib, which is particularly fat and juicy, and an old Hobonichi Techo. (Although it doesn’t show well in my photo, the pen’s burgundy body matches the ink well.) It flows beautifully. Since my photo doesn’t do the color justice, I also scanned the page.

Although it’s not what I would call “Christmas red” in a Jingle Bells, ho-ho-ho kind of way, it’s an understated red that could probably be used by teachers to mark papers without screaming “RED.” I can use it to address envelopes all year round.


DISCLAIMER: Some of the items included in this review were provided free of charge for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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