Friday, August 13, 2010

Ink Review: Diamine Woodland Green

Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig,
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
maybe it was the voice
of the rain crying,
a cracked bell,
or a torn heart.

- Pablo Neruda, 'Lost in the Forest'

It all started with a Vector. Then came some more. More Parkers, more Lamys, and more Sheaffers. That was followed by testing huge quantities of different notebooks for ink resistance, and scouring the streets of Recto for vintage inks. It did not end there. Not yet, for the search continued. For more inks. For more Parker Quinks, more Watermans, more Auroras, more J. Herbins. Here and there, a bottle of De Atramentis, Caran d'Ache, Iroshizuku, and Mont Blanc came around. But no Diamine. Until.

I have always wanted to try Diamine inks, but like most ink brands, it is not locally available. My current limitations dictate a moratorium on oline purchases, so I was in a bind. That's when the bright idea dawned on me. I wrote to Diamine. With fingers crossed (and hopes held high), I wrote to them and said I'd love to review their inks on my blog. Several days passed and no response came. I believed my request was turned down. But on March 1st, Diamine's Company Director Phil Davies sent me an email to say that several bottles of Diamine ink have been sent to me. Hurray!

And now, here is Woodland Green, and my first Diamine ink review.

Phil sent me six Diamine inks to try. Six! I got Majestic Blue, Royal Blue, Chocolate Brown, Orange, Poppy Red, and Woodland Green. I have tried to write and doodle with all of them, but because I'm into all things green now, I chose Woodland Green to be my first Diamine ink review.

Woodland Green is a dark, strong green ink with shades of blue. Unlike the bright Lierre Sauvage, this ink has a dark greenish-bluish shade. It has a gem-like quality when wet, and dries a beautiful dark green especially on light-colored paper.

The Diamine bottle is made of plastic, so ink easily gets off the inside surface. Here is the closest I could get to show the ink color through the bottle.

Woodland Green reminds me so much of Los BaƱos, especially Pili Drive – a long, narrow strip of road inside the UPLB Campus, lined with decades-old Pili trees with enormous trunks and thick canopies. The color of Woodland Green is akin to the shade provided by these huge trees.

Below is the written review of Diamine Woodland Green. I wrote on Kokuyo paper using two pens: an Osmiroid 65 with medium italic nib (black pen on the right), and my new green Wality 69TL with round medium nib.

Woodland Green is a saturated ink, as the other Diamine inks are. It flows well on both pens I used for this review. Shading is not very visible, but that could be attributed to the pens I used and not to the ink.

Here is a sampler of Diamine Woodland Green on Kokuyo paper.
Doodle was written with my Wality pen.

Here is another macro of ink smeared on paper, from the drying time test.
Note the shades of blue on the part where the ink begins to fade.

More macro shots here:

Here is Woodland Green in comparison with other green inks. It really has more blue compared to J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage (hints of yellow), Private Reserve Avacado, Penman Emerald, and Parker Super Quink Permanent Green (all with hints of black/gray).

Woodland Green takes a longer period of time to dry not only on Kokuyo paper, but also on Rhodia Reverse notebook. I also noticed that it's not very easy to take off Woodland Green ink on my fingers when I got stained while changing nibs on my Osmiroid pen.

And now, the poem. I have always loved Pablo Neruda's poems. I love his 'erotically charged love poems', especially those in his compilation book, Twenty Poems of Love and A Song of Despair; and the ones included in the soundtrack of the film Il Postino. It is only fitting to have this green ink review as a tribute to the poet who 'always wrote in green ink as it was the color of hope'.

Founded in London, Diamine has been manufacturing inks since 1864. Diamine is one of the largest producers of a large range of fountain pen ink as well as the famous Registrar's Ink for permanent records. Diamine fountain pen inks are available from the Diamine site or from the Writing Desk in the UK. In the US, they are available from the Pear Tree Pen Company. (I'm not affiliated with any of these companies.)


  1. Anonymous7:09 PM

    I simply love your ink reviews. This is no exception. Great text, pics (great comparison), handwriting and it all starts with a beautiful poetry quote. Thanks. I am happy that Diamine supplied the inks so you could write this! :)

  2. Fantastic review, Clem! My own signature ink is Diamine Cerise. This is a great brand and because of your excellent review I'm moved to try Diamine's other colors.

  3. J hope Phil at Diamine is ready for a lot of follow on requests from other bloggers — including me! — ready to review his inks!

  4. Geez, the one time I decide not to preview my comment . . . that should have been "I hope," of course.

  5. Lady Dandelion: Thank you for your kind words. You write great reviews, too! :)

    JennyO: I love Diamine inks! They have great colors to choose from, and I'm sure you'll be happy to try new ones. :)

    Note Booker, Esq.: There's no harm in asking. :) I used the contact form in the Diamine website to email them.

  6. Another fine review with the usual detail that make me love to read them. Diamine made a wise choice.

  7. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Shit, there's a Pinoy blog pala reviewing hoardable stationery items!!! I've been jumping from blog to blog, reading about pens, pencils and notebooks and I ended up here at your blog! This rocks! haha

    So, do you buy mostly from online retailers like most collectors? Local store suggestions? :D

  8. Hey there, Anonymous. :) Yes, this site is 100% Pinoy. Although most of the stuff I review are from the United States and Europe. Recently, I got some items from Singapore and Hong Kong. I get these from the manufacturers themselves, as they send me their products to review. As for local stores, I always turn to National Bookstore for the usual stuff. For other paper products, I check Fully Booked, PowerBooks, Bibliarch, and yes, please visit Scribe Writing Essentials at the Eastwood Mall in Libis. Scribe carry their own notebooks and journals, aside from other paper and pen related items, and you'll be glad to know that it is also 100% Pinoy. :)

    Maraming salamat sa pagbasa sa blog ko! :)