- Lamy Al-Star with medium steel nib (also EF and B nib)
- Rhodia No. 16 dotpad, 80g white paper
- Tomoé River white paper
- Moleskine notebook
Smear Test (Dry Time):
- 30+ seconds – The dry time for this ink really surprised me. It took a lot longer than I originally expected at over 30 seconds. Many of Diamine’s other inks have a shorter dry time so I assumed it would be relatively similar. I was wrong! The pigments added to the ink to obtain the shimmer effect cause the ink to take a slightly longer amount of time to dry. This can cause a bit of smudging and smearing (as you can see in some of my examples) but it is easily avoided once you understand the ink.
Drip Test (Water Resistance):
- Low – Blue Lighting plus water will equal dissatisfaction. Water will not only make the ink disappear (as you can see on my grid test), it will also kill the shimmer. If you are looking for a shimmering ink to use as an ink wash I would recommend using very little water. Otherwise you won’t necessarily get the effect you are searching for.
- Low – I really thought that this ink would have a high saturation because of how bold and bright the blue is. The swab test clearly proved me wrong. The color definitely gets bolder and more concentrated with a higher amount of ink. I would recommend using this ink in a flex pen or a stub nib because those will put more ink down on the page and raise the likelihood of obtaining shimmer.
Ease of Cleaning:
- Low/Medium – I had to give this ink two ratings because it can be a challenge to clean in certain situations. When cleaning the ink off of my nib it came off very easily with little to no effort. However, the pigments used to create the shimmer in this ink can create build up inside of the feed and cause issues. Make sure you are cleaning the inside of your pen properly and frequently to avoid this. Using a toothbrush on the feed can give some extra help if you need it.
- High – Calling this ink Blue Lightning is definitely fitting. The color ranges from a very very light and bright blue (almost like lightning) to a deep brilliant blue reminiscent of a night sky in a thunderstorm. Even with thinner nibs you can see a good deal of shading at the bottoms of letters.
- Medium – I expected the flow of this ink to be relatively dry because of the shimmer pigment residue in the feed but I found that that wasn’t the case. The flow didn’t seem to be effected by it when I wrote but I’m sure it could cause problems after prolonged use. The ink wasn’t overly wet, which was surprising because of the long dry time. Overall the flow was adequate and kept pace with my fast writing. I would recommend keeping pens with shimmering inks like this one as clean as possible to avoid any flow issues while writing.
Packaging and Aesthetics:
- 50 ml bottle
- The bottle design is tall, and the neck opening is small. The chances of getting ink all over the body and grip when filling is pretty high, especially when ink is low.
Inks Similar in Color:
Diamine Blue Lightning is one of those inks that offers you everything you are looking for in a shimmering ink. It’s color is eye catching and dazzling. Be prepared to answer lots of questions if you plan on using this ink at work. It doesn’t take much to be able to see its shimmer as it shines bright and electric even with thinner nibs.
Although I was nervous to try this ink originally, I have completely fallen in love with this vivacious ink. I normally write with more subtle colors but I currently have it inked up in two of my favorite pens! I highly recommend trying this ink out. It may require more maintenance than some of your other favorite inks but it is completely worth it.
You can find Diamine Blue Lightning in a 50ml bottle for $20.00 and as a sample for $1.50. Make sure you check out our Diamine Shimmertastic Sample Package to try out this ink as well as the other inks in the Shimmertastic Collection.
What are your fears in trying an ink with shimmer?