Hi ink lovers! Madigan here, reviewing the sanguine Diamine Red Dragon ink. Lydia used it recently in a Monday Matchup, which made me want to give it a try. I’ll be honest- looking at the swab, this one wasn’t on my list of top red inks. However, as I wrote with it and got to see how it performed, it definitely grew on me. It is a deep red, a little darker than a true red and can fluctuate in color depending on the paper you are using. If you are looking for a new red ink to try, read on to see what I thought!


Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):

  • Long– This is not a fast drying ink! It was still smearing a little bit after 30 seconds. That being said, it would certainly be dry in under a minute. If you are a lefty or a quick writer, you might want to try another faster drying ink.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):

  • Low-This is not one to use in a rain storm or spill a glass of water across! It became illegible as soon as water was introduced. It could be good for ink washes, however, so if you are planning on creating art with it, it could be great!


  • High– This is a highly saturated ink. The bold red color doesn’t fluctuate between the first and third swab.

Ease of Cleaning:

  • Easy-Low water resistance means this ink was easy to clean out of my pen. A couple of rinses with water and I was good to go!


  • Low– In this instance, high saturation led to low shading. I saw virtually none in the up and down strokes when writing. Usually I like ink with some shading, but it was nice to see a continuous bold red line whenever and however I was writing.


  • Medium– This ink performed well! It kept up with the flow of the pen in all nib sizes, from extra-fine to broad.

Packaging and Aesthetics:

  • Pleasing 80 ml bottle packaged in a box. 30ml bottles and ink samples available.
  • Box is nice, not super fancy but pretty.
  • The bottle has a medium round opening and a flat bottom.

Inks Similar in Color 

This is a solid red ink option. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. To me, it still doesn’t compare to say, Diamine Wild Strawberry, but I can see why other people like it. It has a long dry time, but it is well behaved and writes well in any size nib. This ink is particularly striking on cream paper, so that’s something to keep in mind. This would be a great ink for editing! Outlining or underlining could be another option for this ink.

You can find Diamine Red Dragon in 80ml glass bottles for $14.95, 30ml plastic bottles for $7.50, or 2ml ink samples for $1.25.

What is your favorite red ink? Leave a comment and let me know!

Write on,