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Thread: De Atramentis CMYK document ink mixing

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    Senior Member calamus's Avatar
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    Default De Atramentis CMYK document ink mixing

    I just learned about these inks in the last couple of days. That makes me pretty late late to the discussion, except that it seems never to have taken place here, although the subject was bruited about a bit on the, ahem, other forum about 5 years ago when Dr. Jansen added cyan, magenta and yellow mixable document inks to his lineup. Even that conversation, however, never quite got around to making entirely clear what a big deal that development really was, probably because the artists who joined the discussion about mixing colors came from a painterly perspective, and looked at it in terms of what happens on a palette when you mix paints. One artist said she liked mixing with document blue more than with document cyan because the blue was more like ultramarine, which painters love. I love it too for that matter, and I used to paint in oils many years ago ó was quite passionate about it for a while ó but the significance of the cyan seemed to escape almost everybody.

    Please forgive me if I seem to be burbling aimlessly. I actually have something quite important to say, and if you bear with me just a little longer, all will become clear.

    Okay. I have been a professional graphic designer for about 15 years. Now then, there are two primary color modes that are used for images ó RGB (red-green-blue, the additive primary colors), used for Web art, and CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black, the subtractive primary colors), used for print media. Color printed brochures, magazines, etc., are done in what is called 4-color process, which means that each color you see is produced by mixing together different proportions of cyan, magenta, yellow and black printer inks. The amount of each ink used falls on a scale of 0 to 100. As an example, a light reddish brown might have a CMYK breakdown of 28-43-51-3 (28 parts out of a possible 100 parts of cyan, 43 parts out of a possible 100 of magenta, 51 parts out of 100 yellow, and 3 parts out of 100 black), and a nice medium green could be made from 60-10-77-2. (Aside: the figures aren't supposed to add up to 100; theoretically they could add up to as much as 400, but in practice printers avoid process colors, as they're also called, with more than 240% coverage.) Using De Atramentis document inks and dilution fluid, you should be able to reproduce those colors. There is also document white, which can be used for producing tints (you can also do it with dilution fluid, on white paper).

    What all this means is that you can mix up just about any color you want, and it will be gorgeous, well behaved, waterproof, and lightfast. Thatís a really big deal. Iíve already got a bottle of document black and some dilution fluid on hand, and Iíve got bottles of cyan, magenta, and yellow on the way. Iím also going to get more dilution fluid (which is basically ink without dye or nano-pigments) and a bottle of white.

    Iíve read some claims that the document cyan isnít a pure cyan and the magenta isnít a pure magenta, and the yellow is too weak to use in standard Photoshop CMYK proportions but needs to be increased. I donít know how true those claims are, but the colors are damn close if not spot on, and in any event these arenít standard printer inks, and theyíre not being applied by an ink jet printer or powdered toner and electrostatic charges, so youíll need to play around with them to get the exact results you want. But with a little perseverance, the skyís the limit!

    By the way, artists love De Atramentis document black because it can have watercolor applied over it and it wonít feather or run even the tiniest bit, unlike what sometimes happens with Noodlerís supposedly bulletproof inks. However, for some artists the document black isnít as deep and rich a black as they desire. With the CMYK set of inks, though, you should be able to mix up a deep, rich black that would satisfy the most Stygian tastes. You can even make it a warm rich black, a cool rich black or a neutral one, as you desire. (Google rich black cmyk for discussions about rich blacks and rich black formulś.)

    Finally (itís past my bedtime) here is a link to an article about mixing De Atramentis document inks, written from a painterly perspective:
    https://janeblundellart.blogspot.com...ment-inks.html
    Last edited by calamus; June 4th, 2019 at 11:40 PM.
    Quid rides? Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur. ó Horace
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    Senior Member calamus's Avatar
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    Default Re: De Atramentis CMYK document ink mixing

    From Jane Blundell's blog:



    Quid rides? Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur. ó Horace
    (What are you laughing at? Just change the name and the jokeís on you.)

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to calamus For This Useful Post:

    azkid (June 5th, 2019), KKay (June 11th, 2019)

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