Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Mixing De Atramentis Document Inks Updated January 2015


I am really enjoying working with the De Atramentis Document Black and Document Brown fountain pen inks. I have been gradually buying the other document colours as I find them in various shops in Sydney Australia, including Larrypost, Art Scene, Tilly's and Pen Ultimate, or from Gouletpens in the US. A couple of sample shipments from De Atramentis has enabled me to add Yellow and the thinning solutions, along with Red, Green and Dark Blue. See the full range - Yellow, Red, Magenta, Blue, Dark Blue, Cyan, Green, Brown and Black here.

A Document Grey is now available in some areas, though it appears much more a dark blue than a grey.  Burnt Sienna and White are in the pipeline.

To have a good range of lightfast, waterproof, fountain pen-friendly inks is one thing, but to then be able to inter-mix them is really exciting for an artist. I'm looking forward to experimenting with them as liquid watercolours. They rate the maximum 8 on the blue wool scale so should be fine in framed finished works. (Of course I'll do my own testing :-)

So I have been mixing them, and explored making a range of mixed colours measuring drop by drop. It's not perfect - how big is a drop? - but it gives a good idea of just some of the colours possible. All these colours are full strength. A thinning solution is also available. These are painted out in a Stillman & Birn Alpha A4 sketchbook.

Here is Document Blue mixed with Document Magenta in the ratio written below. Document blue is a lovely warm blue so the purples are clean and beautiful. August 2015 - a Document Violet has been added to the Document Range.



Here is Document Turquoise (Cyan is a more helpful name here) with Document Magenta. Notice how the colours overlap the mixes above so you can make your own document Blue hue, though the Document Blue ink is very nice and acts as a wonderful warm mixing blue.


My next mixes were with Document Turquoise (which will be called Cyan) and Document Brown. The cool blue creates lovely turquoise and green hues and a great olive green and cooler brown.









The next range with a warmer Document Blue creates a lovely deep blue, grey and warm Sepia and burnt umber browns when mixed with Document Brown. I am loving working with this mixed grey and have also used a slightly thinned version in a fountain pen :-)



And here is a range of deep red and maroon colours made with Document Magenta and Document Brown.









Here is Document Yellow mixed with Document Blue. I always love the more natural greens you can make with a warm blue.
Document Yellow mixed with Document Cyan will create much brigher greens.



Document Yellow mixed with Document Green makes ever warmer greens.

Document Yellow with Document Brown makes wonderful yellow ochre, raw sienna hues. You can see this combination in action in Liz Steel's sketches here.
And Document Yellow mixed with Document Magenta makes gorgeous oranges, reds and crimsons :-)










Here is Document Yellow mixed with Document Red.
All the colours can also be mixed with the Document Black for deeper shades. I've started playing with those mixes and you can see them here.

I then did some exploration of three colour mixes. I will add more on these as a separate post. These are quite deep and dark but rather interesting. The first were made with various ratios of Document Blue, Magenta and Brown.




The next were made with the same ratios using the cooler cyan, (Document Turquoise), Magenta and Brown.



For more on drawing with inks see Working in Ink here, or Sketchbook Pages Exploring Fountain Pen Inks here. For more on coloured inks see here. For Brown Inks comparisons see here.