After finding an excellent set of lightfast (also mixable and permanent) fountain pen inks, I’ve been able to create custom colors for use in my artwork. I created 19 mixes so far, using De Atramentis Artist Inks and Klara Sketch Ink from Rohrer & Klingner.
- Magenta Artist ink—De Atramentis
- Red Artist ink—De Atramentis
- Orange Artist ink—De Atramentis
- Yellow Artist ink—De Atramentis
- Cyan Artist ink—De Atramentis
- Blue Artist ink—De Atramentis
- Gray Artist ink—De Atramentis
- Brown Artist ink—De Atramentis
- Klara Sketch ink—Rohrer & Klingner (for a vibrant blue-green)
- Thinner for Document Inks—De Atramentis
For more information on these selections, see my other post, Lightfast & Mixable Fountain Pen Ink.
I mixed, tested, and tweaked these mixes to create a series of colors suitable for my art, looking at past pieces to ascertain what I would likely use in the future.
I likely could have created simpler mixes but while testing mixes, some became a bit over complicated and I didn’t want to waste the ink if I could simply tweak it a bit further. In the future, I’ll try simplifying them. Also, it’s possible I could narrow down the supplies by eliminating the Red and Orange inks, for example. It’s possible to narrow it down further if you’re willing to do your own neutralizing instead of using Blue, Brown, and Gray. That would narrow the list down to Magenta, Yellow, Cyan, Klara (for vibrant teals), and the thinning solution—pretty efficient. Keep in mind, this tactic requires larger mixes to achieve nuanced color variations.
Here are the 19 colors I ended up with and the current formulas. I already have plans to further tweak these to make one darker, one a bit lighter, etc.
The following formulas are based on drops from a pipette (not very accurate measurements).
- Pink—6 magenta, 2 orange, 20 thinner
- Light Pink—4 magenta, 2 orange, 1 red, 100 thinner
- Salmon—16 magenta, 11 yellow, 3 red, 3 orange, 80 thinner
- Peach—12 yellow, 10 magenta, 240 thinner
- Orange—60 orange, 5 red, 3 magenta, 15 thinner
- Yellow—1 orange (the orange ink weighs on the yellow side and I like a warm yellow, though I might add thinner)
- Green Gold—40 yellow, 1.5 gray (I had divided a mixture), 1 cyan, 80 thinner
- Light Green—30 yellow, 3 cyan, 1.5 gray (the other half of the divided mixture), 80 thinner
- Dark Green—14 yellow, 2 cyan
- Moss Green—13 yellow, 2 blue, 20 thinner (the Blue ink created better earthy greens)
- Aqua—1 Klara, 20 thinner
- Teal—3 Klara, 1 cyan, 10 thinner
- Dark Teal—3 Klara, 1 cyan
- Sky Blue—6 cyan, 3 Klara, 50 thinner
- Dark Blue—7 blue, 7 cyan, 10 thinner
- Violet—4 blue, 2 magenta, 1 gray, 150 thinner
- Brown—30 brown, 10 blue, 4 orange, 3 yellow, 1 magenta, 150 thinner
- Beige—8 brown, 1 blue, 150 thinner
- Cream—2 brown, 1 yellow, 100 thinner
After creating all the mixes, I filled my collection of Kaweco Sport fountain pens with inks corresponding to each pen body. Since I don’t have pens for all the colors, I put some ink mixes in translucent pen bodies and added stickers at the top that I could color with the ink for identification.
I do have quite a number of Kaweco pens and am able to match most of them. It’s quite an extravagance, yet I love these pens and using them with my watercolor art is a joy.
The new ink mixtures are stored in small glass bottles and organized in an acrylic tray. I love my new inks and the ease with which I can use them in my art by having them at hand in my fountain pen collection.