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Noodler's CMYK Color Mixes


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#1 Limner

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 06:56

I'm posting these in response to a request for more scans of an ink mix chart that I posted in another thread--if this is in the wrong section or is otherwise inappropriate I trust the moderators will move or remove it--thank you!

These are ink colors I mixed according to 4-color CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color conventions. There are other techniques for mixing color, but CMYK is the method I am most experienced with. It is the method used in full-color printing separation.

For the Primary Hues I used the following:
CYAN: Noodler's Navajo Turquoise
MAGENTA: Noodler's Shah's Rose
YELLOW: Noodler's Yellow

The secondary and tertiary hues are all mixed from different combinations of the primary hues, and were matched to a commercial CMYK color wheel (these are available at art supply stores, usually in the Graphic Arts section).

I mixed the Tints (pastels) using Noodler's White Whale. The same effect can be achieved by mixing with Blue Ghost, or even distilled water (for pastels without the ultraviolet properties).

Tones are muted colors acheived by mixing a hue with its complimentary hue (the color directly opposite on the color wheel). An infinite number of tones can be mixed from any complimentary hues, but in my experience the differences can be pretty subtle. I like tone mixtures, as I feel they have a softer, more "antique" look than Shades (colors mixed with black). With the Noodler's ink, tone mixes also don't separate in the bottle, as the colors mixed with black tend to do.

I used Bulletproof Black for mixing Shades (hue plus black). A little black goes a long way.

The formulas noted are parts ratios--ie, 1 (part) ink A plus 6 (parts) ink B. I mixed all the secondary and tertiary hues before continuing on with mixing the various tints, tones, and shades. I found that a mini ice cube tray, with cover, makes an ideal palette for mixing a lot of ink colors at once.

The scans show the colors arranged in a traditional color wheel format, an overall color chart (with formulas noted), and some writing samples. Unfortunately I have samples for only the primary, secondary, and tertiary hues, and one set of basic tones; I pooped out before I managed to reach the tints and shades. The paper used in all the samples is HP Laser.

Hopefully this will be of some interest/use to others. If not, my apologies.

EDIT:
My image files apparently aren't compatible with the FPN system...to see the scans, please click the links below (the files are large--they may take awhile to load for some members). Thanks, James!

Noodler's CMYK Color Chart
Color Wheel
Writing Samples

Edited by Limner, 25 September 2007 - 05:50.


#2 captnemo

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 07:02

Well I'll be darned. Nice work! thumbup.gif

When first I saw the topic my first thought was that you'd have a hard time finding a suitable cyan color, but you did. Very cool.

#3 Limner

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 07:06

Thank you, captnemo. I can't seem to find the edit function--wanted to add that the paper used in all the samples is HP Laser.

Edited to add that I found the edit button.

Edited by Limner, 24 September 2007 - 07:10.


#4 HDoug

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 07:36

Wow! This is something that will be a well used reference by many here. Just want to let you know that your time and effort are very much appreciated!

Doug

#5 jenik

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 07:42

Amazing! Very useful indeed.

Jan

#6 Phthalo

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 08:44

I love people who understand color theory! Thank you very much for this excellent resource. biggrin.gif
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#7 jd50ae

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 10:18

Wow, that is outstanding..... thumbup.gif

#8 limesally

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 14:27

That was amazing! I love the color wheel! I hope this post can be stickied as a reference. You developed some beautiful color mixes.

Is there any reason to think they'd not be stable - is there any chance they'd change over time? Protected from light, say.

eta: I can't stop looking at the pictures! I really love the tones. Can anyone else see a run on Noodler's ink in those three colors? happyberet.gif

Edited by limesally, 24 September 2007 - 14:30.


#9 acfrery

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 14:32

QUOTE(limesally @ Sep 24 2007, 11:27 AM) View Post
That was amazing! I love the color wheel! I hope this post can be stickied as a reference. You developed some beautiful color mixes.


Another vote for fixing this post as an excellent reference!

Thanks a lot,

Alejandro

#10 Ann Finley

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 16:07

For the time being I'm linking this in the Ink Recipes pinned topic. This may change, and we'll advise if it gets moved.

Thank you very much, Limner, for all of your work on this and for sharing this very useful info. The only problem(s) as of this writing is that dial-up users will have problems loading this, and side by side the images can't be viewed without scrolling.

We'll see if this can be changed.

Thanks again,
Ann


#11 BillTheEditor

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 17:07

QUOTE(Ann Finley @ Sep 24 2007, 11:07 AM) View Post
For the time being I'm linking this in the Ink Recipes pinned topic. This may change, and we'll advise if it gets moved.

Thank you very much, Limner, for all of your work on this and for sharing this very useful info. The only problem(s) as of this writing is that dial-up users will have problems loading this, and side by side the images can't be viewed without scrolling.

We'll see if this can be changed.

Thanks again,
Ann

Thanks for pinning this. I was going to ask that it be pinned, but you've already taken care of it. Really a nice chart!

#12 rattybad1

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 17:12

Wow, awesome! I admire your patience in putting all this together; very helpful too.
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#13 southpaw

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 17:40

Superb work, Limner! As a dial-up user, I will say it was worth the wait. Very nicely done.
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#14 Stephen-I-am

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 21:37

The high bar for ink mixing posts. Thanks! That blue-violet does look nice.

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#15 MicheleB

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 00:27

Please add my "wow" and "thanks" to the long list above. AWESOME and very helpful!
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#16 jmkeuning

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 01:14

Holy Crapamoly!

If you want to post some super high res copies of these, please let me know. I have extra bandwidth and storage, and I would love to host it.
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#17 Limner

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 01:15

Thanks to everybody for the kind words, and you're certainly welcome! I should mention that I have a background in color specification and separation for printing, and I enjoy mixing colors, so formulating the colors wasn't a chore (though cleaning the pens after each sample was).

I assume the mixes are as stable as their "parent" colors--Noodlers claims their colors are all intermixable, and these three are all of similar saturation. I've had the charts and samples in a closed file cabinet and haven't noticed any changes in them.

My apologies for the original oversized scans--I reconfigured them so that they (hopefully) load better. It's a little harder to compare the colors in the reformatted chart but the formulas should still be legible. I'm on dial-up as well, but for some reason my browser was showing them as thumbnails and stacked, not side-by-side, so I didn't realize that there was a problem.

Also, Dick Blick art supplies (www.dickblick.com) carries CMYK color wheels, if anybody is interested in learning more about it. They also have sets of empty ink bottles. (No affiliation, but I shop with them fairly regularly as they have some very good prices).

#18 krz

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 03:46

That's the same Noodler's CMYK set I've been using, but I never thought to chart them out. Great job! thumbup.gif


CMYK ref

Edited by krz, 25 September 2007 - 03:54.

How can you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

#19 krz

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 02:20

Just curious Limner. How many shades do you keep inked up? I tried keeping 20+ uniform pens inked up for drawing (Rotring Cores) which was fun for a while but I couldn't keep up with them all. headsmack.gif
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#20 Limner

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 15:01

Twenty at once is a lot of colors! I don't think I've had more than twelve colors (not counting black) in pens at one time. I prefer using a limited palette--six or seven colors--and change my palette when the mood strikes. I use the chart as a 'menu' to select the colors, then mix up the ink in very small batches (I use Waterman Kulturs as my 'uniform set'--line the barrels up in a test-tube rack, and measure the inks right into the barrels).

A monochromatic palette is fun for sketching--pick one hue, and mix up a tint, couple of tones, and a couple of shades of just that hue. I like a palette of all tones too--since they don't have a waterproof component, the ink lines can be manipulated with a wet watercolor brush.

Edited by Limner, 26 September 2007 - 15:02.


#21 krz

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 04:46

I think your mix as you go method is the best way. I had trouble reaching for a pen with a certain shade and evaporation would have darkened the tone enough to make a visible difference.

The Kulturs should be a pleasure to work with. Lately I've been having fun with a flexy vintage Waterman's with Noodler's Black, a vintage Miller's pen with a semiflex XXF filled with Noodler's Lexington Gray, and an Ackerman Brushpen filled with a Lexington Gray wash (about 2/3 H2O).

The Lexington Gray wash is good about layering for tone, and since they're both waterproof I can ad in my color with watercolors and not worry about a smear.

That's also good technique your using the ink smear in your work with a brush.

All the best,
How can you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

#22 Viseguy

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 05:01

A truly excellent resource -- thank you, Limner! happyberet.gif
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#23 Penache

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 14:21

Great reference and thank you, Limner. thumbup.gif
I have those CMYK inks on my list now. smile.gif
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#24 Eternally Noodling

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 01:07

[quote name='Limner' date='Sep 24 2007, 06:56 AM' post='377630']
I'm posting these in response to a request for more scans of an ink mix chart that I posted in another thread--if this is in the wrong section or is otherwise inappropriate I trust the moderators will move or remove it--thank you!

These are ink colors I mixed according to 4-color CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color conventions. There are other techniques for mixing color, but CMYK is the method I am most experienced with. It is the method used in full-color printing separation.

For the Primary Hues I used the following:
CYAN: Noodler's Navajo Turquoise
MAGENTA: Noodler's Shah's Rose
YELLOW: Noodler's Yellow

""


VERY NICE.

One addition...for magenta please note that Saguaro Wine is also a prime behaving dye, a bit darker and deeper than Shah's Rose...but it can't be broken down to any other color. Shah's Rose is admittedly a bit more versatile for mixing though - it is a completely different dye. It is as prime as I can get it (as are the other colors you list...in fact, several retailers told me to never bother with Noodler's Yellow - but I believed somebody might find a use for it as a prime color for mixing purposes...so unlike many other yellows on the market, it was made pure and an absolute prime in the hope that somebody like you would find use for it!)

GREAT STUFF! My hat is off to you!!!
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The pen could be mightier than the thief and the gun if it is filled with a bulletproof ink too!

May be available again soon, I hope...but not at the moment:
Specialty Fountain Pen Nibs - click here

#25 Limner

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 18:31

Thanks for the compliments, everyone--and thank you, Nathan, for making Noodlers in the first place. I'll definitely try Saguaro Wine--I'd like to have a stronger Orange/Red-Orange mix. If you happen by this thread again, I'd like to know: do you ever have plans to produce Bulletproof Black in a larger bottle than the 4.5 oz. size? I use flexible Watermans with BP black (same as krz noted above) for my pen & ink illustration work, and I go through a bottle pretty fast.

I certainly support Yellow, though it's true I never use it by itself. When I shop for any kind of new media (ink or paint) the dealbreaker is whether or not the line includes a primary yellow; most brands will have a Pthalo Blue and Permanent Rose equivalent (or close) but not always a Yellow. If it doesn't, the brand unfortunately falls off my radar, even if it's otherwise excellent.

In an effort to stay ontopic, here's another CMYK tip: I carry a printed CMYK sample with me when I go art supply shopping and use it as a reference when I want to sample a new brand. You can find them on most any packaging that is printed in fullcolor (cereal boxes are the best sources). Open the box all the way and you'll find the CMYK sample printed on one of the flaps that's usually hidden from view.

#26 Eternally Noodling

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 19:56

QUOTE(Limner @ Oct 1 2007, 06:31 PM) View Post
Thanks for the compliments, everyone--and thank you, Nathan, for making Noodlers in the first place. I'll definitely try Saguaro Wine--I'd like to have a stronger Orange/Red-Orange mix. If you happen by this thread again, I'd like to know: do you ever have plans to produce Bulletproof Black in a larger bottle than the 4.5 oz. size? I use flexible Watermans with BP black (same as krz noted above) for my pen & ink illustration work, and I go through a bottle pretty fast.

I certainly support Yellow, though it's true I never use it by itself. When I shop for any kind of new media (ink or paint) the dealbreaker is whether or not the line includes a primary yellow; most brands will have a Pthalo Blue and Permanent Rose equivalent (or close) but not always a Yellow. If it doesn't, the brand unfortunately falls off my radar, even if it's otherwise excellent.

In an effort to stay ontopic, here's another CMYK tip: I carry a printed CMYK sample with me when I go art supply shopping and use it as a reference when I want to sample a new brand. You can find them on most any packaging that is printed in fullcolor (cereal boxes are the best sources). Open the box all the way and you'll find the CMYK sample printed on one of the flaps that's usually hidden from view.



Half-Gallon and full gallon black are available already, but totaling up shipping costs of such heavy items has admittedly intimidated many retailers from trying and they are not actively offered by anyone at the current time. It is their shelf space....their decision. I can still list the number of gallon sales on my fingers (people using the ink in air-brush applications, usually...such as on cotton T-shirts - all sold overseas thus far, although I have one ready for Susan Wirth next time I see her and Viv already has a half gallon of a super fast dry red prototype - for his help with Hindi labels!).

It may be made more standard an offering with "Heart of Darkness", which is different from standard black - though still waterproof - and should be more affordable in gallon and half gallon sizes. Oil at $80+ per barrel is not helping to contain shipping costs, though. ;-(
"The pen is mightier than the sword."

The pen could be mightier than the thief and the gun if it is filled with a bulletproof ink too!

May be available again soon, I hope...but not at the moment:
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#27 Limner

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 00:18

QUOTE(Eternally Noodling @ Oct 1 2007, 12:56 PM) View Post
Half-Gallon and full gallon black are available already, but totaling up shipping costs of such heavy items has admittedly intimidated many retailers from trying and they are not actively offered by anyone at the current time. It is their shelf space....their decision. I can still list the number of gallon sales on my fingers (people using the ink in air-brush applications, usually...such as on cotton T-shirts - all sold overseas thus far, although I have one ready for Susan Wirth next time I see her and Viv already has a half gallon of a super fast dry red prototype - for his help with Hindi labels!).

It may be made more standard an offering with "Heart of Darkness", which is different from standard black - though still waterproof - and should be more affordable in gallon and half gallon sizes. Oil at $80+ per barrel is not helping to contain shipping costs, though. ;-(



Thanks for the info, Nathan. Darn, it sounds like arranging a special order through a retailer, if that were even possible, could end up being less economical than buying a slew of bottles. I'll just have to think up some creative use for all those bottles. smile.gif

#28 Inkanthropist

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 08:45

Thanks for sharing these amazing colours, Limner.

Neil
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#29 nimrod

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 23:48

This is awesome! Perfect!

I think I know what my first 3 non-black inks are going to be now!

#30 Ink Stained Wretch

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 10:34

QUOTE(Eternally Noodling @ Oct 1 2007, 03:56 PM) View Post
Half-Gallon and full gallon black are available already, but totaling up shipping costs of such heavy items has admittedly intimidated many retailers from trying and they are not actively offered by anyone at the current time.

Might we know what the prices of those large bottles are? And would it be possible for someone to buy such directly from you? That would certainly cut down on the cumulative shipping costs.

QUOTE
It may be made more standard an offering with "Heart of Darkness", which is different from standard black - though still waterproof - and should be more affordable in gallon and half gallon sizes. Oil at $80+ per barrel is not helping to contain shipping costs, though. ;-(

Oh, I don't have "Heart of Darkness" yet. Tell us more about it.
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