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Federal Color

Optimist Mixable Color, #360 White


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About This Product

Introducing Optimist Mixable Color, our original ink for art and design. Optimist is made with natural shellac, a beautiful organic resin that binds pigment to paper, resists UV radiation, and dries totally waterproof. Unlike many drawing inks, Optimist includes only lightfast pigments, so the colors mix perfectly, and your work can be displayed for many years without fading.

Our Opaque White

For watercolorists and illustrators, a good opaque white is essential. You can correct mistakes and add highlights—if your white is strong enough to cover the layer beneath. Optimist White is as opaque as they come, packed with pigment to the point that it weighs twice as much as the other colors. It covers most colors and surfaces in one coat, and can be used to draw sharp white lines on dark surfaces.

Use & Care Tips

Using Optimist Mixable Color is simple: grab a dip pen or brush and get some ink on it. You can use Optimist straight from the bottle; it's highly fluid and moves smoothly across paper. You can also dilute it with Optimist Colorless Medium, the purest form of our water-based shellac. (Dilution with water is possible, and produces some nice textures and effects, but please note that adding water will change the characteristics of the ink and make it less waterproof.)

Optimist dries quickly (within a few minutes for a normal application), so you can layer more inks or watercolors over it with no blending or bleeding. It's also an ideal choice for adding opaque highlights and shadows to your watercolor pieces.

Shake well before using. Keep brushes wet during use and wash promptly for best results. To clean up, try a bottle of Optimist Ink Solvent.

Optimist Story

We opened our art supply business in 2015, and one of the first things we learned was how to make india ink. Our original formula was hand-mixed and much less consistent than Optimist, but our customers loved it because traditional shellac-based ink is just special, and it's not that easy to find anymore. Most manufacturers have replaced shellac with acrylic polymer, which has its advantages but is simply not as beautiful as shellac resin.

We stopped selling that early ink recipe a couple years later, but ever since, we've been researching and refining—not to mention, we added a powerful three-roll mill to disperse our pigments with total consistency. Finally, we're experiencing the magic of shellac ink again (I think it smells really nice, even if you remember that it's made by bugs). But now, we also have the technology and experience to make it a consistent option for serious artists. We hope this elemental material improves your flow.

More Info

We offer this Optimist color in a 50 mL Precision Bottle, which is squeezable and can dispense a drop or a full stream, or a 45 mL glass inkwell for dipping pens and brushes.

Conforms to ASTM D-4236.  Made in the United States.

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    Federal Color