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Federal Color

Optimist Mixable Color, CMYK+ Set of 6


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About This Product

Optimist CMYK+ Set of 6

CMYK+ is our complete mixing system, with a color range and intensity that go way beyond standard mixing sets from other brands. Unlike classic red-yellow-blue color mixing, CMYK allows for brighter secondary colors (especially purple and green) and an overall wider range of hues. Our Primary Cyan, Primary Magenta, Primary Yellow, and Black are designed to work perfectly together, with matching pigment loads and handling characteristics that enable clearer, cleaner mixed colors.

What's the "plus" in CMYK+? That would be our White and Colorless Shellac Medium, both included in this box. The white is incredibly opaque, thanks to its extremely high pigmentation, and allows you to make lovely pastel shades from each mixed color you create. The colorless medium allows perfect dilutions of each mixed color, increasing transparency and gloss while increasing the chroma of darker colors.

The CMYK+ Set of 6 includes our 50 mL Precision Bottles in Primary Cyan, Primary Magenta, Primary Yellow, White, Black, and Colorless Shellac Medium, all in a slide-out box with foil stamping. It's a great gift for any artist and an excellent starting point for anyone interested in working with inks.

About Optimist:

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.

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

Each color in this set is packaged in a 50 mL Precision Bottle, which is squeezable and can dispense a drop or a full stream.

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

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    Federal Color