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Federal Color

Optimist Mixable Color, Complete Bundle


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About This Product

Optimist Mixable Color, Complete Bundle

By popular demand, we're offering this complete set with all 12 Optimist colors in full-sized (50 mL) bottles! We've also included large 200 mL bottles of our Ink Solvent and Colorless Shellac Medium, so this bundle has everything you need to make lots and lots of artwork with Optimist Mixable Color.

The colors included are Black #000, Federal Red #002, Tangerine #015, Primary Yellow #047, Basil #110, Seaweed #150, Mediterranean #200, Prussian Blue #220, Primary Cyan #230, Red Violet #300, Primary Magenta #325, and White #360.

Our Black and White are highly opaque, so you can use those two colors to make opaque and desaturated versions of any other color. All three of our primary colors are included (yellow, magenta, and cyan), plus alternate reds and blues and our growing range of greens. They're all designed to mix and layer together, so you can make virtually any color you can imagine with Optimist.

The colorless medium, provided here in a large bottle, decreases saturation, increases transparency, and increases chroma. You can make pale, bright versions of any color by adding medium.

Finally, our Optimist Ink Solvent allows easy cleanup of palettes, brushes, and surfaces. Apply it to the intended surface, wait a few seconds, then wipe it off.

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

The Optimist Complete Bundle includes each color, plus solvent and medium, all packed in our signature Precision Bottles with tips that can dispense a drop or a full stream.

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

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    Federal Color