Prompt60 #22 Color Swatches with Bombay Inks


Your assignment,
should you choose
to accept it,
is to document
your collection
of _____________. 

A special treat for rainbow-lovers! This prompt is to create a color chart for any art material you wish. You can do this with almost any material. Colored pencils, watercolors, gouache, fluid acrylics, inks, washi tapes, neocolors, inktense blocks, gelly rolls, sharpie markers, even stamping ink {stamp something in each box}. 


I made a little video where I documented the colors in Set #1 and Set #2 of Dr. Ph Martin's India Inks. The inks were my holiday-present-to-myself; I could not decide which to get so I splurged on both. In hindsight, it's a LOT of ink. One set is certainly sufficient. 

150109_rainbow_0009 copy.jpg

I started by measuring out a 1.5" x 1.5" grid on a piece of watercolor paper using a ruler and a black gelly roll. I wrote the names of one ink in each box in no order whatsoever {because I knew that I was going to cut them up into individual squares} and drew a little squiggly circle in each box. The purpose of the circle is to be able to document the opacity of each ink over a typical black pen. Later I can see how much of the black I can see through the ink. 

dr. ph martin's bombay black color palette.

dr. ph martin's bombay black color palette.

Here's the video. The process is repeated over and over again, so I just shared a few colors so that you could get the idea. {less than a minute}

The general process that I followed was to paint the ink over the squiggly circle at full strength. Then I painted the right half of a rectangle at full strength. After cleaning the brush with water {this part was edited out because I didn't realize until later that the water jar wasn't visible in the video}. With a tiny bit of water on the brush, I finished out the left side of the rectangle, pulling ink from the right side. This is to show what the ink might look like diluted a bit. So my suggestion is to "test" a few things that you think you might do in a real life scenario with those art materials. 

Be a color scientist, and document the color name, any sort of code or color number, perhaps the relevant pigment names if appropriate for the material.

 ❖ Colored pencils? You could show the variation you can achieve when applying more or less pressure, as well as cross-hatching in different ways. ❖ Acrylics? Watercolors? Gouache? You could use the method in the video. 

After painting a swatch with each of the bottles of Dr. Ph Martin's Bombay Inks, I cut them up so that I can use them to create color palettes, just glance at various configurations or use them for reference. Plus there's no stress in figuring out the "correct order" of ink colors!

PITT Artist Pen brush nib marker color palette, Art by Tammy Garcia.

PITT Artist Pen brush nib marker color palette, Art by Tammy Garcia.

Here's another way to document a set of colors. I created this in 2007 to document the PITT Artist Pen brush nib color palette. As you can see, I didn't worry about the order here either. These are not only fun to do, but they are useful. And rainbow!

You can do this exercise directly in a journal if you wish, assuming that your paper can take whatever medium you are going to document. Another option is to create the chart on a separate piece of paper and keep it with that particular art material as a color reference. If you work on black paper, and your mark-making tools look cool on black, consider making your color chart on black paper!