If you’re used to Neuland Markers, you know that you can refill them instead of buying new Markers. This is friendly to both environment and budget – and if you’re willing to play around a bit, it can be pure fun. Just mix. To get almost all thinkable colors you just need four bottles of ink. The Numbers 301, 704, 501 and 100 deliver almost exactly those four colors that i.e. most magazines use for color printing. (Printers use the abbreviation CMYK for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key – which means Black.) As we were lazy and only wanted rainbowish, fresh colors, we didn’t use Black – it’s quite intensive and can not only darken, but dirten every color.
Our first experiment was to mix any two of the three to get a fresh Green, a deep Blue and a warm Red/Orange.
First we filled a dosis of Yellow into the marker, then the same dosis of Magenta: Tadaah! After a little waiting time we got a wonderful fresh green.
To mix a warm Red we used the same method on Yellow and Cyan. It worked, so we thought “it’s easy!”
It is’nt: when we mixed two identical doses of Cyan and Magenta, we got: a darker Magenta, a kind of Purple, but not at all a Blue.
At least there was a learning: Mix the colors BEFORE you fill the markers. To get a deep Blue, you need more Cyan than Magenta. And: write down how many drops of every color you need to get “your” color, otherwise later you won’t be able to reproduce it. (Maybe use a scaled syringe to read the amounts of colors.)
For the same reason we also failed to mix a Grey, instead we got a a dirty Callitwhatyouwant.
So again we had to realize this simple rule:
1st measure and mix.
2nd check the color.
(To be honest: first measure and mix, second check, third measure and mix again, fourth check, fifth measure and… – till you finally get your intended color and fill the marker. This process needs a while and can be a bit frustrating. We said it above, we were lazy.)
Our next experiment was the filling of markers with liquids that are normally not used.
How about some coffee to get a warm light brown? Will beetroot juice have an intensive or a light Red? What, if red wine? And: can we produce some secret ink that can only be read by those who know?
To cut a long story short: Coffee must be very, very, very strong to give any color at all.
Beetroot juice produces a reddish skin tone.
Red wine starts similar, but gets brownish after a while.
At least the secret ink was a success: We filled freshly squeezed lemon juice into a Neuland, and when we wrote a few words, we couldn’t see them at all.
So we placed the sheet above a toaster (KIDS: DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! DON’T TRY THIS AT ALL! PAPER CAN BURN!) and after a while the words became darker and darker. So it worked. And we had an spent an afternoon filled with lots of fun.
So if you ever miss a color in the Neuland Range: it’s already there. You just have to mix it.
(Addendum: A week later we open the Marker filled with lemon juice. Now the felt tip smelles a little funny… Next time we better use Citric Acid. It’s a common preservative and has no rotting sugar…)
Now it’s your turn: Enjoy (and maybe send us) your personal remix of Neuland.