Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blue-Black Inks for the Color-blind.

The scan above shows three of my favorite blue-black inks: Diamine's Twilight, Private Reserve's Midnight Blues (Fast Dry) and Blue Suede.  The scan accentuates the colors as it would if we were to look at the paper in the sunlight.  In average indoor light the difference in the colors is not so distinct, especially between Twilight and Midnight Blues.  Blue Suede is obviously more muted in any light. It comes across more grey-green.  Or, so suggests the color-blind guy.  Yes, sad but true.  You cannot trust my evaluation of colors, because I have some red-green colorblindness.  There are two types of partial color-blindness: red-green, or blue-yellow. Red-green colorblindness makes it difficult to see the difference between white and pink, or tan and pink, or olive green and brown, or blue and purple.  But I have no difficulty recognizing primary colors. This type of colorblindness is a genetic disability that is passed from father through daughter to grandson.  My mother's father had the same type of colorblindness.  It wasn't a big deal for him because he was a farmer.  However, for me it was a constant obstacle.  At age nine - before I even knew that I was partially color blind - I decided to be an artist.  That decision at age nine framed every other decision that I made for the next 20 plus years.  As if that wan't difficult enough, I wanted to be a portrait painter. Being a successful portrait painter with normal color vision is difficult enough, but to be one with impaired color vision is nearly impossible.  So, I finally settled on drawing highly detailed pencil portraits.

So, why do I keep buying so many different colors of ink?  Maybe it is just wishful thinking.  However, I do in fact see colors.  Obviously, I don't see them with the same variety of color range that most people do, but I do see them. And, I love bright colors. I also enjoy seeing the different nuances in colors, even if it is a strain.  That means that I have to look at large samples in bright sunlight to be able to see them better. Fortunately, I have studied color theory and have a solid understanding of what colors must be mixed together to produce a complex color, even if I can't see it.  And, I know from reading other ink reviews that some blues may tend toward a green tint or red tint, so that even colors that we call "blue" are tending toward an aqua or violet, both of which are too subtle for me to see.

I first discovered - or I should say my mother first discovered - that I was color-blind one Sunday morning in church when I was about eight or nine years old.  We were just entering the church building when she and my father stopped to talk with someone; my mother motioned me on to go sit behind Mrs Whosits in the pink sweater.  I saw two women in white sweaters and replied that I didn't see anyone wearing a pink sweater.  Because of my grandfather's colorblindness, my mother instantly recognized what this signified.  Maybe I should have recognized what it signified as well, because I failed miserably as an artist and am now an Anglican priest, where colorblindness is a great gift!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You soooo did not fail miserably as an artist! You've used your talents well as a priest, writer and artist.

The colors of heaven await you!
love, me