Thursday, 11 November 2010

More about Lightfastness

As manufacturers begin to appreciate that lightfastness does matter to artists, we're beginning to see more and more information published by those that make the art materials we buy

I just want to highlight today a couple of examples:
  • the new Love Pencils - the Derwent blog created by the Cumberland Pencil Company has a post Lightfastness Testing Revealed!  about how they test for lightfastness
  • Schminke - who make pastels I use - have a two page leaflet about the processes they use when creating art materials (see lightfastness.pdf available to download as a pdf file).  In it you can see an example of the blue wool cards used as a quality control by many companies manufacturing art materials.  This gives you a very good display of just how much fading happens in those actually graded 'lighfast' at levels 5 and 6 - and just how much disappears at the lower end of the scale.  
Seeing real blue wool cards like this - and how dramatic the fading can be - is what woke me up to the cause of lightfastness.  I now aim to use only pencils which meet levels 7 and 8 (ie 4 star and 5 star pastels and pencils).

Extract from Schminke Leaflet - Lightfastness – A Measure of the Durability of Artists’ Colours (pdf file)
I also learned something new from the Schminke leaflet and that is lightfastness levels MUST always tested on the finished product as the mediums which combine with some pigments can result in colours which darken.

You can read and learn more about lightfastness on two of my resources for artists sites:

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