what’s lightfastness of oil paint? – Veronica Winters Portray


Whereas I’m not an skilled in artwork conservation, I’m the artist who paints full-time. After years of portray, conversations with different professionals and a few analysis, I can supply the very primary steerage in selecting your oil paints in your artwork. Be happy to analysis this matter additional through my references on the backside of this publish or by contacting the merchandise’ producers. A number of data listed right here is coming from podcasts with the Pure Pigments’ director George O’Hanlon.

Choosing the right model of oil paint generally is a problem. Some manufacturers are promoted so closely by the artwork provide corporations that artists purchase their paints with out having a second thought. Once I was a pupil, the standard of paint rarely mattered to me and my most typical determinant was the worth. As we speak as I maintain my artwork my shopping for decisions are strongly influenced by the general high quality and lightfastness of oil paint.

There are a number of essential properties of oil paint artists ought to take note of. Probably the most essential data might be seen written proper on a tube of paint. Don’t purchase the paint that doesn’t have the next knowledge printed on it.

1. Transparency vs. opaqueness of oil paint

Whereas some colours are clear, others are opaque or semi-opaque. An empty sq., half-empty, or a stuffed sq. provides artists details about the paint’s transparency.  Some manufacturers simply say “Clear” or “Semi-opaque” versus assigning a particular image to it. So after I selected my paint for glazing, making use of the clear layers of paint, I have a look at the sq./ or a word on transparency to find out if my paint is of course good for glazing. Some clear colours are Gamblin’s ultramarine blue, Michael Harding’s vibrant yellow lake, or Charvin’s clear yellow ochre, and so forth.

Opaque or semi-opaque colours are sometimes good for scumbling, layering the sunshine opaque paint over the darkish space.

2. Pigments utilized in oil paint decide the lightfastness (resistance to mild) and the longevity of your artwork.

That is a very powerful precept in selecting your paint. The pigments utilized in oil paint are described in letters and numbers. For instance, PB15-phtylocianine blue is rated lightfastness I. PW1-lead white is lightfastness I. PR2-Napthol purple G- lightfastness II, and so forth.

Whereas some primary colours have only one pigment, there are various colours that include a number of pigments combined collectively together with oil, fillers, and binders. These “new,” not historic colours give artists much more coloration decisions, however each pigment current in such paint tube needs to be checked for lighfastness individually. For instance, Winton flesh tint has 4 pigments in it (PW6, PW5, PY42, and PV19).

Right here is intensive pigment data database that lists oil paint properties together with the lightfastness of paints: http://www.artiscreation.com/

Every firm performs its personal exams. This data is written on the tube, and it reads both as +, ++ or +++, or lightfastness I, lightfastness II, or lightfastness III and so forth. The upper the quantity (3-4) the much less lightfast the paint is.

By nature, browns and ochres are sometimes extra lightfast than some funky colours, like alizarin crimson or turquoise. These colours which have lightfastness 3-4 are fugitive and fade fairly shortly. When you paint professionally, these colours needs to be averted portray with.

Artists can carry out their very own exams by exposing 1/2 of paint to the solar (whereas the opposite half is roofed by black tape or cardboard). Elevate the tape in a month of steady mild publicity to see the change in coloration. Artist Virgil Elliott has examined quite a few colours of assorted manufacturers. You’ll discover a variety of helpful data on portray in his e book Conventional oil portray and in his fb group.

3. Kind of oil combined into the paint.

All tubed paints have some oil combined into the paint. Linseed oil is probably the most secure oil that can be used broadly as paint medium by artists. It’s long-lasting and dries fairly shortly.

Safflower oil, poppy oil, and walnut oil are much less secure oils typically used as automobiles which are combined into the oil paint. Keep away from utilizing safflower oil.

4. The quantity of fillers and binders added to grease paint.

Numerous quantities of fillers and binders are combined into the oils as properly. They dilute the pigment by “stretching” the paint, making it cheaper to the buyer. Such pigments have a for much longer shelf life. Fillers and binders drastically have an effect on the consistency and texture of paint. It might have an effect on the drying velocity of paint as properly.

Rublev colours, manufactured by Pure Pigments, don’t have any fillers of their paint, making the oils extra secure and with excessive tinting energy. Like different professional-grade paints, they provide artists much more pigment in a small tube versus cheaper oil paint put in a big tube. However as a result of NP don’t have any additional binders, their shelf life may be very restricted and it’s finest to make use of the paint inside a 12 months. I might barely squish the paint out of the tube after that.


Skilled manufacturers of oil paints embrace:

  • Rublev colours by Pure Pigments
  • Previous Holland
  • Michael Harding
  • Gamblin
  • Chroma, and so forth.
  • Utrecht

These are nice assets for additional analysis:

  • The atelier motion– a closed group on Fb-exists for artists concerned with classical portray. The group’s administrator is classically skilled artist-Graydon Parrish.
  • Artist Virgil Elliot: http://virgilelliott.com/
  • Douglas Flynt’ weblog: http://douglasflynt.blogspot.com/
  • “The artist’s handbook of supplies & methods” by Ralph Mayer: http://www.amazon.com/The-Artists-Handbook-Supplies-Strategies/dp/0670837016
  • Sadie Valerie weblog: http://www.sadievaleri.com/weblog/
  • The Pure Pigments web site:  https://www.naturalpigments.com/art-supply-education/painting-for-posterity-with-modern-oil-paints/
Take a look at my oil portray video class that teaches classical oil portray methods!

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