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iryna_kz
12-27-2016, 04:13 AM
Hi all, I am new to pastels. Being practicing on sandpaper from the hardware store and just read in another thread that the painting won't last. Got me thinking - why so? Did anyone actually tried how long the painting will last on a sandpaper? Not that I think I am likely to produce something that is of a high value, but would like to keep some of my favourites, to see the progress.

Dougwas
12-27-2016, 12:06 PM
Artist quality sanded papers are made on archival or acid free paper and will stand up to the test of time. Hardware sandpaper will crumble and fall apart in a few years. I believe it is because of the cheap paper it is made on. Good to practice on, but if you want your paintings to last you will probably be disappointed.

Doug

robertsloan2
12-27-2016, 04:39 PM
Yeah, agree with Doug on this. It's not the sand or the glue but the cheap paper sandpaper is made with that will yellow and crumble. Not a good idea to work on it if you want it to last. For practice and working things out it's okay, but you're much better off paying for archival artist's sanded paper - or get a good sanded primer. Golden Pumice Gel comes in three grits, while Art Spectrum Multimedia Primer (Colourfix) comes in 20 colors including Clear.

It's relatively inexpensive to get 140lb watercolor paper and add two or three thin coats of Colourfix primer to get good sanded paper a lot cheaper than getting the printed Colourfix paper. Clear is a good choice for this in particular because you can underpaint with watercolor or use a failed watercolor as good sanded paper by either treating it as an underpainting or rinsing it to blur it.

I've tried both pastels and colored paper on cheap sandpaper and it's frustrating, because the years do pass and it becomes brittle and discolored. Something that came out great can self destruct faster than you'd realize.

iryna_kz
12-27-2016, 04:57 PM
Thanks all, understood! Will get some proper sandpaper for those paintings I want to keep!

PeggyB
01-16-2017, 09:59 PM
Hardware sand paper is fine for practice, and it will last longer than some people may think if properly cared for.

Here's a little history lesson. In the early days of the rennasaunce of pastel painting, artists used the German made commercial sandpaper by Ersta. Albert Handel is but one of those artists (as am I, but hardly in his league!) After the IAPS conventions started making artists and the general public aware of pastel, we started using the more archival and acid free papers, and Ersta was no longer being made for artists. However, many of us missed it, and eventually it was recreated in the form of acid free UArt. UArt is the very same grit as Ersta, but on acid free paper. Acid free isn't exactly the same as museum grade archival paper, but is close enough for most artists and galleries.

Bottom line is I know for positive my Ersta support paintings still exist, and I'm betting Albert's do too. They were all framed archival. I don't remember who it was other than it was someone who was in the paper industry who told me that my properly framed commercial grade sandpaper (Ersta) paintings would probably out last my lifetime. Having said that, I don't use it today because galleries have bought into the whole " archival" industry; gotta keep my galleries happy.
To use or not to use is a personal choice.

Divasin
01-17-2017, 09:20 AM
I agree with Peggy wholeheartedly!
There is too much emphasis on the use of archival papers.
After 40 years of teaching I can attest that even the least expensive of papers (e.g. construction paper) are more stable than generally assumed.
I studied conservation of art and artifacts at university, many of the famous collage artists use(d) ordinary papers.

Although I have only recently started using sandpaper for pastel sketches my husband who uses fine sandpapers has a stock that is many years old with disintegration.
I have experimented with a variety of brands and agree some appear to be fragile.
However, many papers (e.g. 3M) are wet or dry papers and by necessity withstand abuse.
I have reused sandpaper by scrubbing off a sketch, drying it flat and weighted with no deterioration.
On the rare occasion that I want to keep a sketch I mount it on a stable surface such as foam core to stabilize it.

I'll be interested in hearing other experiences.

PeggyB
01-17-2017, 03:40 PM
👍 Leslie. Thank you for confirming what I already knew. Also for giving more information regarding the various types of commercial types of sandpaper.

robertsloan2
01-17-2017, 07:42 PM
That's interesting, that some commercial sandpapers last well. It's good to know that. I tried it years ago with colored pencils and it'd be interesting if I find those old sketches to see if they survived. I tend to store old stuff in lightproof archival boxes, so if it's going to survive it has a good chance.

Divasin
01-18-2017, 08:41 AM
Although I have only recently started using sandpaper for pastel sketches my husband who uses fine sandpapers has a stock that is many years old with disintegration.

That should have read, "with no disintegration."

PeggyB
01-18-2017, 08:10 PM
Although I have only recently started using sandpaper for pastel sketches my husband who uses fine sandpapers has a stock that is many years old with disintegration.

That should have read, "with no disintegration."

I figured as much Leslie. Sometimes I mis-write as well.

ironbrush
01-24-2017, 05:39 PM
Hello All... just a little insight...
So, I'm sitting here reading all this about common "hardware" grade sandpaper (although that description is somewhat dubious at best) vs. quality archival grade sanded Artist's papers. It got me to thinking, so I checked some of the "grit" size on the fine "hardware" (automotive) sanding papers and cloths I used for my motorcycle custom painting days. The grits ranged from 300 to 1600 grit. The backing on those are generally "waterproof" paper or on a fabric material. They held up great for a couple uses with soapy water for fine sanding. I had a few left over and pulled them out of my shop cabinet. The cabinet is NOT light-proof or moisture proof. These papers are about 25 years old and I expect very usable still. Though I would not use them for my art projects. I had a few sheets in a wooden box that was left in the cabinet from the old guy I bought it from and they too were fair conditioned but too coarse to test.
This brings me to some of my "saved" albeit haphazardly stored artworks from high school (some are dated from 1963 and '64 watercolors on school grade art paper) these still look fair but much yellowed and the edges are crumbling a little. I also have a few pieces - pastels on newsprint from 1970 which are starting to yellow and a little crumbly on the edges.) Had these been properly cared for they would certainly be in better condition. So who knew?
To me it boils downs to this. Some sandpapers and other school/student grade papers probably have a 40 to 60 year shelf life. Assuming of course they have the proper storage and care.
Me... I"ll keep the "hardware" stuff in the shop and the "Good Stuff" in my studio. Happy pastelling.
Steven

PeggyB
01-26-2017, 03:10 PM
Hello All... just a little insight...
To me it boils downs to this. Some sandpapers and other school/student grade papers probably have a 40 to 60 year shelf life. Assuming of course they have the proper storage and care.
Me... I"ll keep the "hardware" stuff in the shop and the "Good Stuff" in my studio. Happy pastelling.
Steven

Isn't it wonderful that after all these years you still have your early artwork? 🙂

I have just one charcoal drawing on newsprint from the 70's that is framed properly, but not with museum or conservation glass. The paper is still in very good condition; no crumbling edges. It has yellowed only very slightly. The very few pieces I still have on Ersta sandpaper (equalivent to commercial) are framed in the same manner as the charcoal piece. They were painted in the early '80's, and remain in excellent condition. I suspect my paintings will last longer than 40-60 years. I know for certain Albert Handel used Esta paper at the same time I was. Conservators of the future will have a field day if his work needs repair. 😂

I think at this point in your, and my careers your decision to leave the hardware stuff in the garage is a good one. However, I also believe the good quality commercial grade paper in a grit that's the same as artist grade paper is a good idea for anyone interested in learning how that paper responds to pastel pigment. It is considerably less expensive.

iryna_kz
01-31-2017, 09:12 AM
I think at this point in your, and my careers your decision to leave the hardware stuff in the garage is a good one. However, I also believe the good quality commercial grade paper in a grit that's the same as artist grade paper is a good idea for anyone interested in learning how that paper responds to pastel pigment. It is considerably less expensive.
It's not only price, it's also an accessibility. I can get sandpaper from a hardware store any time I like, not the same story with arts store as they are not always nearby, and ordering online takes at least few days to deliver. It was certainly an interesting insight on longevity of sandpaper, thanks for that! As my paintings are far away from amazing, I think as long as the paper lasts for something like 10+ years it's good enough.

Divasin
01-31-2017, 09:34 AM
Iryna, you make a very good point about accessibility (as well as expense).

In my experience as a teacher, students can become very uptight with a set of expensive pastels and expensive paper.

When learning anything new I think it's important to have the freedom to experiment, make mistakes, stretch the medium.
As I said previously I use sandpaper for "sketches" for testing ideas, having fun.

Having said that it's important to move on as quickly as possible to better quality materials. Ultimately they will give you the best results.

Cheers Leslie

contumacious
01-31-2017, 10:24 AM
I think as long as the paper lasts for something like 10+ years it's good enough.

10 years should be no problem. Adding to the comments below, I have some untouched sandpaper that is as least 20 years old and it looks the same as stuff I bought a month ago. It has been stored in a box, indoors. Just treat it like you would regular pastel paper - keep it from direct sunlight, protect it from extreme heat and humidity and display the finished piece under glass. If I were to ever sell something done on this type of paper I would definitely tell the buyer that it isn't "archival" but if cared for correctly it should last for decades without any issues, but it doesn't sound like you plan on selling these.

I have been wanting to try a painting on some of that black wet or dry paper just for fun. Since the black is carborundum (silicon carbide or moissanite) - it isn't going to fade like tinted pastel paper. I am thinking since the support paper is waterproof it probably will outlast the regular sandpaper.

Mike L
02-04-2017, 04:29 PM
As I understand it the Old Master pastelist Rosalba Carriera painted on vellum, a parchment made from calf skin. Her works have been preserved for a couple hundred years. I think the key word is "preserved" because it is doubtful any would have survived if not properly tended. Just my opinion, but many archival papers manufactured today probably will last as long - if properly tended.

Anecdotal evidence indicates hardware style sand paper, for wet or dry applications, will last in usable condition 30, 40, even 50 years or more with little help from preservationists. Imagine how many decades or even centuries the paper will last if properly cared for.

My thoughts include the question, "Has any scientific testing been performed to conclude or even indicate the garden variety sanding paper will withstand the ravages of time as well as the current crop of pastel sanded papers?" Or the other way round. Is it possible that 'sanded pastel papers' are just as good as common sandpaper when put to the archival test?

Until verifiable, scientific, side by side testing is performed on both media there is no information that causes one to conclude that one is better than the other no matter what the cost. In fact, one might logically conclude that a hardware sandpaper might have the edge because it is designed and manufactured to resist loss of granularity, tearing or disintegration under conditions one would never put the art papers.

In the end, though, design, manufacture, usage, and environment mean little if the work is not properly tended.

Just some thoughts.