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View Full Version : Colorfastness - Test with Prismacolors, Polychromos & Pablos


Lucio
02-10-2007, 03:07 PM
Hello!
Robin started a thread more than one year ago about the colorfastness of the colored pencils . http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=307884
Since most of the works made by the artists here are framed and exposed to light under not exactly a standard museum light condition ,the concern is justified.
I work mainly with Pablo from Caran Dīache and Polychromos, so I asked people here for samples of the Prismacolors to put them side by side in a small test.
I used two color charts with exactly the same colors and the most approximate range possible between those 3 different brands .
I put one of them in a drawer inside a black envelope, the other I attached to a window and it was exposed to intense day light (not direct sun light but tropical sun light, remember I am living in Brazil ) for one year from January of 2006 to January of 2007.
I Am planning to make another test with more colors but that have to wait unless some companies give me the needed samples .
These are the results.

Acker
02-10-2007, 03:24 PM
Thank you for your efforts. I can attest to the importance of the
lightfastness of colors.

RobinZ
02-10-2007, 07:33 PM
Neat test! I am surprised by the Prisma blue slate, I expected the reds to fade more quickly. I see the faded pink one is a deco series, which I understood to fade quickly.

I have reframed old pieces and not been able to discern any fading from hanging for years, although not in direct sunlight OR in fluorescent light. I am transitioning to the lightfast ones, though, to be totally cautious.

Mikenoss
02-10-2007, 08:18 PM
Thank you for the work you put in. Interesting results. I recently gave one of mine to a friend & suggested that she keep it away from sunlight. Glad I did now. I did not realize that fluorescent light could be a problem as well. Thanks Robin.

frida
02-10-2007, 08:36 PM
What a great job Lucio! Thanks for sharing the results... :thumbsup:

I didn't know fluorescent light can have a discolouring effect!

Lucio
02-10-2007, 09:14 PM
Thank you folks.
I am planning to make a huge test as soon as I win the local lottery :D
120 Prismas X 120 Polychromos X 120 Pablos , canīt wait ...
Acker did you have a bad experience with lightfastness?
Robin, I agree entirely, caution is never enough with our work, we put a lot of love on them. I Donīt have much problems with colorfastness because I am a illustrator and my works are scanned and later they rest in a dark place :lol:
But if I have to work on something to expose ,I will be very concerned with the resistance of the colors . I can Imagine a Baby portrait made with a lot of that pink ( PC 1030 :eek: ).
Graham, I am glad your work is safe :thumbsup:
Raquel I could not made this test without your help :wave: .
Lucio

piper2
02-10-2007, 09:32 PM
Wow, Lucio. This is sort of a horrible graphic represntation of our pencil mortality, isn't it?

And to me, Robin, I should think we should all be intensely concerned with the lightfastness under all conditions, if any of us have any sort of delusions of grandeur at all. Myself, I'd love to think that 60 or 70 years down the road some of my pieces could be in museums. If they fade in 40, I doubt it!

mahla
02-10-2007, 09:47 PM
How great of you to do this, and to share the results, Lucio!! I'm guessing that I'm not the only one so caught up in the moment, that we don't think of what will happen to our art years from now.

While I'm only anticipating viewing your artwork in museums, Maggie; no delusions of sharing wallspace, I would like to think that the humble pieces I do of my kids (and force upon them), will live on to plague their children, and their children, and their children, ad nauseum.

Thanks, Lucio!! Can we contribute some Lotto tickets for you?

Holly

Lucio
02-10-2007, 10:06 PM
This is sort of a horrible graphic representation of our pencil mortality, isn't it?

And to me, Robin, I should think we should all be intensely concerned with the lightfastness under all conditions, if any of us have any sort of delusions of grandeur at all. Myself, I'd love to think that 60 or 70 years down the road some of my pieces could be in museums. If they fade in 40, I doubt it!

Meg ,sorry for the horrible graphic representation of our pencil mortality. :lol:
I hope I can see some of your pieces in museums in 60 or 70 years, I will be
100 or 110 years old but as I am also concerned about my own lightfastness:wink2: .
No kidding now, this is the right way to think ,there is a lot of works I have seen here that deserve to be in a museum :thumbsup:
Holly, I am glad you will be more concerned about the durability of your art work.
And yes you can send as much lotto tickets as possible ,:) I will even share some millions with certain people here in the Wetcanvas :D
Lucio

TessDB
02-11-2007, 06:48 AM
Thank you for your work on this, Lucio!

So before I looked at the color swatches, I was just *cringing*, thinking all of the prisma boxes are going to be empty or ghostly traces... looks like they did better than I thought they would!

Lucio, overall, what's your impression? Looking at the swatches it looks like the polychromos did better than the others?

Tess

catchlight
02-11-2007, 06:59 AM
Lucio, you are a real wonder for doing this! thankyou so much. The word of the pencil manufacturers doesn't really convince you but this sort of graphic evidence does. It sure makes me pleased I use Polychromos too! Even so it's a bit of a worry to see things fading at all in a year. Sure puts a good case for UV resistant glass and or uv resistant fixative or varnish.

Really thankyou so much for doing this. I'm rating this thread for sure.

faula
02-11-2007, 07:18 AM
Thank you so much for doing this! It comes in handy when trying to decide what colours to use in a piece.

brynmr
02-11-2007, 08:47 AM
I have reframed old pieces and not been able to discern any fading from hanging for years, although not in direct sunlight OR in fluorescent light. I am transitioning to the lightfast ones, though, to be totally cautious.

Reframed how? With UV Glass?

brynmr
02-11-2007, 08:49 AM
I use UV glass on all of my pieces. Anyone know how that extends the lightfastness?

btw cool test Lucio!

piper2
02-11-2007, 10:33 AM
I wonder how the test would work with fixative over the top?

RobinZ
02-11-2007, 10:41 AM
No, Tommy, I did not use UV glass. I do spray with the UV fixative at the end. I wonder if that does help?

Maggie, in the Phila Museum of Art, they keep the pastels they display in a darkened room controlled by a motion detector. If nobody's in there, the lights go out. And they rotate what they display. It's definitely an issue, and I don't mean to imply that my lack of fading in less than half a dozen years means they will last forever.

Cheryl T.
02-11-2007, 11:40 AM
Great test! Actually I'm surprised that there wasn't more fading under the circumstances.

I have not used the Polychromos. How are they compared to Prisma? Harder or softer? Do they blend easier or are they more difficult? Any other differences you've noted?

Lucio
02-11-2007, 02:48 PM
Thank you folks ,I thought I would get 2 or 3 comments in this thread :D
Tess I think the Polychromos did really better than the Prismas and just a bit better than the Pablos ,but as I already said I donīt have a lot of colors to test and I think the new Lightfast Prismas would have a better performance.
Wendy I am glad you are taking as much care with your works as possible .
It is a good idea to advise your customers to keep this kind of art alway form intense day light and to use the properly artificial lights .
Jennifer ,this test is just a kind of warning because the limited number of colors used, but I am glad this can be useful to you.
Tommy, UV glass should really extend the lightfastness of anything behind it but,as I think you know they do not protect against a more severe abuse.
Maggie, it is a good idea , I will start another test and this time I will use a good
UV fixative , in one year I will post the new results and Tommy if I find a small piece of UV glass over here ,I will use it too.
Robin is right, the art museums has really especial conditions, the right lights the properly conditioned air etc , you works will last forever Maggie.
Cheryl, The Polychromos are a bit harder than the Prismas but they blend really well and they have a little better transparency when you work on white
paper.
I start a piece using The Polychromos and the Pablos ( the Pablo is almost as softer than the Prismas and have a better coverage on black papers) and then I finish the last layers and make the retouches with the Prismas because they work better over the others due their softness.
Lucio

cindyv4
02-12-2007, 08:16 AM
Thank you so much for all your research, results and sharing!
I've been leaning toward polys just 'cause I'm sick of the prismas breaking down to nothing. This test makes me want to try them more.I have just 12 right now.
Again, thank you so much!
cindyv

JanieManaski
02-12-2007, 12:51 PM
If you get stuff framed, it should not be too much more expensive to get uv glass. The brand of glass we use at my frame shop is TruVue and is 97% UV blocking. Regular glass is only 45%.

Acrylite acrylic is also very nice for framing but expensive. The OP-3 is 98% filtering.

If you have any large frame shops in your area, it might be worth a try to try and get their scrap acrylic and or glass. The shop I work at now is not large enough, but I have worked at high-volume shops that throw away "scrap" acrylic that is at least 20x20.