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Old 01-24-2020, 01:41 PM
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JamieWG JamieWG is offline
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Faber Castell Polychromos Lightfastness Tests

I've finally photographed and posted the results of my Faber Castell Polychromos lightfastness tests. I pulled out 74 of the colors from the set that I thought would be most likely to fade, and put swatches in my window for five years.

In spite of the fact that I selected the colors I thought most likely to fade, I was impressed by many of the yellows, oranges, reds, and greens. The brightest greens by far outperformed my expectations. The blues didn't fare as well as I thought they would.

Here's a sample of some of those bright greens from the tests. (Top strip is the one that was in the window.)


If you're interested, you can see all 74 of the Polychromos sample swatches and comparisons, and make your own determinations about individual colors. The post showing the results is here:
Faber Castell Polychromos Lightfastness Test

Most of us don't hang our pastels in direct light. However, most of us don't live long enough to test our pastels in indirect light. At least this lets me know which colors will fade faster than others.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:24 AM
DBfarmgirl DBfarmgirl is offline
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Re: Faber Castell Polychromos Lightfastness Tests

These tests have been helpful.
I am rather surprised about the blues. That isn't usually a color range I worry about fading.
Thanks for posting these.
Sharen
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:07 AM
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JamieWG JamieWG is offline
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Re: Faber Castell Polychromos Lightfastness Tests

Quote:
Originally Posted by DBfarmgirl
These tests have been helpful.
I am rather surprised about the blues. That isn't usually a color range I worry about fading.
Thanks for posting these.
Sharen

Sharen, thank you for commenting. The blues took me by surprise too. I almost didn't test those for just the reason you stated! Although the set held up well overall, there were a bunch of sticks that I tossed in the trash to be sure I wouldn't use them!

I still have test results to post for some Mt. Visions, Conte pastel pencils, and some other materials... It takes so long for me to take all those photos, crop/edit/adjust, post the photos and write it up. I'm way behind. Now that the dust has settled from the busy holiday season, hopefully I can find the time to get all of those posted.
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:04 PM
DBfarmgirl DBfarmgirl is offline
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Re: Faber Castell Polychromos Lightfastness Tests

I'm hoping you don't have any bad surprises from the mount vision pastels.
The website lists the pigment info, but I always wonder about the lightfastness difference between mediums, ie acrylic vs pastels of the same pigment.

I set a side a bunch of nupastels because of fading. I use them to make notations on my dry acrylic paintings. You can also test a color change without the commitment that way too.

I look forward to seeing the next tests.
Thanks
Sharen
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:57 AM
My Beloved Muse My Beloved Muse is offline
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Re: Faber Castell Polychromos Lightfastness Tests

Jamie, thank you for your willingness to do this work, compile and post these results. Indeed, this test is quite surprising as so many of the warmer colors one would expect to fade held up so well. As for the blues, with the exception of two sticks which appear to using Ultramarine, the others could be pthalo blue, which simply may not be up to the task. The results, I believe, show that the choices manufacturers make are crucial to the well being of artworks down the road. Much as I’d love to simply believe the claims of the art material suppliers, your tests show me that such blind faith is naive.

Many thanks!

John
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:29 AM
kcwhitney kcwhitney is online now
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Re: Faber Castell Polychromos Lightfastness Tests

This is a recent story from the NY Times on color degradation that may interest some of you:


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/a...h-science.html
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:37 PM
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Re: Faber Castell Polychromos Lightfastness Tests

Thank you for sharing your results both here and on your blog, Jamie. I love my Polychromos and I'm glad to know that for the most part they hold up well.
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Old 02-17-2020, 03:33 PM
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Re: Faber Castell Polychromos Lightfastness Tests

DonnaT, if lightfastness is important to you, they seem to be a good choice. I'd just pull out the terrible failures from the set, like the yellow #107 (and maybe #108 too), pink #128, blue #145, etc. There aren't many that are awful. I think with those worst offenders gone, they hold up better than most.

Sharen, I really like your idea of trying pastel colors over acrylic paintings. Usually I put plastic wrap over the painting and test in acrylic, but pastel presents an additional option. It's always good to have options! As for the Mt. Visions, when I got my full set, I got an additional 20 or 25 colors. I ordered the additional colors that I thought I'd use most. Those 20-25 are the only sticks that still had labels on them, so those are the ones I tested. I figured there would be no way for me to be sure of exactly what the numbers were for the other colors. Now that I think about it though, I think I might have made a chart when I got them! Well, it's water under the bridge at this point. I have results from those extra sticks, and am still searching for time to get that posted. I think only a couple of them were problematic. I'll try to get them up on my site in March, if not sooner.

Kcwhitney, I had seen that article too! Thank you for putting it here. Those who haven't seen it should take a look! I've had artists tell me that even work in their own sketchbooks has faded/shifted.

John, I like to believe I can trust the manufacturers too. I certainly trust some of them 100%, and others not so much. When my test results are the same as theirs, I tend to believe those manufacturers more. But others might take the word of whoever they get their pigment from, and who knows who/where that is? I think the good manufacturers are more inclined to be careful where they shop themselves, and do their own independent testing to confirm any claims about the pigments they're using. (At least, that's what I'd do if I were a paint/pastel company!)
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Last edited by JamieWG : 02-17-2020 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:57 AM
DBfarmgirl DBfarmgirl is offline
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Re: Faber Castell Polychromos Lightfastness Tests

Jamie
I used pastels to mark all over a painting I was working on, a friend saw it, thinking it was paint, about killed over that I ruined it. I tend to be too conservative with changes sometime and with pastel over acrylic there's no commitment. It's easy to scribble all over a dry painting then wash it off to try something different. It is also a use for those non lightfast pastels that would end up in the trash.
Sharen
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