Pastel artists don’t have to be held captive when it comes to knowing
what colors are good performers and those that fade fairly quickly when
exposed to light. A protocol that provides a very good indicator of how
materials will behave if exposed to light, is available for anyone to
use. The method is fairly simple. Artists can prepare a suitable sample
card that exposes a portion of the pastel to light while leaving a
portion masked from any exposure.
While at the IAPS convention, Anne and I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Skalka, task chair for the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) Pastel Standard. Skalka oversees the Modern Art Materials Collection and Study Center and is known for his clearly superhuman knowledge of the science and history of art materials. He’s also a regular blogger for our sister publication, The Artist’s Magazine. At IAPS, Skalka gave a presentation on the lightfastenss of pastels. Now, he’s blogging about it. Here’s a little excerpt:
Read the whole post on Skalka’s Anatomy of Art Materials and download a free how-to on testing your own pastels. And when you’re done with that, come on back and tell us what you think about it.