Material Quality Responsibility
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    Material Quality Responsibility

    I am 90% of my way of eliminating my fears.

    One great fear remaining is the material quality if I sell something.
    -And no, I'm not ready to sell high quality stuff, but I am considering using whatever skill I do have and then just be happy if people like it because I'm very financially frustrated right now! ...going towards pretty damn screwed...

    Years ago I thought only "high quality" materials were acceptable for sale, and fortunately I bought a few tubes of Golden while I still had money!
    But in the past few years I have seen people buy art made with what you can buy in the local supermarket!
    The girl from "My kid could paint that" or whatever the documentary is called, is using a brand I wouldn't give much credit for selling at such high prices (regardless of how low I think of her "art").

    A lot of people are praising the Leningrad (international name?) watercolors, and they are to my knowledge pretty crappy in lightfastness. My knowledge may be wrong, and if it is I want some too! :p

    People make a living out of painting with galeria acrylics... Cotman watercolors... They all seem more busy having the appropriate canvas and such, which is of course important too. Just doesn't help much if the colors are dulled in a year.

    Then comes everything people mix into the paint!
    Salt, soap, lala... I have been quilty of experimenting with salt until someone said it ruined the paper...

    But assuming just for a second, hypothetically, I was to sell something I would feel so bad if I don't use what I at least myself consider high quality because I have the idea that the color will die in a matter of months if I don't.

    So are my concerns fully irrational and I can use almost whatever?
    -Like is the difference measured in more or less decades, even centuries, so the painting would outlive the buyer regardless?

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    dpaint's Avatar
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    For normal people your fears are grounded and you should be aware of the quality of your materials and do your best to make sure they are the best you can afford. Then there is Frazetta...

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    ... or Edvard Munch, or Leonardo Da Vinci for that matter.

    But yeah, I consider it at least a courtesy if not a professional responsibility to use high grade lasting materials. Maybe your painting need not last centuries, but it should at least last the lifetime of the buyer.

    -My work can be found at my local directory thread.
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    Thanks guys for replying

    Then there is Frazetta...
    Frank Frazetta?
    -What did he use?

    Right now of artists quality I have Golden Heavy Acrylics and Rembrandt watercolors... Is that good enough or should I change the brands? Next up will be Maimeri oil paints...
    -I'll get really sad if I have to ditch my watercolors, I really love them

    Gaah, is there a thread about material recommendations/reviews?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixtar View Post
    Thanks guys for replying


    Frank Frazetta?
    -What did he use?
    He was known for useing the cheapest stuff he could find including inferior turps which might have contributed to his health problems later in life.

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    Any name brand paints these days, even (especially!) student-grade ones, won't be using non-lightfast pigments, so fading shouldn't be an issue. I assure you, for what somebody's going to be paying for your work, it lasting unchanged for eternity shouldn't be an issue. Of course craftsmanship is important, and you should learn good habits early on, but on the whole, amateurs' fixation with archival permanence is unwarranted. Most artwork made should deteriorate, to save the future from drowning in a sea of archival crap. The way to make sure your work will last is to make work that people will care about preserving.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Also, learn how to read your paint labels. Any reliable brand will have pigment/lightfastness info right on the tube/jar. And even middle-of-the-road paint today is more permanent than what was available 100 years ago.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Learn to love earthtones? Some of the most lightfast materials are also some of the cheapest.

    Now... if you're really looking to save money, invest most of your time in drawing. Drawing is super-cheap, you can use any old paper and any old pencil to train your skills. Learn drawing *really well*, to the point where you can do some nice work with it. Then sell your drawing skills to support your painting habits. Bonus: if your drawing skills are good you will waste less paint making crooked faces and landscapes with crappy perspective. There's no reason to whip out the $40 cadmium paint tube to practice perspective.

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    @ dpaint: Inferior turps? Now you get me all scared here!
    I was recommended the terp that is non-mineral. -The other one! Just don't know its English term. But thanks for sharing

    @ Elwell:
    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Any name brand paints these days, even (especially!) student-grade ones, won't be using non-lightfast pigments, so fading shouldn't be an issue. I assure you, for what somebody's going to be paying for your work, it lasting unchanged for eternity shouldn't be an issue.
    Just to check if I understood it 100% correctly...
    In a lot of cases the student quality may even be better (I guess especially the alizarin crimson + alike) than the artist quality? -But in the end it doesn't matter because as it is now all of them are "good enough" to last for a looong time?

    I often do buy accordingly to lightfastness when ordering paint. Don't know if that is stupid all considering?

    Thanks very much, this is very useful info


    @ Vineris: After getting here I actually switched over to drawing way more than I did previously. And I can flat out say that yes, I do need lots of drawing practice, and no I should not really touch too much paint yet unless for rough sketches and such just for the sake of learning and experimenting :p
    I do use "student grade" for practice in painting. The tree that's in my thumb on my sketchbook is however done with Golden...

    But yeah, I like earth tones so I guess I'll do more of those?
    -And monochrome use of colors give a good idea of value/tone/etc just as well as graphite as long as I just choose some that are dark like sepia?

    Thanks to you as well for replying

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    No, it's not that student quality paints are ever better than artist's quality. It's that, because the range of pigments is more limited, and the target market less educated, it's easier for them to just say "all our pigments are lightfast" and leave it at that. Some artist's quality paint lines may offer traditional pigments that are less lightfast because there's still a demand for them, and the assumption is that the customer can make that decision for themselves.
    You should always use good quality materials, and most student grade paints are crap. But their crappiness comes from their handling qualities and low pigment loads, not from any lack of permanence. On the other hand, many beginners splurge on premium, top-of-the-line paint (Old Holland, Williamsburg, Holbein, Mussini, Blockx, etc) which is a totally wasted on them.


    Tristan Elwell
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    @ Elwell: Thanks a lot for coming back to clarify

    I think I get it now!
    Hopefully this means that I can blame the low-quality paint just a little tiny bit for a crappy result?

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