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Monthly Archives: March 2017

About Painting Conservation

One of the most noticeable defects the public observes on a painted surface is craquelure. Craquelure appears as a minute crazing pattern on a painting’s surface. The following layers make up a painting:

1. Stretcher bars are covered by a canvas support

2. Canvas is coated with a sizing medium

3. Gesso (a ground layer) is applied over the sizing medium

4. Paint is layered over the sizing medium

5. Varnish is capped over all these layers

Ideally all these layers dry uniformly. When the harmony of these layers is disrupted, a problem results, requiring conservation. For instance, as the different layers absorb and release moisture, expansion and contraction take place. As the materials age, the ongoing process of change can take its toll. Vibrations when art is transported can be harmful to one or more layers, even though temperature and humidity are controlled.

Returning to craquelure, it is understandable that the canvas has responds to a change in climactic conditions by either shrinking or swelling. The amount of stress might differ from the ground or paint layer. As these materials react to change differently, they result first in craquelure and finally become cleavage. Cleavage is the paint layer lifting from the canvas.

When craquelure appears as a function of age, it is generally left untouched, provided the painting is still legible. Should this condition become cleavage, a professional conservator must be consulted.

Another easily noticed problem is a slackening of the canvas, producing more “play” than was originally intended. Examine the stretcher bars. If all the corners are fixed by glue or nails and cannot be adjusted mechanically, your painting is attached to strainer bars, not stretcher bars. Stretcher bars have keys (wedges of wood that permit adjusting of the bars) or sophisticated metal elements that allow for adjustments. A canvas left for many years on strainer bars could rip once the canvas becomes brittle.

Yellowing or darkening varnish is another readily recognizable issue. About every 25 years, review canvases for a re-application of varnish. First the original varnish must be removed by a professional conservator.

 

Common Questions about Care For Animation

Where can I store an unframed Animation Cel?

Store it upright, in a cool room, away from sources of direct heat or sunlight. Cels seem to store better in moderate humidity: not too dry and not too moist. Do NOT store in a Kitchen, bathroom, loft or cellar, unless properly insulated.

Where should I not hang a framed piece of Art?

Do not hang any art where direct sunlight can cross it and neither hand it above a radiator. Watch for hot-spots reflected from glass tables; it can be just as damaging as direct sunlight. If there is a high amount of reflected sunlight, you will want to make sure your cel is framed with a UV-reflective material.

Can I clean an Animation Art Cel myself?

No, under any circumstances, do not attempt to clean a cel yourself. Leave this to the professionals such as your framer, who can remove minor smudges and other imperfections, and they should do so with extreme care.

How should I frame my artwork?

Always frame your art with the highest quality materials. Use acid-free mats and backing, especially for framing drawings or other, paper based artwork.

If you are choosing a piece of Art it is easy and safe to purchase over the internet, but choosing a frame is very personal and is more advisable to be done in person at a local framing gallery, as you can choose the exact size and colour to compliment your cel and the room it is to be displayed in.

Artwork that is shipped framed can become warped, especially if it is a large piece, or if it is stretched on canvas. Additionally glass or perspex can crack or smash and damage your artwork.

 

Color Mixing and Theory in Oil Painting

While learning about the various brushes and mediums was a bit confusing, the biggest challenge for me was how to accurately depict nature and other real life objects on canvas using color.

How do I make a color lighter or darker? What about making realistic shadows or highlights? This article will shed some colorful light on the situation, and with practice, working with color in your oil paintings will become easier and more enjoyable.

Thank God for the beautiful Sun, for without it, we would not see color. Everything would appear dark and colorless.

Thankfully, the light from the Sun also travels in a straight line. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t have the wonderful variety of light and shadow that makes everything so enjoyable to paint.

If you take an apple for instance, and put it outside in the grass in the sunlight, you will notice several different values that the light creates when shining on the apple.

You have the main overall tone of the apple, the shadow on the apple, the cast shadow, reflection from nearby objects like the green grass and the sky, and highlights. Our job as painters is to accurately depict these values on canvas using color.

There are so many different oil colors on the market today. All of these different colors come from the six colors that make up the spectrum – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet.

Colors have four main properties – value, intensity, temperature and hue. The value of a color refers to how light or dark a color is. The intensity of a color refers to how bright or dull it is – also known as a colors saturation or purity. If you used yellow straight from the tube, it would have a higher intensity then if you mixed it with white. The temperature refers to how warm or cool a color is. Colors range in temperature from warm yellows and oranges to cool blues and violets. Finally, the hue is just another word for color. An apple and a cherry are both hues of red.

Color mixing is not an exact science. Artists have different formulas and methods for mixing and applying paint, so the following tips are general guidelines and not necessarily rules that must be followed.

When mixing colors don’t over mix. Over mixing a color will take the life out of it.

To create highlights in your paintings, use white with a touch of the objects complimentary color. There are some exceptions however. When painting highlights on certain objects like brass for instance, which can be depicted on canvas using yellow, making a lighter yellow tinted with white can create a convincing highlight.

Cast shadows of objects are complimentary to the color that the shadow is cast upon. For instance, the cast shadow of a red apple on a blue tablecloth would be orange.

To get any desired color, try to mix as few colors as possible.

Try to keep the theme of your painting either all warm or all cool in temperature.

Again, color mixing is not an exact science. If you survey 10 artists and ask them various questions about mixing oil paint, you will likely get many different answers. My advice is to keep painting and practicing until you develop your own formulas and techniques that you are comfortable with. Happy Painting and God Bless!