The lightfastness of dry pastel is a major concern for artists who use this medium to create durable works of art that will withstand time. Let’s talk about the lightfastness of dry pastels and the precautions to be taken to ensure the preservation of creations.
Lightfastness in art refers to the ability of art materials, pigments, paints, inks and other mediums to preserve their appearance and quality despite exposure to light, particularly sunlight. This feature is crucial to ensure the long-term preservation of artworks, as prolonged exposure to light can lead to fading, deterioration and degradation of artistic materials.
One of the most outstanding properties of dry pastel is its ability to absorb light. Indeed, the high absorption capacity of light rays gives softs pastels the most intense contrasts of all pictorial methods. In full light, light areas are intensely bright, while dark areas remain dark, black, thick…
This resistance to light depends greatly on the quality of the pigments used and the way in which the artworks are protected.
Choosing light-resistant pastels means opting for dry pastels from reputable brands that use top-quality pigments. Premium pigments are not only more resistant to fading, but also more respectful of the environment.
The use of high-quality raw materials is generally the choice made by craftsmen, and more particularly by manufacturers recognized as craftsmen of excellence.
The Pastels Girault® brand, monitored and controlled in particular thanks to its Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant label, is one of these craftsmen.
All the technical data sheets for the pigments used in the workshop show indices between 6 and 8 on the scale (0 to 8) of the ASTM D4303 standard.
It should be noted that each shade can sometimes contain up to 6 or 7 different pigments, so the precise index of the result is consequently excellent.
Girault Pastels have been renowned for their high quality and excellent lightfastness for almost two and a half centuries. This is mainly due to the choice of materials, which meet the strict standards demanded by the brand.
Sticks made a hundred years ago are part of the brand’s incredible heritage ! They could perfectly well be used today, as they have retained all their qualities of texture and luminous robustness.
How artworks are protected
By following a few precautions, artists can maximize the lightfastness of their dry pastel works, ensuring their beauty and artistic integrity for generations to come.
Avoid direct sunlight :
Exposing artwork (pastel or otherwise) to direct sunlight for long periods can cause fast fading.
Proper framing :
Watertight framing offers better protection against humidity and dust.
Museum-quality, UV-protected glass preserves beauty by preventing fading.
In other words, good framing guarantees a longer life for your paintings.
Store appropriately :
When the work is not on display, let alone framed, it is imperative to avoid wide variations in temperature and humidity, which can also affect durability in the face of light. Storage in a dark, dry place is ideal.
The combination of high-quality material selection, appropriate framing and careful management of light exposure is essential to preserve the rich colors and quality of these unique artistic creations.