Sunday, September 06, 2009

Color permanancy test Hansa Yellow Light

A couple of years ago, I began using Hansa Yellow Light in my paintings. It is semi-transparent and I like the way it mixes with other colors. Soon after I started using it, I heard some reports that this pigment has a tendency to fade, but couldn't really tell from the pix on the web how much. So I decided to give it a test myself. I painted a swatch on a piece of gessoed Masonite; when dry I covered a section with opaque paper and hung it on the wall. The room it is in gets a few hours of sunlight per day, tho I have a translucent curtain over the window, and the sun does not directly shine in. About a year ago I checked the swatch and it looked ok to me; I just checked it again and I am sorry to say the fading is definitely noticeable. Although it just occurred to me that the paint under the paper may have darkened. I'll try painting a fresh swatch nearby to see if it matches either. I may be replacing this pigment on my palette.
The photos do not show the extent of the difference that is discernible by the eye.

UPDATE: I had to paint some gesso over the spot where the scotch tape holding the paper pulled it off, sheesh. Then painted some Hansa Yellow light over the new gesso, below the 2 year old HYL paint swatches. it's had a week or more to dry, and to the eye there is a definite difference. the new paint swatch is very saturated, while the older swatches seem duller and the paint under the paper has become an orangey yellow.
I am now using Cadmium Lemon Yellow on my palette; it is more expensive but has proven it's reliability over time.

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

Thanks for doing this. I love Hansa Yellow, and it's a bit disturbing that Hansa Yellow Light fades so fast. I may have to be very careful with the pieces that I've used it in. I only have it in watercolor but it's been such a useful color it'd be frustrating to lose it.

Guess it's in a category with Alizarin Crimson now... warn the buyer, drop the price if I sold anything with it.