Material 🖌️

I strive to provide exceptional archival quality of my paintings for the art lovers and collectors, while using most sustainable, minimalist, and environmentally friendly methods of producing hand-made art.

Work of art in the visual arts is a physical dimensional object that is made to fulfill an aesthetic function.

Artworks are aesthetic physical items or artistic creations, tangible and portable forms of visual art. They require physical matter to be created, and these chosen elements are called art materials.

  • Material elements and properties of artwork that are used for aesthetic appeal and permanence:
    1. Ground - canvas, rag, and paper, heavyweight and lightweight;
      1. Shape - usually rectangular, vertical ("portrait") or horizontal ("landscape"), and all other shapes;
      2. Size - dimensions: large, medium, and small;
    2. Pigments - minerals, inorganic, and organic;
    3. Tools - used for fine art creation (brushes, palettes, stick, easels, mounts, etc).
  • Ground ⬜

    Art Supports

    Most common art grounds and structures I use:

    • Canvas: usually woven textiles from natural or synthetic fibers - primarily cotton duck, sometimes linen, and rarely unwoven polyester;
    • Paper: pressed into sheets cotton or cellulose plant fibers - primarily 100% cotton rag, sometimes recycled acid free papers, rarely found.
    • Archival 🞒

      Archival Quality Grounds

      Archival grounds are art supports that are resistant to deterioration or loss of quality, allowing for a long life expectancy when kept in controlled conditions.

      I strive to choose art materials of the durable chemical composition (no lignin or acid free, no bleaching or optical brightening agents, etc.) and make my finished work as resistant to ultraviolet and humidity as possible.

      As grounds I primarily use rag papers and canvases made from pure cotton pulp.

      I hope that the resulting product would be archival-grade, so your investment in my artwork is as minimum safe from rapid loss of physical qualities, and preserved in the form you received it for your lifetime, provided you care for it.

      From the Society of American Archivists:

      While no materials meet the ideal definition of 'archival', many archivists use the term informally to refer to media that can preserve information, when properly stored, for more than a century.

      My art ground of choice is 100% cotton - canvas and rag papers, hand and mould made from renewable fibers, without use of animal products in the sizing layers. Sometimes I use recycled manufactured or found and repurposed archival (pH neutral) papers, textiles, and textural materials like sand or marble dust, and ground them with acrylic mediums.

      My Art Supports

      Cotton Rag Paper

      For aquarelle on cotton rug (heavier watercolor papers), I choose mould made whit 100% cotton, without optical bleaching, chlorine and acid free - guaranteeing long conservation and inalterability. I prefer roughunpressed surface and a special formula of sizing, Italian Fabriano Artistico being my favorite brand (no animal industry by-products used). 300 gsm (140 lb) is the best paper weight for me - heavy but still flexible.

      Canvas

      When I work on canvas, I usually apply foundation grounds myself - a toned gesso based on acrylic polymer, to which I add marble dust and pigments. Sometimes I stain canvas first and seal it with a clear acrylic medium.

      I prefer unstreached, heavy cotton, unprimed canvases, and avoid working on anything that includes new wood - for environmental and ethical reasons. If my technique calls for a harder ground, I search for artist grade recycled canvas boards, or mount cotton on sealed found objects.

    • Found ♻️

      Art grounds that had been either industrially produced out of recycled materials, or were made by hand of found materials, treated for permanence as much as possible.

      Examples:

      • artist papers that are 100% recycled, including 30% post consumer;
      • acid free and lignin free special purpose papers that was saved and repurposed;
      • found papers that were charged with acid-reducing solution and tested;
      • found and repurposed or upcycled suitable materials of any kind;
      • found permanent natural materials, like sand.
    • Set 🔢

      I make single works and polyptychs. Sometimes the pieces are so close in their expressive manner, color ans size that they become series. Miniatures are often offered in sets.

      • Polyptychs - usually diptychs - contain two or more singles that are intended to be viewed together, in a specific sequence or a free arrangement.
      • Sets contain works similar in style and purpose.
      • Seriesare set up by style, technique, palette, ground, and the visual approach to interpretation of the reality or ideas. They can look harmoniously together, for example, on the walls of the same room, but they intended to be freely arranged and rearranged over time.
      • Collectionsreflect the mood and, the depiction, by colors, or the time and environment in which artworks were made.
      • Polyptych ⧉

        Polyptychs consist of multiple singles that are presented together.

        A polyptych is a painting that is divided into panels.

        1. single panel - a one-piece painting;
        2. diptych - a two-panel work of art;
        3. triptych- a three-panel work;
        4. tetraptych (quadriptych)  - four panels;
        5. pentaptych- five;
        6. hexaptych- six;
        7. heptaptych- seven;
        8. octaptych- eight;
        9. enneaptych- nine;
        10. decaptych - ten panels.
      • Single ①

        One-piece artwork, single panel painting, one item.

    • Unframed 📐

      Unframed Dimensions

      My finished artwork I leave unframed, so you can decide how to present it in your unique environment, according to your taste.  Usually, I make the edges presentable as well, and in some cases the work call for being exhibited with exposed edges: from rough deckle edge to gilded with bronze or copper.

      Shape

      Art supports are usually rectangular, but sometimes have irregular shape: round, triangular, wavy, etc.

      Size

      The size of unframed artwork relates to the surface dimensions of a single piece that itself might be a part of a set (e.g. of a diptych). Sizes of artwork grounds I use range from miniatures to wall painting and drawings over 30 inches.

      The size groups are arranged by the longest dimension - height or width:

      • Miniature (small) artwork sand fine art in extra-small size - are about letter or A4 sizes or smaller - less than 12 inches longest side (under ~30 cm) .
      • Standard (medium size) - over 12 to 20 inches (~30-50 cm).
      • Large - over 20 inches (50+ cm). 

      The approximate measurements of each artwork should be provided on its page.

      Loose leaf 100% cotton French and Italian watercolor paper sheets usually come in traditional Imperial sizes. I cut heavy canvases approximately the same dimensions. Some other archival papers I use are in metric sizes.

      Special Sizes of Art Grounds

      Cotton Rag Paper Sheets

      • 1/1 Full Imperial is ~ 30 × 22 inches or 76 × 56 cm,
        somewhat smaller than metric A1 (841 ×594 mm or 33-1/8 ×23-3/8 inches).
      • 1/2 Half Imperial is ~ 22 × 15 inches or,
        a little smaller than A2 (420×594 mm or 16-1/2 x 23-3/8 in).
      • 1/4 Quarter Imperial is ~ 15 × 11 inches,
        comparable to but smaller than A3 (420 ×297 mm or 16-1/2 ×11-3/4 in).
      • 1/8 Imperial is ~ 11 × 7.5 inches, a bit narrower than Letter ANSI A (11×8.5 inches or 279.4×215.9 mm), and shorter and less narrower than A4 (297 ×210 mm or 11-3/4 ×8-1/4 inches).
      • 1/16 Imperial is ~ 7.5 × 5.5 inches, close to metric A5 size (148 ×210 mm or 5-7/8 ×8-1/4 inches).

      Metric Sizes

      Other useful sizes:

      A0 size (841 ×1188 mm or 33-1/8 ×46-3/4 in) is big: nearly 3 ×4 feet.

      Metric System

      Metric measurements are used in most countries in the world, the important exceptionsbeing USA and Canada.

      Metric paper sizes are also known as:

      • SI (Système international (d'unités), The International System of Units), or
      • DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung, the German Institute for Standardization).
  • Lightfast Pigments 🟤

    For the most part, I use pigments of highest lightfastness as paints: dispersed in natural gum or polymer, and often in form of dry drawing sticks and pencils.

    Natural coloring matter - permanent substances used for art painting - pigments in form of a dry powder are mixed with binder that constitutes paints, pigment (India) inks, and dry media compounds.

    Pigments are colored or achromatic organic or inorganic solids. They are usually insoluble chemically stable and retain a crystal or particulate structure.

    Color Index Code

    By the color classification method, pigments are coded:

    pigment yellow (PY), orange (PO), red (PR), violet (PV), green (PG), brown (PBr), black (PBk), white (PW), metal (PM).

    Pigment Lightfastness

    I use only permanent and very lightfast pigments, blue wool 7-8 or ASTM I.

    Blue Wool and ASTM Standards

    • Blue wool (BW) lightfastness levels: from 8 (extremely lightfast) down to 1 (fugitive).
    • ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials - lightfastness categories: from I (excellent) to V (poor).
    1. BW 7-8 = I. Excellent lightfastness, suitable for artistic use, will remain unchanged for more than 100 years of light exposure.
    2. BW 6      = II. Very good lightfastness, suitable for artistic use, unchanged for 50 to 100 years with proper display.
    3. BW 4-5 = III. Fair lightfastness, impermanent, unchanged for 15 to 50 years, last longer if used full strength or with extra protection from light.
    4. BW 2-3 =  IV. Poor lightfastness, fugitive, begins to fade in 2 to 15 years, even with proper mounting and display, not suitable for artistic use.
    5. BW 1       = V. Very poor lightfastness, fugitive, begins to fade in 2 years or less of light exposure, not suitable for artistic use.

    I use single-pigment paints and drawing implements that are based on primarily inorganic pigments.

    Inorganic pigments have excellent light and heat resistance and weatherability. Inorganic pigments include titanium dioxide, carbon, iron and chromium oxides, mixed metal oxides, manganese oxide, cadmiums, lead chromate,  ultramarines, iron blue, chrome green, etc.

    My main lightfast pigment groups, grouped by main chemical element, from more often used to less:

    1. Iron oxide pigments: sanguine, venetian red, red oxide, raw and burnt sienna, raw and burnt umber, yellow ochre, prussian blue, black iron oxide.
    2. Carbon pigments: natural charcoal, graphite.
    3. Titanium pigments: titanium white.
    4. Sulfur pigments: french ultramarine, ultramarine green shade and violet.
    5. Cadmium pigments: cadmium yellow, deep red, scarlet.
    6. Cobalt pigments: cobalt violet, blue, cerulean, turquoise.
    7. Manganese pigments: manganese violet.
    8. Chromium pigments: viridian.
    9. Zinc pigments: zinc white.
    10. Lead pigments: naples yellow.
  • Technique 🖌

    Technique is the manner in which technical details are treated or basic physical movements are used.

    My art techniques that I use often (in bold) and on occasion (in cursive):

    1. Acrylic painting (with water based paints that use acrylic polymer as a binder);
    2. Aerial perspective (adjusting colors to mimic those changes by the atmosphere at a distance);
    3. Aquarelle or watercolor (with water based paints that use soluble gum arabic from acacia or a substitute as a binder);
    4. Assemblage (assembling three-dimensional objects);
    5. Charcoal drawing (applying burnt wood);
    6. Chiaroscuro (working from mid-tone toward light and shadows, using strong contrasts between light and dark);
    7. Collage (application of pieces of colored paper and other flattened objects);
    8. Contour drawing (outline);
    9. Digital painting (applying digital inks to screens with stylus or fingers);
    10. Divisionism (separation of color for optical effects, including pointillism - applying dots of color, usually by stippling);
    11. Drybrush(applying paint so it is only partially covers the previous one);
    12. Foreshortening (rendering figures in depth with realistic perspective, especially from unusual points of view);
    13. Glazing and washing (coating with transparent paint);
    14. Gouache (natural gum as binder with opaque white base pigment);
    15. Grisaille (underpainting in value only, with shades and tints of one color, black camaieu, or in yellow - cirage);
    16. Hatching (shading with closely spaced parallel lines, and with cross-hatching the lines overlay at an angle);
    17. Dabbing(quickly applying paint with stiff brushes or other object with light pressure, like playing staccato on piano);
    18. Impasto (paint applied to stand out from the surface);
    19. Murals (painting ol walls and ceilings);
    20. Pastel (applying powdered pigment molded into a stick);
    21. Pen and ink (applying pigment ink with sticks, dip and fountain pens, brushes, and other implements, like parallel and technical pens);
    22. Perspective (depicting three-dimensional objects and space on surface with an illusion of real volume);
    23. Plein-air (painting outdoors or creating an impression of the open air);
    24. Sfumato(blurring or softening of sharp outlines by gradual blending of one tone into another);
    25. Sgraffito (scratch away paint to expose the underlayer);
    26. Spray and splatter;
    27. Tachisme and action painting (spontaneous application of paint, dripping and spilling);
    28. Tenebrism (dramatic illumination);
    29. Underpainting ((pre-painting of the first layer, often with contrasting colors to show through);
    30. Wet-on-wet(wet paint is applied onto wet layers).
Edges and Frames May 2021
Paints and Mediums May 2021
Brushes and Tools May 2021
🎨 Swatch May 2021
🎨 Sketch November 2020
🎨 Composition November 2020
Art Studio May 2019
Gatorfoam Boards July 2018
My New Fine Art Studio June 2018
Art Media for Workshops February 2018