Materials 🖌️

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 Support ⬜

      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.

    • 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.
    • Size & Shape 📐

      Sizes and Shapes

      Unframed Artwork

      My finished artwork I leave unframed, so you can decide how to present it.  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.

      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) artworks - fine art in extra-small size - are under, about, or a little over the letter or A4 sizes - less than 12 inches (~30 cm) .
      • Standard (medium size) - over 12 to 20 inches (~30-50 cm).
      • Large - over 20 inches (50+ cm). 

      The size of each artwork should be provided on its page.

      Shape

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

      • Large Size ⬛

        Large art pieces I make are over 20 inches or 50 cm longest dimension.

        They are best for larger spaces that allows to step back and view the piece from some distance. However, this does not imply the lack or detail or texture.

        Examples of standard large artwork sizes:

        • Imperial - 30 x 22 inches,
        • B2 Standard ~ 28 x 20 inches (27.8 x 19.7"),
        • Academic 24 x 18 inches,
        • A2 standard ~ 23 x 17 inches (594 x 240 mm).
        • Half-Imperial - 22 x 15 inches.
      • Miniature ▪️

        Small graphic and fine art works that are 12 inches or 30 cm in their longest side or smaller.

        Many of these artworks are intricate drawings in pen and ink, graphite, or watercolor.

        Sometimes they are sketches, studies in preparation for artwork, work in progress, drawing studies, painting concepts, visual ideas notation, and experimentation that have artistic value.

        A few examples of miniature-size art pieces would be:

        • A4 standard ~ 21 x 30 cm, or 210 x 297 mm (~ 8.27 x 11.69 inches),
        • B5 standard ~ 18 x 25 cm, or 176 x 250 mm (~ 6.9 x 9.8 inches),
        • A5 standard ~ 15 x 21 cm, or 148 x 210 mm (~ 5.8 x 8.3 inches),
        • A6 standard ~ 11 x 15 cm, or 105 x 148 mm (~ 4.1 x 5.8 inches),
        • US Letter standard - 8.5 by 11 inches (215.9 by 279.4 mm),
        • 9 x 12", bigger than the letter-sized paper.
      • Standard Size ◼️

        Medium or standard size artwork - over 12 to 20 inches (~ 30-50 cm) longest side. 

        These paintings and drawings can fit on most wall spaces and can be comfortably observed in standard size rooms and often require just standard size frames.

        • For the United States, a good examples could be, in inches:
          • 12 x 16 inches- a standard paper block size, 3:4 aspect ratio,
          • 16 x 20 inches- a common US picture frame size, 4:5 aspect ratio,
          • or either quarter(11 x 15 inches) or half (15 x 22 inches) imperial sheet.
        • For Europe and Asia:
          • A3 standard - 30 x 42 cm, or 297 x 420 mm
            (~ 16.5 x 11.7 inches),
          • B3 standard - 35 x 50 cm, or 353 x 500 mm
            (~ 13.9 x 19.7 inches),
          • B4 standard - 25 x 35 cm, or 250 x 353 mm
            (~ 9.8 x 13.9 inches).
    • Weight ⚖️

      The weights and thickness of the grounds of the artworks, heavy and lightweight art supports.

      • Heavyweight

        Heavy Art Grounds

        Artwork supports that are heavier in weight, thick, and usually more rigid than the lightweight grounds or foundations.

        Most commonly I use:

        • Cotton rugs and other papers: 300 g/m (140 lb.) and heavier;
        • Canvases: heavy cotton ducks with more texture, usually with tight plied yarn weave of tighter and stronger construction, from 12 oz. per square yard (36" x 36 ") to 30 oz.
      • Lightweight 🏮

        Lightweight Art Grounds

        • Cotton rags and papers: less than 300 g/m (140 lb. ) - thin and medium-sturdy papers and fibrous support substances that are less sturdy than the heavyweight art grounds.
        • Canvases: light cotton ducks with finer texture, under 12 oz. per square yard, or other natural and synthetic textiles hat are used as an artwork support: linen (flax), recycled natural blends, synthetic fibers like repurposed polyester, pellon, nylon, etc.

        Usually lightweight artworks need to be mounted or framed for a presentation or hanging on a wall.

  • Pigment 🟤

    Lightfast Pigments

    Natural coloring matter of highest lightfastness - permanent substances used for art painting - pigments in form of a dry powder mixed with binder that constitutes a paint or ink. I usually use pigments as paints: dispersed in natural gum or polymer.

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

    Inorganic and Organic Pigments

    Inorganic

    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.

    I use these single-pigment paints based on inorganic pigments, from more often to less, grouped by main chemical element:

    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.

    Organic

    I do not use organic pigments with biological origins (like alizarin, gamboge, rose madder, indigo, etc.)

    However, I use a few non-biological organic pigments (like quinacridones and phthalos).

    Organic pigments have wider range of bright colors, and many have excellent light and solvent resistance. They are divided into two groups:

    1. Azo pigments includes monoazo yellow and orange, di-azo, azo lake, benzimidazolone, bis-azo, naphthols, metal complexes.
    2. Non-azo pigments, heterocyclic and fused ring, include phthalocyanine, quinacridone, perylene and perinone, thioindigo, anthraquinone, dioxazine, isoindolinone and isoindoline, pyrrole, triarylcarbonium, quinophthalone.

    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.

     

    • Inorganic Synthetic 🟪

      Inorganic Synthetic Pigments

      Ultramarine was the most important addition to the standard earth palette, in my opinion.

      Impressionist Palette

      Impressionists added other inorganic minerals in addition to natural ones, lapis, and naples in classic palette:

      • red and yellow cadmiums and turquoise,
      • blue and violet cobalts,
      • green chromium oxide and viridian,
      • and manganese violet.

      Modern

      New pigments with excellent lightfastness like mars black were synthesized in modern times.

      Notable Inorganic Pigments

      These pigments below are those I used in my artwork, due to their beauty and permanence:

      • Aluminum pigments:
        • Ultramarine violet (PV15),
        • Ultramarine blue or french (PB29): a synthetic or naturally occurring sulfur containing silicate mineral, Na8-10Al6Si6O24S2-4.
      • Cobalt pigments:
        • Cobalt violet: (PV14),
        • Cobalt blue (PB28),
        • Cerulean blue and turquose (PB35, PB36).
      • Manganese pigment:
        • Manganese violet: (PV16) manganic ammonium pyrophosphate[2], NH4MnP2O7.
      • Iron pigments:
        • Prussian blue (PB27): a synthetic inert pigment made of iron and cyanide, C18Fe7N18,
        • Mars black or iron black (PBk11): synthetic magnetite, Fe3O4.
      • Cadmium pigments:
        • Cadmium yellow (PY37): cadmium sulfide, CdS,  occurs as mineral greenockite,
        • Cadmium red (PR108): cadmium sulfo-selenide, Cd2SSe.
      • Chromium pigments:
        • Chrome green (PG17): anhydrous chromium(III) oxide, Cr2O3,
        • Viridian (PG18): hydrated chromium(III) oxide, Cr2O3•xH2O.
      • Copper pigment:
        • Malachite.
      • Lead pigment:
        • Naples yellow (PY41).
      • Titanium pigment:
        • Titanium white (PW6): titanium(IV) oxide, TiO2.
      • Zinc Pigment:
        • Zinc white (PW4): zinc oxide, ZnO.

      The most important to my palette synthesized inorganic pigments from those listed below I will describe separately under this label.

    • Mineral Earth 🟫

      Mineral Earth Pigments

      Permanent natural minerals do not fade or change.

      Historic

      Inorganic black carbons and earth mineral iron oxides are permanent and were used since the beginning of art.

      I often use hematite, venetian and indian red, siennas an umbers, ochre, iron oxides, and sometimes goethite and caput mortuum.

      Classical

      Some permanent iron oxides were used in the classical palette, with added also inorganic naples and ultramarine:

      • venetian and indian red,
      • orange and yellow raw and burnt sienna,
      • yellow ochre,
      • brown raw and burnt umber,
      • naples yellow,
      • ultramarine blue and violet (lapis).
    • Organic 🟣

      Organic Pigments

      Organic insoluble organic compounds of high coloring strength are made in high-tech laboratories.

      I usually avoid common lake and phthalocyanine pigments. I love the intensity of Azo-pigments, and also used in small amounts:

      • magenta and red Quinacridones (I call them "quins" and use often the most lightfast versions) and  Perylenes,
      • yellow Hansas (I use sometimes in acrylic),
      • blue Indanthrones (I used in one series) and Phthalos (blues I reserve for some acrylics, and I phased out of greens).
Mixed Media May 2021
Edges and Frames May 2021
Paints and Mediums May 2021
My Techniques May 2021
Brushes and Tools May 2021
Swatch May 2021
Sketch & Study November 2020
Dry Media November 2020
Water Media November 2020
Technique & Materials November 2020