Original art is an investment with more than just a monetary value. I aim at creating work that lasts but after the pieces leave my studio it is not up to me to care and protect them.
My work is usually created using more than one technique. It is also layered up and almost never ala prima. Also, some of my paintings are created using acrylic. Acrylic paintings are expected to have a longer life span than oil paintings, and are considered more resistant to ageing, but just as any other material, they have their issues. After the painting has been completed and signed, a final layer of gloss varnish is applied to protect the painting from the accumulation of dust and dirt. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are indestructible. Acrylics are more “elastic” than oils and don’t create a hard surface after drying in the same way oils do. Drastic temperature changes and moisture are some of the main enemies of acrylic paint. This is why you should be aware of the do’s and don’ts.
– Rigid object that press against the front or back surface of the stretched canvas will create permanent indentation damage. When storing or transferring, take care to protect the canvas surfaces from becoming dinged or dented. I use cardboard on the front and back as well as foam corners to protect the frame.
– Don’t apply any kind of pressure (even finger pressure) to the back of a canvas — cracks in the paint will likely develop after a time if this is done.
(If your canvas painting does get slightly stretched or dented in an area, sometimes spraying water on the back side (the unpainted side) of the canvas can shrink the stretch/dent.)
– Don’t place the artwork above a heat source such as heaters or fireplaces. In addition to the damage caused by radiating heat, dirt that rises with the heat may cause damage.
– Don’t hang paintings in a moist environment such as a room which has a bath or shower. Rapid environmental fluctuations will cause harm.
– Keep away from ultraviolet light! Fugitive dyes and colorants used in paints will eventually discolour under exposure to this type of light. The fading of pigments and dyes will affect the colour balance of the artwork.
– clean the surface by using solvents or cleaning products of any kind as they will embed the dirt into the painting and cause permanent liquid lines over the surface. In fact, it is discouraged to use any liquid, including water, to clean the surface of your acrylic painting. Never use dry or moist dust cloths, stiff bristle brushes or feather dusters to clean a painting as threads can catch on areas of raised paint and dusters can scratch the painting. Avoid spraying any fresheners, polish etc. directly onto a painting.
– Use compressed air in a can to blow away surface dust or a dry soft sable brush to lightly brush the surface in order to dislodge dust while holding a vacuum, off the surface, to capture and remove debris.
– Use a delicate brush to gently remove surface dirt from your paintings. Be careful not to bump or scratch the painting. If the paint is damaged in any way, avoid dusting altogether.
The best type of light for your painting is indirect sunlight, recessed lighting, and halogen lights (not ultraviolet).
Detailed info (courtesy of Tate Modern): Link to PDF
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