Questions

Please feel free to post any questions here. Thanks!

FAQ

  1. Art Materials and Painting Surfaces: I use all high-quality art materials for all my creative artworks. All my artworks including limited prints are highly archivable. Examples of art materials I use:
    • Watercolor Paper: Arches (acid-free & known to be highly archivable.
    • Pigments: All the best art brands, including Daniel Smith, Rembrandt, Gamblin and Winsor & Newton.
    • Canvas: Linen (Best quality canvas, example: Egyptian Mummies are wrapped with linen. The linen is still good after 5000 years)
  2. Watercolor on paper, will it last? — Arches watercolor paper has been proven to be highly archivable. So that is not the source of the problem, like foxing (yellow spots growing on paper). Artist quality materials are with lightfastness rating: 1. They can withstand the test of time because most of them are metal oxides that will not change much for hundreds of years. Actually, either oil paintings or acrylic paintings or watercolors, the raw pigments are the same. The difference is the carrier – the binder. Oil uses oil (linseed, walnut, safflower oil….), acrylic uses acrylic resin and watercolor uses Arabic gum.

    Most of the issues come from the acidic environment around us and the framing backing. These are the 2 main sources of acid content. To protect my artworks in the frames, I have a custom-made protective layer to be placed between the frame backing and the artwork. This blocks all possible acidic compounds from reaching the artwork. It has been proven effective after many years. And that protective layer can be easily made and replaced. (I teach all my art collectors about it).

Common Drawing & Painting Questions:

  1. Watercolor is dynamic and less predictable, how to control it?
    • It may take some time to get familiar with a new painting medium. The reason doesn’t really come from the medium. It is because the user is less familiar with the character of the medium. For example, I was painting in watercolor for many years, when I first used oil, my paintings looked darker. REASON: When I work in watercolor, the overall tone will get lighter a bit after the painting is dry. So it became a habit to expect oil to get lighter after painting. So remember – watercolors will be lighter when it is dry. Paint a bit darker and slightly more concentrated than needed.
    • Most people think it is safer to start lighter and slowly painting darker in watercolor. — The truth is: If you paint closer to the correct tones you need, you don’t even have to do that many layers. So, the solution is to have tonal sketches to help you judge the right tones to use at each place so that you can paint closer to the required tones and therefore, no retouching them very much. That keeps everything fresh and clean. And if you like the transparency of watercolor, you can that effect easily by painting fewer layers.
  2. More to come…..

(28 June 2021) It is very important for oil painters to understand different types of white pigments and their characters. I share it in my Fan Club! Singapore Famous Watercolour Artist Ng Woon Lam .

3 comments

    1. Some good brands have student quality and artist quality, like for example Talens — Rembrandt is the artist quality and Van Gogh is the student quality. The disadvantages of student quality pigment:
      1. Don’t have that many colors to choose from
      2. For chromatic colors that need a lot of pigments, they have less and therefore could not achieve the same chroma and opacity that easily — for example Cadmium and Cobalt colors. These pigments are expensive because they are poisonous. => Their disposition is more costly. => Cheaper student brands will only give you very little pure pigment, and mostly are fillers. => lower in chroma and opacity.

  1. However, for normal browns and grays, the differences are not that significant unless you are looking for certain pigment characters like precipitations and certain transparency.

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