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Paint: long and short term properties

I recently found this fascinating article on paint properties. The author is a scientist, restorer, and artist, and (from what I read) attempts to look at the issues of paint durability (etc) from a scientific as well as artistic viewpoint.

Modern Painting Best Practices

For over a hundred years, most causes of paint failures have been studied: humidity, temperature and paint embrittlement. The symptoms were obvious-cracking, delaminating and paint loss-but the causes were not. Conservation workers gradually formed concepts as to the causes of cracking and paint loss of old paintings. Concurrently, the coatings industry studied failures in all types of paint. Artists developed their own ideas, but remained largely unaware of findings from both the conservation community and the coatings industry.

George O'Hanlon, Technical Director of Natural Pigments, spent years developing technical information not taught in art schools and universities--a thorough understanding of artist's materials and tools, what they are designed to do, when to chose them and how to provide considerable longevity to your finished work.

The lecture examines how to build a painting from the support to the ground and the paint layers, including how the "fat-over-lean" rule in oil painting is inherently flawed, potential issues of using resin-based mediums, such as Maroger and dammar varnish, and issues inherent with modern oil paints. Practical guidelines are given for paintings based on conservation research during the past century.

The causes of cracking, delaminating and loss of paint are clearly explained and practices to prevent them prematurely in painting are discussed in the lecture.
Painting for Posterity
With Modern Oil Painting Materials

See the presentation by George O'Hanlon, founder and director of Natural Pigments, on the best practices in painting given at the Figurative Art Convention & Expo (FACE) in Miami on Friday, November 10, 2017.

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