I have a Painting 101 question.

How do you handle this phenomenon? If it's true that when color dries, it becomes darker than when you painted it wet. And if you are color-matching from a (dry) photograph and you match that dry color exactly with wet paint and apply it to your canvas, does that mean your painting will be darker than the original photograph from which you've copied when it dries? Would varnishing the painting remedy this situation? Do I even have my facts right?


  • Some pigments do in fact get darker over time, but Mark does not recommend any paints which have this issue.

    Varnishing is a separate issue. Using gloss varnish rather than matte/satin/whatever varnish is important if you want your colors to look as they did when they were wet. Here is a video about it.
  • @David_Quinn_Carder Thanks for clearing up this issue for me. I will be using this information for the rest of my life. ;)
  • @Kingston Thanks for sharing your experience. I will look for minimal changes, then, when using oils. Look for the sinking, dullness, and loss of contrast when a painting is dry. I've noticed some of this already, but I will look more closely for the off tone that takes place when using acrylics. I've watched Mark's video on oiling out. And I will be using that technique whenever appropriate. Using only glossy varnish a year after a painting is finished to bring back some of the original color values is something I'll be doing as well. So much to remember. egads!!!
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