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GOLDEN Archival MSA Varnish Over Transparent Watercolor on Paper

13 thoughts on “GOLDEN Archival MSA Varnish Over Transparent Watercolor on Paper”

  1. Do the tables show that the medium wash samples of fluorescent pink and alizarin crimson faded more than the light wash samples of these two colors? If so, I would have guessed the opposite result — that a more diluted wash would fade more than a less diluted (more concentrated) wash.

    Reply
    • Hello Cynthia,
      Thank you for your question. Yes, that is what the tables show, and at first glance it does seem like the medium wash would fade less since that is what should happen with lightfast pigments. However, in this case there are two things to keep in mind. First, think about the contrast between the paper and a light wash, and the paper and a medium wash. When it is first applied, a medium wash covers the surface with more pigment and more intense color than a light wash does, and so differs more from the paper. Then remember that Fluorescent Pink and Alizarin Crimson are both fugitive colors that fade away with exposure. A more intense wash provides more pigment to fade. This fading exposes more paper and creates a bigger difference between the pre-exposure and post-exposure readings, which creates a higher Delta E for the medium wash.

      Reply
    • Hello Sandy,
      What a great question! We know Yupo is popular with painters using acrylics and watercolors. Acrylics do not adhere permanently to polypropylene plastics, and Yupo is made from polypropylene pellets. While our testing is limited, we were able to pull dry acrylic paint off of Yupo and this causes us concern about adhesion. We have not tested adhesion on all Yupo varieties, and we have not tested the adhesion of Archival Varnish on Yupo. It might work beautifully, however we would be cautious since Archival Varnish is an acrylic.
      Should you wish to do adhesion testing, you might paint half of a sheet of Yupo with watercolors using the techniques and paints employed in your artwork. Then coat both the bare surface and the painted surface of the Yupo with multiple Archival Varnish layers to seal the surface. Let this dry at least three days, and then do adhesion tests on the Archival Varnish directly on the Yupo, and on the Archival Varnish over watercolor on the Yupo. Since adhesion can improve with time, it would be good to repeat the tape test after a week or so if the varnish is coming up. We use crosshatch adhesion tests like that described in the Just Paint article “Test for your Application“.
      Finally, Legion Paper is a paper merchant that represents Yupo, and they have resources for artists. You might find their forum of interest, as there are discussions of adhesives and topcoats in relation to Yupo:
      Legion Paper, site search for “Yupo”
      Legion Paper, Forum
      We hope this is helpful, and look forward to your next questions.
      Best Regards,
      Cathy

      Reply
  2. Would you still mat and frame with glass a watercolor coated with GOLDEN Gloss Archival Varnish with UVLS ? Would the painting then stick to the glass?

    Reply
    • Hello Karen,
      A well varnished watercolor that has been adhered to a rigid support, or a varnished watercolor on canvas, could be exhibited without the protection of glass. Varnishing will create permanent changes to the watercolor, though, so practice and testing should be done first. We hope this is helpful, and if you have more questions don’t hesitate to give us a call!
      Best Regards,
      Cathy

      Reply
  3. Might this also work well with pastels? Putting too much gloss varnish would give them a laminated look as you describe for the watercolors, but matte medium could possibly work, I think. Has any testing been done with other mediums? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hello Ray,
      Thank you for your question. We have not done a lot of varnish testing over pastels. What we have done indicates that there may be dramatic aesthetic changes to the pastels once enough varnish is applied to actually protect the surface. Spraying can be a better application method, as the physical act of brushing moves the pastel on the surface. We would advise testing if you wish to see what occurs, perhaps starting with gloss varnish (over dark saturated colors) and ending with matte if the shiny surface is not desired. We suggest starting with gloss since applying a matte product directly to a highly absorbent surface sometimes causes the matting solids to be more visible.
      We hope this is helpful. Please fell free to call us in the Materials Specialist Department if you have more questions (800-959-6543, 607-847-6154).
      Cathy

      Reply
  4. My concern would be about the watercolour paper and the effect of moisture. Even if you coat the painting with varnish and frame without glass, the paper is still vulnerable. I’m always looking for a way around glazing, but that WC paper has to be protected.

    Reply
    • Hello Rebecca,
      We agree with you, even heavy weight watercolor paper should be protected. One option might be using a museum-quality backing board behind the paper before the varnished work is framed. This would not halt infiltration from moisture, but it will provide support. Artists sometimes adhere the paper to a permanent rigid backing, such as coated aluminum panels. We also have spoken with artists who paint on watercolor grounds applied to supports other than paper, and then varnish the finished work once all is dry.
      We thank you for your input, and wish you happy painting.
      Cathy

      Reply

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