Watercolour Lightfastness Testing – Part 3

When I scanned my watercolour charts after hanging them in my window for four months (see Part 2), only the most fugitive pigments had faded. Now, after eight months, it’s time to see if there’s been any more significant change…

Yellows and Yellow Earths
WCT Yellows 8m

Most of the yellows remain unchanged, however Lukas Permanent Yellow shows some fading in the diluted area. Oddly enough, Schmincke Lemon Yellow appears to have darkened slightly where it was exposed to sunlight, though this does not show up well in the scan.

Reds and Oranges
WCT Reds 8m

The fading in the Sennelier and WN Alizarin Crimson paints – which was already noticable in the four-month scans – has become substantially worse, even in less diluted areas of the swatch. However, a number of other reds are now also showing signs of fading. Of note are the Alizarin Crimson alternatives; Lukas Alizarin Crimson and Winsor & Newton Permanent Alizarin Crimson. Every Winsor & Newton red has now suffered some degree of fading, including – surprisingly – the Cadmiums. With the exception of Lukas Permanent Orange, all of the oranges have survived unscathed so far (other than Old Holland Golden Barok Red, which, even though it is a dark brown colour, is made from an orange pigment). Though many of the changes to other reds are difficult to discern from this chart alone, it does become quite noticeable when flicking back and forth between the four-month and eight-month scans on my monitor.

Violets, Pinks and Pale Skin Tones
WCT Violets 8m

Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose shows very slight fading (hard to see in the scan). Also quite noticeable in person is the degradation of Winsor & Newton Opera Rose. Though this does not show up in the scan, much of the vibrancy of Opera Rose has disappeared; the shade and hue are still the same, but it has lost the brilliance of the original colour. This isn’t too much of a surprise since it is listed as fugitive on the manufacturer’s website (if anything, I was surprised it hasn’t faded more).

WCT Blues 8m

Very little change with the blues, though Lukas Indigo Blue does show some fading. Both the Lukas and Winsor & Newton Prussian Blue also appear to have degraded slightly.

WCT Greens 8m

No change to any colours.

Earths, Red Earths and Med-Dark Skin Tones
WCT Earths 8m

Though there was no severe fading with any of the earth colours, some swatches do show some fading in the lower, exposed half, compared to the scans from the four-month mark. AS Australian Red Gold and Lukas Burnt Green are probably the most noticeable, though upon closer examination, Lukas Burnt Umber can also be seen to have faded a little, mainly in the diluted area.

WCT Shades 8m

No change to any colours.

Part 4 will show the final scans of the swatches after they have been in the window for a full year. This will happen early next year.

This entry was posted in Materials, Watercolour and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Watercolour Lightfastness Testing – Part 3

  1. Pingback: Watercolour Lightfastness Testing – Part 4 (conclusion) | artdragon86

  2. Angus Stewart says:

    Just a note to say thanks for taking the time to post this – really helpful.


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