Wednesday, March 12, 2008

CPSA Lightfastness Test Result Workbook - Version 5 published

Version 5 of the Lighfastness Test Result Workbook has been published by the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) and is now available to order by mail or online - by CPSA members only. It's one of the main reasons why I joined CPSA!

If you want to know whether or not the colours you are using are acceptably lightfast or better (ie rate 5.5 or better against a blue wool card under approved test conditions) then I strongly recommend getting hold of the lightfastness test results. I've personally seen some of the original blue wool cards which were used and the way some of colours had bleached to nothingness when exposed to light!

The first new workbook since 2005 covers all the developments in pencil brands since then, all the new brands which have been approved as coloured pencils for the purposes of competition and some brands which had not been previously tested.

A list of the changes can be obtained by sending an SASE with postage for 2 ounces to the address on this page.

Version 5 includes all the test results from versions 1-4 plus the test results for:
  • Prismacolor Premier Lightfast
  • new Prismacolors
  • Caran d'Ache Neocolors
  • Derwent Coloursoft
  • Derwent Graphitint
  • Derwent Inktense
  • Fantasia Premium Artist Colour
  • Koh-I-Noor Progresso Woodless
  • Daler-Rowney Artists' Watercolor
  • Blick Studio Artists' Colored
As you will doubtless appreciate all the popular makes of artist grade coloured pencil were covered in versions 1-4. If you have a query about whether a make you use is included or not I'd be happy to tell you however I can't disclose test results due to copyright restrictions.

You can read more about what happened to my coloured pencil collection when I completed version 4 of the workbook in How lightfast are your artist grade coloured pencils?

On the right are some of the pencils which were "culled" as a result!!! They can now only be used for work which will be available as print editions only (ie where lightfastness revolves around the archival qualities of the paper and giclee print inks used - which I'm pleased to say are excellent!)

My previous post on this topic also explains why lighfastness is important and the background behind the lightfastness standard for coloured pencils.

I'm going to repeat the two quibbles I made last time.
  • Not all manufacturers produce clear statements of compliance with the standard and ratings of pencils - this means artists are not well informed about the particular lightfastness ratings of different colours in different brands of coloured pencils
  • Lightfastness test results and the CPSA workbook are only available to CPSA members. Given the lack of progress with testing and labelling by manufacturers, knowledge about lightfastness issues cannot be reserved for CPSA members only - even if the book is sold by the CPSA. It's my belief that products only become responsive to buyer requirements when buyer behaviour changes - and for that buyers need better information to effect that change.
This week I'm going to be asking CPSA if they have any plans for making the test results available to a wider audience - "stay tuned"!

Note - Japanese Art Project: The posts for Monday (The concepts and characteristics of ukiyo-e) and Tuesday (The elements of ukiyo-e) this week were hard work! Consequently I'm pacing myself and giving myself a little more time to post about how Japanese Art and ukiyo-e relates to the principles of composition and design! Hopefully I'll be posting tomorrow instead of today.