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Monday, May 16 • 9:00am - 9:30am
(Book and Paper) Watercolor Pencils: Composition and Conservation Concerns

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Within the last century, watercolor pencils have become more prevalent as a multidisciplinary artistic medium. They can be used wet or dry to achieve a multitude of colors, textures, and artistic effects. Little information regarding their general composition, aging characteristics, and risks associated with their treatment is available in art conservation literature. An understanding of watercolor pencils’ properties is necessary to avoid any pigment reduction or bleeding that could result from the unexpected, and potentially destructive, solvent reactions during conservation treatment. This work examines the composition of a variety of commercially available artist’s watercolor pencils (from Derwent®, Staedtler®, and Reeves®), and the pencils’ reactions to solvent immersion, on both artificially aged and unaged samples. Colorimetry and Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopy was used to quantify any fading or material loss throughout the experiment. Despite many similarities to traditional watercolor paints in both use and appearance, the pencils differ greatly in composition. All watercolor pencils tested were found to contain colorants, clays, a polysaccharide binder, and polyethylene glycol. Aging was found to reduce water solubility, while ethanol and acetone, before and after aging, had little effect on the media.

avatar for Lauren Buttle

Lauren Buttle

Paper Conservator, Queen's University, Art Conservation Program
Lauren Buttle completed her Masters of Art Conservation, specializing in the treatment of paper objects, at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. While undertaking these studies, Lauren worked on campus as a conservation assistant at the W. D. Jordan Special Collections & Music... Read More →

Natasa Krsmanovic

Assistant Conservator, Library of Parliament
Natasa Krsmanovic earned a Master of Art Conservation degree at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, specializing in archival objects and works of art on paper. She has completed internships at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, and the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning... Read More →

avatar for Laura Hashimoto

Laura Hashimoto

Post-Graduate Paper Conservation Fellow, Canadian Conservation Institute
Laura Hashimoto holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours in English Language and Literature (2012) from Queen's University, and recently completed her alma mater's Master of Art Conservation program specializing in archival objects and works of art on paper. She has completed internships... Read More →
avatar for Rosaleen Hill

Rosaleen Hill

Art Conservation Program, Queen's University
Rosaleen Hill is Director and Assistant Professor - Paper Conservation, Photographic Materials and New Media for the Art Conservation Program at Queen's University.

Monday May 16, 2016 9:00am - 9:30am EDT
Room 210 AB/EF