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Jarred Fisher Art Blog

Methods, Materials, Processes and Practices

by JarredFisher , June 28, 2011—12:00 AM

Topics: Practices, Processes, materials, methods

To help potential collectors understand what it is they are investing in, and in the interest of full disclosure, I have compiled the following outline explaining all of my working practices and materials. From priming and painting, to sales and shipping, I disclose the types of materials and how they are used in my work to make it easy for collectors and conservators alike to know exactly what chemicals were used so that maintaining works is made easy. Because this list covers everything, and is intended to educate buyers, it is quite lengthy. For this reason I have presented the information in outline form so that collectors may easily find the section(s) that pertain to them and skip over sections that do not. Most general questions should be answered somewhere below. I have included a short glossary of terms at the end of the outline in case further clarification is needed on any industry terms. Should you have any further questions or concerns, simply contact me.

------------------OIL PAINTINGS-----------------------------


In this section I will list of all the materials I use in my oil paintings. I always use archival painting practices and materials.

I use three brands of artist oil colors in my studio: Gamblin artist oils, Williamsburg handmade oil paint, and Winsor and Newton Artist Oil colors. The main reason I use these paints is because of their unrivaled quality and their proven archival properties. In the case of Gamblin artist oils, Robert Gamblin, the founder of Gamblin Artist products and a world class conservator, publishes all of his processes and extensive research on each individual color, medium, and ground making it very easy for future conservators to maintain works. Williamsburg oils, manufactured in NY, are also similarly accessible. I keep the following colors and mediums in the studio.

Gamblin- Stand Oil

Gamblin- Gamsol solvent

Gamblin- Gamvar varnish. This low molecular weight, removable, final varnish is arguably one of the best synthetic varnishes for oils on the market. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

---------------------PASTEL PAINTINGS-----------------------


Papers - I use a few types of papers for pastel painting but I most consistently use Sennelier__??s La Carte pastel card and a prepared paper made using 300lb Fabriano Artistico hot press watercolor paper.

Sennelier__??s La Carte is a beautiful support to work on with pastels. It is thick (similar to thin cardboard), archival, very toothy (helping reduce the need for excess fixative and further increasing the archival qualities of the finished pastel work), and comes in a variety of colors which imparts a harmonious effect to the colors of the finished work. It requires no additional work to prepare other than to cut the paper.

Prepared paper begins with a piece of 300lb Fabriano Artistico traditional white, hot pressed, watercolor paper which gets 1 coat of Liquitex acrylic gesso. Once dry, 2 coats of Art Spectrum__??s Colourfix pastel primer, tinted with various liquitex or golden acrylic paints, are applied. This provides a versatile ground that allows for some degree of mixed media techniques, such as ink washes, underneath the ensuing pastel layers.

Panels - Occasionally I will use a panel for a pastel work. The only panel I use is Ampersand__??s Pastelboard, which is Ampersand Hardboard with a pastel primer rolled on it. Sometimes I will mount one of the above papers on a masonite panel.


I use Unison, Sennelier, Great American Artworks, Rembrandt, and NuPastel pastels. I use the harder pastels for lay in and work up to the softer ones, sealing the work in layers with high quality Lascaux spray fixative. The final work also gets 2 coats of Lascaux fix. The layers of fixative combined with the high quality pastels and the archival, toothy papers make for lasting works of art.


Due to their nature, works done in pastel require extra attention when it comes to storing and displaying them. Unlike hard wearing oil paints and incredibly stable acrylic colors (both of which can be hung without framing) pastels are essentially loose dust applied to a sandpaper-like surface which makes them susceptible to smudging (even with fixative), bleaching/ fading caused by extreme light conditions, and rotting due to moisture (including humidity). This is why pastel work should be framed under glass (preferably a museum grade, UV filtering glass) and with an acid and lignin free mat. The matting helps keep the artwork back from the glass, which can attract loose pastel particles. The glass protects the work from smudging, sunlight, and moisture, and the frame backing helps keep the work safe from dust, dirt, and water. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Silverpoint (also known as metalpoint) drawing has been around since the times of the Old Masters. The drawings are produced by rubbing a piece of metal (silver, gold, lead, copper, etc.) onto a piece of prepared paper, canvas, or board. The metal comes off in superfine particles and bonds with the absorbent ground producing a tone. The color of the tone produced depends on the type of metal used. For instance, silver has a cooler tone (initially, it gets very warm, almost brown as it ages) then gold and copper takes on a slightly green tone with time. Since the rubbed metal doesn__??t smudge or fade, silverpoint drawings are capable of extreme, delicate detail and are the very definition of long lasting. As time passes the image takes on a slightly different tonal and color shifts as the various metals oxidize. ---SUBSTRATES: ---

Paper- I use 300lb, hot pressed, Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper and Crescent Watercolor boards prepared with Golden Silverpoint and drawing ground. Golden__??s ground is an absorbent acrylic base which maintains flexibility and is archival. I can tint the ground with any acrylic paint or ink.


.999, Dead-Soft, Sterling Silver points shaped in various points and diameters. India Ink for extra fine, dark lines.

.995 Pure Platinum, Dead soft

24K Gold, Dead soft and Half-hard

18K and 14K White Gold, Dead Soft and Half Hard

Copper, Dead Soft

Bronze, Dead Soft

Steel ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Purchasing ready-made (non-commission) works through is simple. I am verified on Paypal with a confirmed address and all you have to do is click purchase to commit to buy. Once you have committed to buy, please contact me so I can provide the shipping quote, and in the case of pastel or mixed media work, to discuss with you framing options and price (see framing section below). Once the work, shipping, and framing are paid for, I will begin to pack the work for shipping to you. I also will accept personal and bank/cashier__??s checks. In the instance of checks, please contact me (you can use the contact page in my studio area of Artid) and I will put the work on hold for you until I receive the check and it clears.

Potential buyers are welcome to come by the studio and view works in person before committing to buy. Simply get in touch to schedule a visit. I am willing to negotiate the price of any of my ready-made works and they can be put on hold and paid off in installments for those interested in doing so. Contact me to negotiate prices and/or to set up a payment plan. Inquires into work listed ??not for sale?__ are welcome.


I am also available to work on commission. I can work both from life and photographs and can create a work specifically tailored to fit the space in which you wish display it. I can speak to sizes, colors, styles, and types of work, and how they will interact with your space. Whether it__??s a wedding portrait, a landscape with your summer beach home, a portrait of your pets, a still life, or simply a non-objective piece to bring a room or office to life, I will work with you to produce something that you will love. To begin a dialogue about a commissioned artwork, simply contact me with your general ideas (subject, medium, size, space where it__??s to be displayed).

Once a commission has been agreed upon, 15% of the total value of the work is paid up front. This covers all start-up materials and preparatory work (sketches, photo editing, ect) and is NON-REFUNDABLE. Throughout the working process I will update you with photos (via e-mail) of the progress of your work. If you are in the area you are also welcome to schedule a drop-by to see the progress of your commission. Making incremental payments throughout the working process is not uncommon, but not required. However, upon completion of the work you are expected to have the total value fully paid within thirty (30) days.

Please contact me so I may e-mail you a copy of my commission agreement for you to review.

---PRINTS: ---

All prints are traditional silver process art prints on archival Endura print papers and are hand signed by the artist. They are guaranteed archival for over 200 years. They come with Certificates of authenticity. Prints ship rolled in tubes unless the buyer requests framing (paid for by the buyer, see framing below), in which case they ship protected in boxes the same as original artwork.

---FRAMING: ---

Most artwork comes unframed and unmatted. I am not a professional framer. However, should a buyer want a work framed I am willing to work with you to get a frame and/or mat that will fit the work. I can order the frame and place the work in it properly. The buyer pays for everything related to the frame but I do not charge to put the work in it. Pastel work and mixed media works done on paper must be matted and framed under glass in order to be hung and displayed. The buyer pays for this after committing to purchase unless otherwise stated. Should a buyer not wish to pay for framing at the time of purchase then the pastel or mixed media work will ship in an archival polystyrene sleeve with hand-sewn bindings and an archival, acid-free, black backing (no extra charge). This is more than sufficient to protect the work during storage until the buyer can have the work framed at the frame shop of their choice.


Once payment is complete, whether it__??s via Paypal or a check clearing, I will begin to package the work for shipping. The buyer pays all shipping costs, which are determined by the size, weight, and amount material needed to safely pack the work. I typically will use a box-in-box technique that helps prevent damage to the work during shipping. I use bubble wrap, packing peanuts, newsprint, and generally anything soft to safely secure the work from moving about and suffering impact damage. I will also mark the package as fragile. All work ships with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA). These are hand signed and are intended to make re-selling the work easier. Shipping typically takes place 2-5 days upon payment clearing. The speed of the shipping is determined by buyer preference. Insurance can be requested. Collectors may also pick up their work in person if they choose to. Please contact me after purchasing to set up a pick up time and place.


It is recommended that you see a professional conservator to clean any work. The materials I use and list here should make it easy for a conservator to properly care for and clean my art work. There are a few good things to note however about how to keep artworks from needing professional help and how to take care of minor issues yourself. 1. Do not display the artwork in direct sunlight. Also, do not keep a work in an excessively dark place (especially true for oil paintings). 2. Keep works out of areas subject to large changes in temperature and humid conditions. 3. Keep works out of areas which have excessive moisture (bathrooms in which you will take hot showers for example). 4. Keep works out of areas where people will be smoking a lot. Smoke darkens and yellows works. 5. Store paintings made on stretched canvas sitting up. Never lay them flat as the canvas may sag. Never lean anything on them as this can dent the canvas. 6. Always store works made on paper flat. If you are storing multiple works on top of one another flat, separate them with sheets of glassine paper. 7. Should your oil painting or mixed media work with oil paint used in it darken and yellow from being kept in a dark area, place it in sunlight for a few hours. The color vibrancy will return. 8. Should you dent a canvas or if your canvas sags due to excess humidity change simply take a lightly dampened cloth and lightly wet the back of the canvas until tension returns. Try and avoid having to do this a lot. 9. If your work is suffering from any serious damage, or is getting very old and needs cleaning, contact a professional conservator. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Archival- Refers to works and materials that are intended to and produced to last. Archival work is produced to be extremely resistant to premature aging including fading, darkening, yellowing, acid decay, cracking, peeling and should be acid free, ph-neutral, and lightfast.

Lightfast- Refers to the color properties of pigments as they are exposed to light. Lightfast pigments will not fade or exhibit color change with exposure to light. Fugitive pigments are not lightfast and are highly likely to fade and change color. Alizarin (a deep, cool, scarlet red) is a fugitive pigment and over time will fade. Purple mixtures made with non-permanent Alizarin will fade to a blue color.

Substrate- Also known as ??supports.?__ This is the surface that a work of art is created upon. Canvas, Panels, and Paper are all common types of substrates.

Sizing- The initial layer of priming applied to the substrate. It is intended to seal the support and protect the following layers from SID (support induced discoloration) which can discolor the finished work. It also provides a stable layer with proper adhesion for the ensuing layers of priming.

Ground- The layer of priming which the painting/work is produced on. In oil painting, absorbent grounds pull oil from the paint layers whilst non-absorbent grounds do not. Grounds must have the proper tooth to grab the type of paint used and provide correct adhesion to avoid future peeling.

Ready-made/Commission Art- Ready-made works are just that; artworks already created by the artist at the time of purchase. Commissioned works are tailored to buyer__??s specifications and made for them.

Varnish- The final layer that goes on top of the artwork and is intended to help seal and protect the work from UV damage, dirt and dust. True varnish should be removable so that the work may be cleaned in the future without damaging it.

Hot-Pressed Watercolor Paper/Board- A very smooth paper. Allows for intricate details because it has no pronounced textured. This is opposite of cold press watercolor paper which is rough and textured.




  Caroline Henry ( homepage )

06/27/2014 * 00:28:15

Even though you wrote this three years ago, I just came across it. So well written as regards materials, policies, and care of art!


  Jarred Fisher ( homepage )

08/09/2011 * 19:10:46

I'm glad to hear that readers are finding this outline informative and helpful. Should anyone have more questions or want more in depth information feel free to ask and thanks for taking the time to read my outline.


  Randi ( homepage )

08/08/2011 * 15:42:28

I love reading these articles because they're short but infomratvie.


  Carly ( homepage )

08/07/2011 * 08:46:36

Grade A stuff. I'm unqusetoinably in your debt.

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