Collaging inkjet print to acrylic painting...ApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
Question asked 2018-08-05 11:25:11 ...
Most recent comment 2018-08-15 11:00:30
Art Conservation Topics
I work for an artist who paints acrylic on canvas. He would like to collage an inkjet print to the acylic-primed canvas (using Lascaux 303 to adhere). There may be a minor amount of additional paint application around the edges of the print after it has been applied to the canvas, but otherwise, the surface of the print will remain untouched. I usually finish off his paintings with a coat of Golden Soft Gel Medium and then two coats of Golden Polymer Gloss Varnish. So, my question is... (from a conservation point of view) would it be alright to cover the inkjet print with the soft gel and varnish as well, or is there another product I should be using to protect the print separately?
Answers and Comments
It might be a good idea to apply an acrylic-based fixative to the inkjet before top-coating with medium so the ink doesn't re-wet and bleed. Otherwise, this sounds like a good approach, provided the print is executed with lightfast inks on durable paper.
We have sent this question to a few of our other moderators who may want to add something to the conversation.
Because the process you describe involves Golden products the comments I will be making are from a very brand-specific perspective. There might be other effective options using other products, but we cannot speak to things we have not tested ourselves.
In the past we have done extensive testing on the effectiveness of our varnishes to protect inkjet prints, including higher-end ones using pigment-based inks, and have found that our Archival Varnish, which is the aerosol version of our solvent-based MSA Varnish, is far more effective than the Polymer Varnish. While 6 sprayed coats offer maximum protection when used as a topcoat, because you will have Polymer Varnish being applied at the end, applying even 2-4 sprayed coats will add substantial improvement. You can get a sense of that if you look towards the end of the following article detailing our lightfastness testing:Lightfastness Testing at Golden Artist Colors
Because of that, we would recommend doing some testing on a similar print, applying light spray applications of our Archival Varnish Gloss to make sure there is no solvent sensitivity and that you get the results you desire. Once that is fully dry, you should also test applying the Soft Gel on top to make sure there are no unexpected issues.
Assuming everything goes well with the testing, we would recommend applying at least 2-4 spray coats of the Archival Varnish Gloss. In our experience this should not result in an overly glossy finish. However, if you notice that the surface does become glossy after 2-3 coats, you can finish with one light layer of our Archival Varnish Satin just to provide a subtle amount of tooth for the Soft Gel. Let dry overnight before applying the Soft Gel and Polymer Varnish as you normally would.
We cannot stress enough that, whenever introducing a new process or product into an artwork, doing adequate testing on trial pieces is absolutely critical to work out any issues before trying this on a permanent work of art. This is especially true when doing things that are not possible to reverse.
If you have any questions let us know. I will also consult with my colleagues tomorrow morning to see if there are any other thoughts or concerns to relay.
Hi Greg -
One follow-up to my previous comments. In crafting my response I was assuming that the collaged print was just an element in a bigger piece - that there was a larger painting surrounding it - but in rereading your question it is not totally clear. Could you let us know if that is true or not? If the collaged print takes up the greater part of the piece, then there are other options we might suggest.
Also, I did not address alternatives to the water-based Polymer Varnish as it seemed to be your usual process, and why change something that is working well. But if having better protection is important, we would want to note that the MSA Varnish is more physically durable, and about three times more effective at filtering UV, than the Polymer Varnish, so switching systems could make sense. However, it would require working with solvents, which we realize is not always desirable or possible.
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