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The old Topics web site had a section on the opening page which was regularly updated with news and information, as well as alerts when pages of the site were updated. As the new site is not updated quite so often I had decided to omit that section in the new build. Clearly, that isn’t going to work ! This page is now included here once again and will cover those items which are time related
New Items on the site
Posted  JUNE 9th 2018
THE BIG NEWS HERE is that Judith Crown has passed on her lightfastness tests to Pencil Topics for publishing on the Web. These have been ongoing for several years and the tests have been refined over that time, but the basic principle is unchanged….  namely that each colour from a pencil set is repeated three times and one retained as a control in a dark folder.  The second is treated with Winsor & Newton Fixative  and the third is left as laid down on the paper.   The second and third sets of colour are then exposed to sunlight.   ………….. AND THIS IS THE UNIQUE FACTOR The samples are displayed facing the sunlight in Israel and left for a period of 14 or 15 weeks in the strong rays of the sun.  This is the equivalent of several years of exposure to sun in the UK.   It might be argued that this is an extreme test, but all the brands are treated in the same way and the results are shown here to demonstrate the need for careful selection when chosing your manufacturer and brand.   The samples were done over a period of more than a year so the presentation of the results varies.  The sunlight and method were identical, however. Not all the samples have been posted in this first step and the samples will be annotated later with comments that may prove useful.  They may also be re-arranged once all the scans have been completed.  Scanning settings are uniform and the sample images have not been adjusted.  The scans are at 300dpi with the samples treated as photos. TO GO DIRECT to the new pages, FOLLOW THIS LINK
DERWENT LIGHTFAST COLOURED PENCILS I understand that Derwent are releasing initial stocks of this new line for sale in the UK from the end of June.   Initially 36 colours in the set but more will be added to the range as testing is completed.    The aim is for all the colours in the range to be lightfast to ASTMS highest level ( LF1). There are several reviews on the Internet and all seem quite positive with some misgivings over the recommended retail price ( around £3 per pencil - making them among the dearest on the market ).   I haven’t seen the pencils yet, and will comment further when I get my hands on some. The price may not prove a barrier to some artists, but at the moment the small size of the set and the high price does not enable them to compete head to head with CDA Luminance who offer a set of 76 - though not all are ASTMS LF1. The other brand offering lightfastness across the brand is the Talens Van Gogh CP set, though Talens state that they comply with ASTMS lightfastness grades, they are not specific as to the exact LF grades , but our own tests indicated a good standard and the pencils come in at around £1.20 each. An interesting development June 28th 2018