Besides the painting surface one of the most important tools of an artist are the pigments which she or he uses. Different kind of qualities are offered and in my opinion it’s essential for the quality and longevity of a painting to use only those of high standards.
Pigments have a history which goes back thousands of years.Today many of them can be manufactured synthetically. This led to the invention of new colors or a cheaper alternative and some of them turned out to be non toxic or even more light fast.
The most important criteria for pigments is it’s light fastness which means that even in sunlight the colors‹ appearance won’t change. This is something all painters have to deal with regardless if they are oil, watercolor or acrylic painters. Only high quality pigments can prevent this deterioration.
I use only pastels from manufactures which have a high quality standard of pastels like Sennelier, Unsion and Terry Ludwig.
Those of you who are interested in the cultural history of pigments I recommend the book by Victoria Finlay. Color. A Natural History of the Palette. (amazon.com)