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  1. I recently found a scholarly paper on conservation of acrylic paintings on the Tate's website: http://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/06/effects-of-surface-cleaning-on-acrylic-emulsion-painting-preliminary-investigation It's quite dense and I'm sure very interesting to conservators, but I found it interesting for different reasons. As part of their testing of the effects of various solvents and cleaning techniques, they artificially aged some samples by heating them to 60C/140F for 24 hours. Some of the results of that are shown in figures 3 & 4. If I'm reading their data right, their heat treatment increased surface hardness and polymeric crosslinking significantly over the samples not so treated. (There was also an increase in the temperature at which the sample would soften, which is less important for our purposes, I think.) If I have that right, it would seem a disadvantage for paintings on soft surfaces like canvas, as harder paint is more likely to crack or flake when the substrate is flexed. But for painting on very hard surfaces like a miniature cast in a high-tin alloy, the increased surface hardness should increase resistance to scratches and abrasion (though reduce resistance to cracking or flaking if the miniature is bent and there might be an increased propensity to flake if the figure is subjected to rapid heating or cooling as might happen if the figure is left in a car in summer or winter). I have in the past baked minis after painting is complete and seen an apparent increase in film hardness, but that was purely anecdotal, not the result of systematic testing. If I read this study correctly, that impression reflects (or might reflect) an actual advantage to low-temp baking after painting.
  2. Something to excite all you brushlickers out there. http://www.iflscience.com/chemistry/this-new-shade-of-blue-was-accidentally-discovered-by-chemists/
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