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Abu Haidar
10-16-2000, 10:16 PM
Hello there..

I had drawn a portrait by using Derwent pencil pastel on Winsor and Newton. It's look so nice (even not so like the original one). I was almost satisfied.. but.. when I sprayed the fixative (I sprayed Winsor & Newton and followed the instruction on the tube) on it, the mess was begin. My drawing lost its charming light. Many spots that indicated the pastel had removed from its place..
http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/confused.gifIs there anybody in the forum could help me ... I had another 2 portraits need to be finished before they're framed and hang on the wall...

Thanks
Abu Haidar

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Life is too colourfull to be ignored

bk7251
10-17-2000, 04:18 PM
I never use fixative on a finished pastel. I find it changes the color relationships and destroys the lovely surface of the pastel. Occasionally, I'll use a very light coat of fixative while I'm working on a piece, to enable me to work over an area that won't easily accept any more pastel. But fixing the final stage of a pastel never seems worth it.

Pastels should always be framed under glass, so a final fixing is unnecessary. For storing unframed pastels, I recommend covering them with a sheet of coated offset paper, available at any printer. It's very smooth and shiny so it won't abrade the surface of the artwork. I use sheets about twice the size of my drawing, folded in half, and just stick the drawing inside.

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Philson
10-17-2000, 10:43 PM
I, for one, prefer not to use fixative, because, no matter what fixative you use, the colors will get darker. Depending on the paper you use, whites and very light colors will disappear completely.
As you are using pencil pastels and will be framing right away, I would recommend not spraying at all.
Many artists who I know work allowing for the changes that spraying will cause, and you can work over an already sprayed work, as Victoria suggests (Degas did repeatedly).
By the way, the secret of his fixative died with him. Many artists use a very fine hairspray that does not contain perfume.

Finally, never let a "mistake" get the better of you! Try and find a solution. Sometimes your results are better than what you originally intended and you will discover a lot http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif

Philson
10-17-2000, 10:50 PM
I, for one, prefer not to use fixative, because, no matter what fixative you use, the colors will get darker. Depending on the paper you use, whites and very light colors will disappear completely.
As you are using pencil pastels and will be framing right away, I would recommend not spraying at all.
Many artists who I know work allowing for the changes that spraying will cause, and you can work over an already sprayed work, as Victoria suggests (Degas did repeatedly).
By the way, the secret of his fixative died with him. Many artists use a very fine hairspray that does not contain perfume.

Finally, never let a "mistake" get the better of you! Try and find a solution. Sometimes your results are better than what you originally intended and you will discover a lot http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif

djstar
10-17-2000, 11:10 PM
I had the same problem with soft pastels. I agree with both schools - DON'T Fix if you like it, but that may be part of why pastels have their bad rap.
I have read a few books (although I gave in and went harder pastels, which I will explain later) and a lot of routes on how to hold the color on the page.
One mentioned drenching the back of the paper with the fixative and allowing it to bind from there. I seem to find it is those lighter colors that melt worst. They get a picture so juicy and then it all either seems to blow away or dissolve. The first thing I did was use a workable fix, which seems to be a bit like nothing, sort of settles the dust and that is all. Very light misting and letting it settle. It will hold it together, but it still smudges and rattles off.
I also heard that a nice secure cover sheet and stabilzing in sort of a press can hold it together.
In Arizona here we have no problems with moisture, but I even have heard of steaming the back of a picture and dissolving the binder into the paper.
Like I said, I gave up and use harder colors which I spray a lot as I go. It keeps me from breaking my heart and often I save that last, lightest layer and do nothing.
NOT THAT I KNOW, but this is what I am doing as a bit of a "make all the mistakes myself" sort of an artist.
Pleas let us know what YOU find in your experiments and did you post your results?
Want to see.
dj*

VictoriaS
10-18-2000, 01:05 AM
Have you tried drawing with your pencils over the fixative to try to bring it back to the way it looked before?

Maybe you were holding the can too close, and the spray wasn't fine enough. Did you spray heavily? You should use a few light coatings, rather than a heavy one. Was the paper lying flat? It should be flat so that the spray doesn't drip, and you should start spraying off the edge of the paper.

Some pastelists don't use fixative at all because it can change the look of the painting. You can also use steam instead of a fixative spray. It will look darker for a few minutes, but then will resume its original color.

Good luck with the other two.

Abu Haidar
10-18-2000, 07:06 AM
Thanks to you all..

Especially for you Victoria and bk7251 (how should I call you ?). Both of you give me new tips. Should I try it ? Let's see... Victoria, you told something about steam. Would you tell me more detail how does it works ?
bk7251, when we used that kind of paper as you suggested .. I think the colour will stick on it.
Philson, please give me your tips. And Debra I will post my drawing later...

After all.... It's not a big problem when I used oil pastel (I had tried it..). But, I used hard pastel, that's why I need to cover my drawing from anything could ruin it.

Thanks to you all..

http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif Abu Haidar

billyg
10-18-2000, 07:35 AM
Hey Abu,
I use an aerosol type spray and with the art work at about 45 ' angle . First spray to clear nozzle and get rid of blobs out into open space and then holding spray about 30cms away from work spray in level passes across the page into space and then back again working lower each time.Nice and even.
Never had any problems about runs or darkening.Do not use hair spray as this turns yellow with time.Most sprays are workable, meaning you can work over the top of spray if you want.
Definately place under glass when framing,preferably with a double mat to allow any loose pastel to fall clear of bottom of work when hung.Your framer should know if you have one.
Have fun its a great medium.Check on De La Tours work, he's great.
Regards Billyg

VictoriaS
10-18-2000, 02:45 PM
Abu, I have a steamer for clothing (so that I don't have to iron my clothes). You should also be able to do it with a regular iron that has a "shot of steam" feature, or simply hold it over a pot of steaming water. Not for long. You'll be able to see when the moisture is in the paper (you don't want it soaking wet). Also, the paper will curl somewhat.

As far as I can tell, you should not expect any fixative (or steam) to completely stick the pastel to the paper. The pastel will still come off on your fingers if you touch it; fixative is not like varnish. I think that is why many pastelists choose not to spray their paintings with fixative: it does not protect the painting enough to make it worth changing the look of the painting. The advantage of steam is that it does not change the look; however, the painting is still vulnerable to smearing and smudging if you don't take a lot of care to protect it.

disturbedair
01-20-2005, 07:16 AM
a very hard leson learned which i learned many years ago,never and i mean never put anything on top of an origanal peice of art, never,the second a foriugn body touches the surface of an origanal piece of art work it is no longer clased as an origanal peice of art work,never ,never put anything on an origanal, never never never!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

O'Aieghlans
01-20-2005, 10:37 AM
Could you explain what you mean by your comment? I don't understand. Perhaps telling us what happened to you would help? Thanks! :)

Mei Jie
01-23-2005, 05:15 AM
I did use fixative to spray most of my artworks before i got the $$ to frame them.. Now i'm doing pastel on canvas. It's a new try to me. One of the reason y i want to try it on canvas is that i do big paintings. i can't find any paper which is big enough for me and I dun want to join two pieces of papers together. I still spray the fixative layer by layer in order to 'hold' the colours on the canvas before i can add in another layer without destroying too much or mix up too much with the bottom layer of colours. I tried a small piece before, i use the fixative and also 'Varnish', to protect it. Now it seems quite well. I dunno if there would be any problems (quite a lot of people told me that it's not right). But i'm testing it and will observe how it will turn out to be...