View Full Version : A quick fixative test (4 brands)

11-06-2013, 12:46 PM
I have a tendency of bying too much, so at the moment I had four different brands of fixatives. I decided to make a quicktest with them. The paper used is inexpensive drawing paper of 160g - I'll probably use MT of something like the next test I do someday (though not anytime soon). The pastel used was Mungyo Gallery. I sprayed two layers of fixative on each strip. It is possible that the amount of spray differed a bit between brands, but I tried to be as consistend as I could.

First the control:


Winsor & Newton Artists' Fixative:

Lascaux Fixativ:


Schmincke Pastell-Fixativ:

Winner? I studied the results under two different light sources. Schmincke fixed by far the best, but darked the colors easily the most. W&S also darkened a bit, SpectraFix might even have made the red slightly brighter, certainly not darker, while Lascaux retained the colors as they were. How the situation would have changed had I added more layers to each to match Schmincke's hold, I don't know.

I'll try to redo the test later this month if I have the energy and motivation, but using better paper and multiple brand pastels as well as take better images (using a proper camera - I did fix white balance, but forgot to fix exposure).

11-06-2013, 12:55 PM
Very interesting! I used Spectrafix on a couple of pieces and they darkened quite a bit. I was disappointed, but it was the first time I've used fixative so maybe I did it wrong. I had to go back in and brighten things back up, which defeated my purpose of just general protection of the pastels.

11-06-2013, 01:51 PM
Great test, thanks for posting it! If I use fixative (rarely) I use Schmincke. It darkens a bit, but not as horribly as Krylon or Beckers.

I've found that a single layer of pastel holds up well with fixatives, but things change when there are multiple layers.

11-07-2013, 05:59 AM
Very cool, and thanks so much for sharing your results by brand! This is very helpful. :thumbsup:

(Since you mentioned that you might try it again on different paper, may I make a suggestion? Rather than smear the top and the bottom of each pastel stroke, maybe you could mask the bottom half with another sheet of paper while you spray the fixative. Then the top half still serves to show how "smearable" the pastel is, and the bottom will show how much of a color change there is from that fixative. :) Either way, again, thanks for this. This is great.)

11-07-2013, 03:35 PM
Great tests! I usually use the SpectraFix for various logistic reasons (health, smell and that my cat doesn't try to run out of the room). It's good to see how the others perform.

Charlie's right about heavy applications though.