View Full Version : on sennelier fixitive

10-18-2003, 06:45 AM
I just used Sennelier fixitive tonight. I realized that as I sprayed it onto my painting (on masonite), it left small rings everywhere. I tried to blow it so it would settle and be a smooth surface. It wouldn't budge. I like the coverage that it gave with a nice shiny coat, but the rings are annoying. Has anyone come up with a solution for this? I thought about applying it with a paintbrush.......
Let me know

10-18-2003, 06:53 AM
Sounds like you are using fixative as a varnish, and it is certainly not meant to be used in that way. If you use loads of it, enough to give the picture a shiny surface, then you have used FAR too much.

Using it in that way will darken all the colours in your image - didn't you notice that? Even if you didn't, that much fixative will have a darkening effect on your picture over time, because you will have added so much shellac to your pigments.

Fixative is meant to be used sparingly ... unless you are using it as an intermediate coat, between layers, and then some artists spray loads on, but not to give a shiny surface, instead, to bring back a bit of "tooth" so that they can add more layers.

At the end of a pastel painting, you can give the image a very quick burst of fix, just to hold some of the dust in place, but anything more than that is dangerous in terms of the colour of the piece.

To protect a pastel, you need to frame it behind glass. If you don't want to frame it right away, then protect it with a piece of glassine (which is something like greaseproof paper) over the top and store it flat. Or put it inside a couple of sheets of glossy paper taken from a magazine, if it is small enough. Anything so that the pastel doesn't smudge.

10-18-2003, 07:09 AM
ok, that helps a little. i was under the impression that it was supossed to coat the finished painting. Does it matter that I'm using oil pastels and not the dusty ones?

10-18-2003, 10:03 AM
aah - well, if you are using oil pastels, then you don't really need fixative at all. Re the other question: I daresay it is possible to use a brush with proper varnish, but you could ask some of the more experienced oil pastellists about this.

I have found that oil pastels need no fixative at all, but do still have to be framed under glass, because unlike oils, they do not really dry in quite the same way. Also - if they are painted on paper or card, it would be unwise to leave them without a glass protection, they would be easy to damage.Works on canvas can be left without a glass covering because the canvas is very durable.

There is no point in varnishing or fixing if they are to be framed under glass, because the glass acts as a final shiny surface, through which you see your painting.