View Full Version : Fixative Use

Liz E
03-01-2016, 04:13 PM
I just put a Final Fixative spray (Grumbacher) on a pastel painting. It made the painting gritty. Tiny little bits of pigment. I held the can about three or more feet away. Maybe the pastel was too thick? I had used workable fixative on it an hour before the final application. Does anyone know what I did wrong?

03-01-2016, 09:59 PM
Not sure you did anything wrong at all. And spraying from that far away shouldn't be a problem - other than not having enough fixative hit the paper! Usually spraying from too close is an issue, but obviously not in your case.

Here are the questions I would ask:
Have you used this final fixative before? Is this fixative made for pastels?
If it has worked fine before, I would just spray a test on a thin layer of pastel on a scrap piece of paper and see if the same thing happens.

Personally, I am always confused when folks refer to workable or final fixative. The top level pastel fixatives are just fixative. They can all be worked on. I would not use a final fixative because after spraying, most painters would want to add more pastel to rework areas that were adversely affected by the fixative. The fixative I would recommend personally is Spectrafix, which is the only non-toxic fixative I am aware of. The other fixatives should really be used with a respirator. Yes. Seriously. This would be my recommendation, which really has nothing to do with your problem.

Perhaps that Grumbacher fixative is old or a bad batch, or somehow reacted badly with the workable fixative. But, as I said, if the fixative is made for pastels,then you almost certainly didn't do anything wrong!

And welcome to the forum!


Liz E
03-07-2016, 11:02 AM
Dear Don,
Thanks for your reply. I was able to repair "the damage" without much difficulty. I was using Grumbacher fixtive but I definitely will try Spectrafix. I never, ever spray indoors which, of course, makes it difficult in the winter to find a good day to go out and spray a painting. I have been researching DIY non-toxic sprays but have not got around to making one.

Your response was very helpful - Thanks much.