View Full Version : oil pastells question
02-15-2004, 10:31 PM
I just started working with oil pastells and absolutely love them!
I was wondering about some things though...I use them on matboard etc. is that archival (if I understand correctly they do not contain enough oil to rot the board?). What do you all do as far as fixative (I don't use it...is it going to affect the colors in the long run if you leave them exposed?) and framing (if any framing under glas I assume one needs to use spacers so the painting won't touch the glass?).
Thanks a million!
02-15-2004, 10:54 PM
I use them on matboard etc. is that archival (if I understand correctly they do not contain enough oil to rot the board?). What do you all do as far as fixative (I don't use it...is it going to affect the colors in the long run if you leave them exposed?) and framing (if any framing under glas I assume one needs to use spacers so the painting won't touch the glass?).
There seems to be seem debate as to whether the oil content in OP's is enough to mess up an unprimed board. Certainly, it would be safer to primer the board, but I like the unprimed surface too much.
Fixing OP is probably considerably less common than with soft pastel, where it is perhaps more like 50/50. With soft pastel, one is tempted to fix more to prevent pastel from soiling a mat than because on really believes the fixed painting is going to be impervious to smudging. But an unfixed OP is already better on both counts than a fixed soft soft pastel.
Framing - glass definitely, with spacer (and/or mat). The glass serves a couple of purposes - added protection against smudging, but also protection against dust and so forth. An oil painting can be easily & safely cleaned after a few decades; pastels cannot (true for both soft and oil).
02-15-2004, 11:11 PM
Thanks for your quick reply!
Oh god, the framing...I got away from watercolors because I absolutely hated to deal with mats and framing, figures I am back to that again... :evil:
And the pieces I have been working on are gigantic in size...makes it not easier (or cheaper)...any ideas to avoid framing? pppllleeeaaasseee :confused:
02-16-2004, 01:00 AM
Luzie, glad to hear that you love the op's! The professional grade op's (Holbein, Sennelier, Caran D'ache) contain inert oil and can be used on an unprimed surface, according to John Elliot, an authority on op's who has used them for over 40 years. Cheaper op's most likely contain chemically active oil which will shorten the life of the artwork unless it is primed. Can't help you with the framing problem, hope you can figure something out. I hope you will post some of your work soon!
02-16-2004, 10:02 AM
Well from my experience with Clayboard I'd say you could check that out. My experience using the Sennelier OP's on it show the clay surface sucks up the liquid in the binder. It leaves behind a dry painting. I suppose you could then use Sennelier's oil pastel fixative and see if that will work as an alternative to framing under glass.
02-16-2004, 10:30 PM
thanks eileenclaire, I was so surprised when I first used them, it was more out of boredom...but I just love the way they handle, I actually use a combo of cheapos and holbeins, I'll post something soon :)
Hamsterdance, I'll check out the clayboard, thanks! Framing is definately no option for me, anybody knows how long they'll live in the raw?
You can stack them with waxed paper between, but if you're using heavy support then too much weight will compress the OPs. I tried the Sennelier fixative on a throw away piece and it didn't come out evenly and actually caused the OPs to react in places like a turp would...made it RUN!!! So I'm never using that again. The thing with storing them without something over them is they cannot be cleaned...even if they feel dry to the touch, any pressure can spoil them. What I do for storage is get a cheap backboard, then have a top mat cut for it. Place wax paper over it. Then stack. Then nothing touches the work itself. They'll keep indefinately that way, someone pulled out an op they had stored like 20 years just sandwiched like that and it was just fine.
02-17-2004, 06:04 PM
Framing is definately no option for me, anybody knows how long they'll live in the raw?
Indefinitely if you keep them in airtight container, but of course, no one else will ever get to see them in that case, so it seems it wouldn't matter how long they would last. If you want to display one for longer than you can stand right next to it, you pretty pretty much need to frame under glass or you risk damage. That damage could come ten minutes after you walk out the door when someone smears it, or a year or two down the road, when sufficient dust settles on it to noticeably dull it.
I can understand the aversion to framing under glass if you like to work big - although plexiglass is an option, a better one for oil than soft pastel. One thing to consider is finding a standard size you like working in, and stick to it. Buy just a handful of frames that size - cheap ones from Hobby Lobby when they have their half-price sales. And glass, of course. Forget mats if you like, but get some spacers. Them when you want to display your work, take the ones you like out of storage and pop them into the frames. Take the paintings back out when you are done (assuming they don't sell) and put them back into storage, leaving the frames available for other paintings for your next show.
02-17-2004, 06:17 PM
I love oil pastels! It sure is good to hear from someone else who does! I keep the framing and matting under control financially by planning the size of the painting to fit a standard size frame and mat. I'm always on the lookout for bargains on great frames, too. Yardsales and tag sales and such are great resources. Sometimes you have to remove the tacky print that's in a really cool frame but at tag sales you can usually get frames for really low prices!
I love the look with a mat, personally. I haven't had any problem with my OPs without using fixative. I've read enough to convince me to stay away from fixative with OPs.
There's an amazing difference between the student grade OPs and the really good ones. If you're using student grades, when you try the others you'll not want to go back!
02-17-2004, 11:00 PM
Thanks for the tips, good thing I hear what others say about fixative, I'll stay away from that!
My pieces are around 40 x 60, standard frames in affordable price ranges usually don't exceed 24x36...problem, anybody with experience on how many years it takes for an unframed piece to go "bad"?
The wax paper is a great idea, thanks!
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