View Full Version : Wax Bloom?!?

10-01-2001, 07:26 PM
I had always thought that wax bloom was something that happened while you were working on a drawing, either from too much burnishing or too many layers of color. Now I just read an article by an artist who says she uses fixative on her finished work to prevent wax bloom. Does that mean the my finished pictures can develope it just by sitting around in a drawer? Do I have to use fixative on all my work? Frankly, I'm scared to try it.


10-01-2001, 08:21 PM
In answer to your questions, yes it can...wax will rise to the top even a year later.

don't be afraid of the fixative...it brings out the color, makes it richer looking. spray between 4-6 light layers and use a workable fixative.

i even spray my drawings between pencil layers

10-01-2001, 08:25 PM
HI kiwicockatoo,

Waxbloom can happen at anytime most likely it will happen soon after you are doen with the drawinw/painting and have a much burnishing or too many layer color.

Some Artist will use a fixative to try and keep this from happening. I rarely use a fixative on my work. I fiond that if it is going to Bloom it will do it a few days after I'm done working on it. Then I take a sofe cloth and wipe it off. if it does it a 2nd time then I might use a fixative on it. but it no real big thing, sounds wores than it really is.


10-02-2001, 03:03 AM
Also remember, wax bloom does not occur when using oil based pencils, i.e. the Faber Castell Polychromos are oil based, Prismacolors are wax based. If wax bloom/fixative scares you, you might want to switch to an oil based pencil.

And please please remember to use the fixative in a very well ventilated area!! The fumes are just awful!

:) :) :)

10-02-2001, 11:56 AM
Ok, I don't think I'll panic yet - my last picture is over a week old, and nothing has shown up on it yet.

Thanks for all your advice. I'm scared of fixative because I've used hairspray in the past (at the advice of a professor) with disasterous results. From what I've read in the forums the real stuff is safe to use.

10-02-2001, 12:39 PM
kiwi, don't compare the two...one is formulated for hair and the other for dry mediums.

your professor as you found out, was so wrong. i too had heard that old wive's tale about hairspray...glad i never tried it...

10-02-2001, 05:20 PM
I bought some fixative and used it just to see what it would do. I didn't use it in a well ventilated area, so when I went to draw, my drawing didn't make much sense, but it was colorful.

10-02-2001, 07:31 PM
I have used the fixative on my watercolour pencil drawings (worked dry) and it seems to have not harmed them. :)

10-02-2001, 10:20 PM
Sorry this has nothing to do with what you're all talking about... but, TeAnne!!! I just noticed your tinyhead... where did you get a picture of my cat??? :)

06-26-2002, 01:06 PM

06-26-2002, 01:16 PM
Hey Kiwi -

I also use the spray matte fixative - although i don't spray between layers - I have "fixed" my work for years.

No need to panic..



(nice link too - Ikara)

06-26-2002, 03:07 PM
Ikara - thanks for the article.

Strange you guys should ressurect this thread right now. I've noticed the picture I'm working on right now is getting very faded in the areas I started on, but I want to wait to use the fixative until the entire surface of the picture is done. Then I was planning on using a coat of fixative and going back to touch up a few areas. To tell you the truth, I'm really scared of using fixative. Can you guys guarantee me it won't yellow in years to come?

And Arlene - if you use fixative between layers, how much does it alter the feel of your surface when you work over it?

06-26-2002, 03:46 PM
Kiwi it actually makes it more workable even if it was slick already...not by much but slightly. The piece i'm working on now must have 4-5 layers of fixitive on it already. i've had no problems with it.

06-26-2002, 08:35 PM
oh -that sounds great! Thanks Arlene!