View Full Version : Quick Question...

08-29-2004, 07:12 AM
I am fairly new in painting, so this may be one of those questions that's answer that may seem entirely obvious to someone with more experience than me. But I was wondering if you could just clue me in a bit: if I transfer a sketch I have done to canvas using charcoal, do I need to apply some sort of fixative before starting to paint so my colors don't get muddy? If so, what should I use?

Thank you for your input. May God bless you.


08-29-2004, 07:30 AM
Hi and welcomed to Wetcanvas and the art of painting. :wave:
It is best to apply two coats of a workable fixative (some manufacturers call it eraserable fixative), then you will have no problems with the charcoal muddying your paints.
Hope this helps.

08-29-2004, 08:19 AM
charcoal...eew...that could produce quite a mess.

i use nupastel in similar colors to what i'm painting with to sketch in potential images. the result of the water, paint and pastel is a quality i enjoy working with. nupastel's are very cheap on line (most of the time it's half of retail at most sources, especially around Christmas time). i never put anything over the pastel to fix it, but i thought that i'd include this in your question for possible future exploration.

08-29-2004, 09:54 AM
Yes, it is very important to apply a fixative over your sketch. I usually sketch in pencil (different approach) so I don't know of the best kind to use. The only place I've ever tried fixative is on my drawings. Anyway, after you apply the fixiative (be sure to read instructions for use) you should also go over the surface of your painting with a very thin wash of some color (I use a varity of colors, such as burnt/raw sienna yellow ochre burnt/raw umber). The purpose of this is to further seal your sketch against the painting. It will also tone the surface, making it easier to see darks and lights.
I always enjoy wachting Jerry Yarnell (School Of Fine Art) and I noticed that he just sketches with charcoal and paints right over it. Nothing seems to happen to his colors and it never shows through. Not sure if you want to try this; just a thought. Hope this helps,


Lady Carol
08-29-2004, 10:40 PM
Charcoal is fine to use. It just needs to be fixed before you paint, or you will end up with messy colours