View Full Version : chalky pastels
08-27-2005, 03:45 AM
I've been involved in different forums and am new to pastels. (waves)
I picked up some inexpensive soft pastels and made some lovely images with them. I fell in love with their effects instantly and so purchased some that were a grade up, and found a huge difference.
What I found is the cheap pastels were very dry and chalky, whereas the next grade are heavier and more creamy.
Now I've got ten pieces done with the chalky ones and one with the creamy ones.
I can see the difference and feel it on the paper, and the chalk ones are fragile.
Is there any thing I can do to the chalk pastel portraits so they aren't so fragile? I did a test patch with fixative and it was horrible, like washing chalk off a sidewalk. For now, they're matted, framed and hanging.
Any suggestions to protect them? And are they still considered saleable?
(learned her lesson the hard way)
08-27-2005, 01:13 PM
If they're already safely framed, I think you've protected them as well as you can. You'll be surprised at how well they do, I think. But aren't you glad you discovered the better pastels this early on? There IS a big difference!
Welcome to the forum, BTW!
08-27-2005, 05:12 PM
Welcome to this wonderful group. You might want to do a top layer over the earlier pieces using your new pastels. This adds a layer of protection from light since the cheapies are often fugitive, and it will add in the richness you've observed with the new ones---or chalk it up to learning and forge on with new and better pieces. There's no reason the earlier ones aren't salable. you might want to put in UV protected glass or recommend that to your buyers,however. After all what determines salability is the willingnes of the buyer to buy. Look forward to seeing a post of your work.
08-27-2005, 09:06 PM
Hello Celena and welcome!
If your paintings are carefully framed under glass, they are pretty secure. Fixative is awful isn't it? I ruined a commission because the customer wanted it fixed.
08-27-2005, 09:24 PM
Yes, fixative is a major problem with pastels. If you do chose to use it, give the lightest, lightest, lightest spray while standing back. You do not want to saturate the paper or get to the point where it's wet or damp. There's nothing that you can really spray on it that will permanently set the pastel to the paper, the fixative just helps, just a very little. Someone once on here, suggested spraying the fixative on the back of the paper, claiming that it soaks into the paper and grabs onto the pastel from behind. I don't know if it works, but they were convinced. Mostly workable fixative is used during the painting to fix an area while still working on another area. But, let me warn you there. I once did this with a beautiful white flower, and then when I went to work on this dark brown area, I gave the pastel dust a blow (which is not recommended, it's unhealthy to send pastel "cough" dust "cough-cough" into the "cough" air), and the dark brown dust blew onto the white flower and stuck in the fixative. =(
Hope you have many, many dusty years ahead of you. By the way, invest in black socks, because pastel dust won't show on them when you walk around your studio :D
09-07-2005, 02:01 AM
Thank you for the welcome. :)
So sorry for the delay. We're on the FL gulf coast and got caught up in storm preparation and the subsequent aftermath (caught up in the news). Our area made out very well.
You might want to do a top layer over the earlier pieces using your new pastels. This adds a layer of protection from light since the cheapies are often fugitive
:o I had tried this and then I really noticed they were different. The chalks stuck to the creamy pastel stick, lifted it right off, which is then why I tried the fixative. Luckily it was a drawing I didn't mind losing.
I've been reading up about fugitive colors. I should be okay as I work mostly with the earth tones. I did do one with magenta, and it happens there's a south window nearby. It's been hanging about two weeks and I see some fading. (note to self to move it and touch it up).
By the way, invest in black socks, because pastel dust won't show on them when you walk around your studio
:D We have blue carpet, now a puddle of colors where I work. What I really need is an apron as I blend with my fingers and am always wiping my jeans instead of the tissues.
I have been framing all of them, but it's getting costly even though I'm using inexpensive ones. Is there a recommended way to store them flat when they're not framed?
Thanks again for the welcome. I look forward to hanging around. :)
09-09-2005, 05:55 PM
Hi Celena! :wave: Glad you made it through the storm with minimum effects.
You can store your paintings flat between layers of glasine paper, or tracing paper.
Actually, I would do this, and "chalk" :D it up to a learning experience. Sorry, couldn't resist. I'm bad. Anyway, you'll be much happier in the long run with work done with better pastels. I'd save my framing money for those!! ;)
Psst, suppose we could see one of your pieces?
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