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gayelyn
01-27-2006, 09:25 PM
Hi,I would like some information re fixing pastels. I have always thought of them as being very fragile and would need a fixative.One artist told me he never used it because it altered the colours.I was wondering re buying should I steer clear of unfixed works or not.Gayelyn.

Kathryn Wilson
01-27-2006, 09:33 PM
Not if they are properly framed and under glass - fixative use can be abused by framers who are not knowledgeable enough about pastels. Fixatives do change the colors, so many artists will fix underlayers, but the very last layer is never "fixed."

gayelyn
01-27-2006, 09:39 PM
Thanks Kyle.

dlake
01-27-2006, 09:48 PM
Hi. I use a fixative as needed. If I really need to refresh due to build up or at the end. I spray back from the picture and lightly outside. If you spray close you get gobs. people say they change the color but, I never had that problem.
Diane

jackiesimmonds
01-28-2006, 02:51 AM
You just have to remember that fixative IS NOT A VARNISH. It only holds a few particles here and there. so it is useful if you want to reclaim the "tooth" of the paper, and build up more layers.

However, do not use it if you are struggling with an area. If an area is wrong, BRUSH IT OFF and then use some fix to get the tooth back, and then repaint.

Lightly - and I mean lightly - a 2 second burst is all - at the end if you wish, but it isn't necessary on some papers. Sandpapery surfaces seldom need fixing as much as paper.
The fix just stops SOME of the shedding of crumbs, that's all. Too much fixative will darken your colours.
J

dlake
01-28-2006, 11:12 AM
jackie, That's what I said. I never have darken colors. So good to have someone of your stature say that. Light spray. I don't put varnish because I never keep anything. I usually destroy it as soon as I finish.
I'm planning on getting your gardens video on Monday. Cannot wait!!!!
Diane

Bringer
01-28-2006, 11:44 AM
Hi,

I do use fixative over the last layer, but only sparingly.
Not to fix the work per se, but to avoid that more loose particles may dislodge . However, after doing this - and I do it so thinly that it doesn't change, to naked eye - I may give some minor touches mainly on white highlights.
I use the Talens fixative.
There's a B72 fixative by Gumbacher that is aproved by museums, if I'm not mistaken.

Regards,

Josť

dlake
01-28-2006, 11:53 AM
Jose,
What do you know about the Grumbacher fixative and what is the Talens like? Is it good, ect.
diane

Bringer
01-28-2006, 12:02 PM
Hi Diane,

The first one I used was from Winsor and Newton and didn't like it much.
The way I use the Talens Concentrated Fixative 064, doesn't dull the colours.
However from what I've read, Latour and Sennelier may be considered superior. Also Krilon Workable fixative is said to be good (this one as it's name says is a workable one).
And altough I've never tried it I suppose that a brand like Schminke must have a good fixative.
But you can always make your own :-)


Read the following :

http://www.bmi.net/knapp/iapsmerrill.html

Kind regards,

Josť

dlake
01-28-2006, 12:13 PM
I have fixatives. I like the Blair the best. And the Sennelier is good. I hate Krylon as the smell is the worst. I never heard of the two you mentioned and was curious. I would think Talens would make a decent fixative.
I spray back from the painting and do light sprays. Never had a problem with darkening.
Thanks so much Jose. You are so helpful!
diane

Khadres
01-28-2006, 01:59 PM
I have destroyed a couple of paintings in the past with fixatif, so I'm not a huge fan, but my advice, if you MUST use it, is to take Diane's advice and use a very LIGHT touch from a decent distance!

PeggyB
01-28-2006, 02:03 PM
Spraying with fixatives is as personal a choice as the brands of pastel and paper one uses. What is good for one person isn't necessarily for another. I know several pastel artists of international reputation who do spray both heavily and lightly. One uses Blair final fix during early stages of work to completely seal surfaces or purposely darken as area (Alan Flattmann to be specific). Another uses either Rowney or LasCaux workable fixatives because both are considered "archival" as a final spray and does many many light coats to completely seal her work (Susan Bennerstrom to be specific). I've tried both techniques, and found when running a finger over Bennerstrom's method the pastel doesn't come off onto my skin. It does darken the work somewhat, but this is taken into consideration when choosing the colors of pastel in the first place. I found Flattmann's process useful in early stages of work if the support (paper) is of the sanded variety. He does an under value study drawing in charcoal and completely seals the charcoal so it doesn't mix with the pastel. If you don't have available a pastel stick as dark as you want (or run out of it!) spraying can help there too. The final layer is not sprayed at all though.

However, to answer your question as to whether or not you should purchase a pastel painting that hasn't been sprayed I'd say if you have a concern about a particular painting, ask the artist to solidly smack the back of the framed painting. If dust falls, the artist hasn't done a proper job of assuring that won't happen in the first place. I've literally seen hundreds of pastel paintings that have been shipped all over the U.S. and Canada framed under plexiglass because that was the requirement for the show and shipping agent that have not had a speck of pastel dust drop. As for myself, there was only one painting I've ever shipped that arrived in less than perfect condition. That was because it was painted on a surface I'd never used before and even though it was supposed to be for pastels, it didn't properly hold the pigments. I had sprayed it lightly before shipment, but when I got it home I had to throughly seal it with spray - you can see that piece on my website. The title is "Rebel Tulip".

Peggy

dlake
01-28-2006, 03:53 PM
Peggy, such an interesting story about the paintings being shipped around. I never thought much about that as I figure my paintings will never leave my house! lol. But, not a spec of dust is so interesting in itself. Also, Alan Flattmann's technique of using it for darkening - one of my favorite pastelists.
I bet you have stories and tips you've picked up that so many of us would love to hear about. And then, the artists. How lucky you are. wow. Keep teaching us as topics come up as people like me so enjoy reading and learning from you.
diane

PeggyB
01-28-2006, 06:52 PM
Diane how sweet of you to appreciate my stories. I feel very fortunate to have been able to meet and get to know so many of the "big names" - and there are still dozens of other "big names" in the world that I have yet to meet and would like to.

If ever anyone has an opportunity to take a workshop from Alan, I highly recommend you do so. He is a true southern gentleman and wonderful teacher through and through. He can communicate very well with all levels of student, and I think that is very important.

I'll share experiences as the topic demands - still many to go! LOL

Peggy

PS - Diane if you keep hanging out here and trying the different challenges the guides and moderators place here, you will one day find your work isn't staying at home...

dlake
01-28-2006, 07:13 PM
I seriously doubt it'll leave the house. eewwww. lol
My dream is to meet Alan flattmann and Richard McDaniels. I love thier art. For now, I guess I'll just have to settle for thier books and GA sets. Ohh, Peggy did ;you see my picture of my Tarbet floral set??? Just got on thurs. Paula, check it out!!
peggy, I so love your stories because I can live vicariously.
diane

gayelyn
01-28-2006, 07:59 PM
Thanks for the great info. I think I will settle for a light spray for my personal work. I was thinking of buying an unframed pastel that was not treated.I don't think I will take the risk of it being shipped in this case.

Deborah Secor
01-28-2006, 08:27 PM
I ship unfixed work internationally and have no trouble. I just sent an unfixed unframed pastel across the nation in a foam board mat, sandwiched between two pieces of foam board, with absolutely no problems. I wouldn't reject buying a painting I wanted because it ISN'T fixed. With proper handling it could be easily shipped to you, even framed, with no trouble. Fixative doesn't guarantee anything, trust me, it's all about how the painting is framed and how it's shipped. Period.

Deborah

PeggyB
01-29-2006, 03:08 AM
Listen to Deborah - unframed paintings can be successfully shipped. How large is the painting you would like to buy? If you're uncertain of how to have it shipped to you, you can PM me or I'd guess Deborah would say the same thing, and we can tell you how to have it done - there's more than one way to do it. For that matter, I think there was a post awhile ago about this very subject of shipping unframed artwork.

Peggy

dlake
01-30-2006, 07:38 AM
You know, I read somewhere about hair spray. I guess, from what I remember about the article, that you can use certain brands of hairspray as opposed to fixative. I don't remember which brands but, if I find that article I'll put that on.
Has anyone else heard of this.
diane

PeggyB
01-30-2006, 02:42 PM
You know, I read somewhere about hair spray. I guess, from what I remember about the article, that you can use certain brands of hairspray as opposed to fixative. I don't remember which brands but, if I find that article I'll put that on.
Has anyone else heard of this.
diane

Yes - and if you love your artwork enough to want it to remain intact for a few years, never ever use hair spray of any sort. Lots of technical reasons, and why not just use a fixative that is made for artwork in the first place? I can only think a hair spray that was recommended would be about as expensive as a good fixative. Why take the chance?

Peggy

dlake
01-30-2006, 06:15 PM
Oh, I just read about it. I never tried it. Was wondering because they had posted it on some pastel site somewhere. I just thought I'd put it on and if anyone knew about it they would say definitly no or yes.
d

greenjack
01-31-2006, 08:49 AM
Hi,

I'm new to Pastels and haven't posted here before. Up until now I've mainly participated in the airbrush forum, but in an attempt to get a little more spontaneous and develop my eye I've recently started life drawing. I'm working mainly from photographs at present as I can't find a convenient life class, but I'm hoping to change this in the near future (when I'm feeling a little more confident). Right now I'm working with cheap paper, cheap soft pastels and, yes, hairspray. Cheap hairspray costs me about a dollar a can and fixative about 7 dollars a can. A lot of my practice pieces are currently ending up in pieces and those I'm keeping are really just to remind myself how I've improved. Maybe soon I'll invest in some decent paper and fixative, but until then hairspray it is. It will darken and does have a wetting effect if used too liberally. As to how it ages, I've no idea.

Deborah Secor
01-31-2006, 11:27 AM
Hi Jeff, welcome to the forum. I suggest you try NOT fixing your work at all... :D I know that with the cheaper papers and student grade pastels you will have a lot of dust, but instead of using any hairspray, why not just lay a clean piece of newsprint, or a chunk of tissue paper, or flat (not textured) paper towel, or other absorbent paper, over your painting and rub it with the flat of your hand to burnish some of the dust farther into the paper. Then store the successful paintings between the pages of a newsprint pad to look at later and see your progression.

I have another inexpesive idea for you--go get some 600-grit wet and dry sandpaper sheets and try your pastels on that. (Hmmm, I see you're in Britian so I wonder if it's called the same thing... I've found the English translations are sometimes more challenging than other languages!) It comes in 9x12" sheets and is used for sanding furniture. Yep, it grabs, which means you can use up the pastels quickly, but you'll learn to use a very light stroke and not overfill the grit too much. Then burnish it and store it away. The nice dark gray color is interesting, too.

Just a couple of thoughts!

Deborah

DFGray
01-31-2006, 11:38 AM
Hi
I rarely have used fixitive, but am using the sennielier brand (expensive)
more often on my work when it gets back to the studio from the field
before final touches...
but I always have used a mouth atomizer to apply
it is more flexible and easier to control and a finer spray(less fix)
takes a few tries to get it down but works
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Jan-2006/1921-jan06_001.jpg

Donna A
02-21-2006, 11:35 PM
Hi,

I'm new to Pastels and haven't posted here before. Up until now I've mainly participated in the airbrush forum, but in an attempt to get a little more spontaneous and develop my eye I've recently started life drawing. I'm working mainly from photographs at present as I can't find a convenient life class, but I'm hoping to change this in the near future (when I'm feeling a little more confident). Right now I'm working with cheap paper, cheap soft pastels and, yes, hairspray. Cheap hairspray costs me about a dollar a can and fixative about 7 dollars a can. A lot of my practice pieces are currently ending up in pieces and those I'm keeping are really just to remind myself how I've improved. Maybe soon I'll invest in some decent paper and fixative, but until then hairspray it is. It will darken and does have a wetting effect if used too liberally. As to how it ages, I've no idea.

Hi! I was so fortunate to hear the presentation of Ross Merrill, head curator of the USA National Gallelry at the 1999 IAPS Convention. The National Gallery team actually researched fixatives with pastel paintings very intensely! (Spent tax-payers money on something for artists!!!! Yea!!!!) I took copious notes and added them to some comments of my own experiences in a handout sheet for the MidAmerica Pastel Society and the artists in my classes. The info is posted at http://www.aldridgestudios.com/610-Fixative.html.

I am a firm believer in fixing. BUT the trick is to not get the pastel WET! I have a few illustrations on spraying tips. It was just fascinating to learn the outcome of so many of the tests that Ross Merrill and the team conducted! Much of it was pretty surprising!

Hair spray is made for hair---and is expected to be washed out within days, so your are right in questioning it's lasting qualities. If you are on a tight budget and just using it on practice pieces---guess I'd just want to ask if you even need to fix them.

It's such a great strategy to review your past work to see "footprints in the sand behind you!!!" Yea! Now I'm going to cheer-leader you for moving on to papers that you would use for "serious" work. Always good to "practice" on what you will be doing your best work with. There is a relationship between the materials and your endeavors. Can make quite a difference.

In the meantime----tempering how you apply your current "fix" can help a lot. Best wishes! Donna ;-}

PainterMike
02-24-2006, 07:07 PM
Well, here's my 2 cents...

I would think that if you were buying a pastel painting knowing that it's "fixed" and you still like it...then go for it. I'm not sure, but I wouldn't think that it would affect the life of the painting?

As far as use, I only use it on bottom layers to "re-tooth" the paper and my final layers are free...I gently tap the back of the painting before I consider it finished and if anything shakes loose that is needed I rework it.

Of course, I have very little experience so you may not want to take my advice on that!!!!:o

Donna A
02-24-2006, 11:17 PM
Well, here's my 2 cents...

I would think that if you were buying a pastel painting knowing that it's "fixed" and you still like it...then go for it. I'm not sure, but I wouldn't think that it would affect the life of the painting?

As far as use, I only use it on bottom layers to "re-tooth" the paper and my final layers are free...I gently tap the back of the painting before I consider it finished and if anything shakes loose that is needed I rework it.

Of course, I have very little experience so you may not want to take my advice on that!!!!:o

Ross Merrill of the National Gallery brought up really useful information about a lot of tests that they had done. They could not find any way to keep pastels paintings at their best and safest without fixative. I do believe in their test results. :-) He said that with any amount of tapping on the back, pastel would still come off, even with low impact in their tests. Good fixing would prevent this. I tap the back of my pastel paintings with a rather gentle ferociousness----and then spray for the last time. Never darkens the way I do it! Just takes a little while.

Do take a look at the notes and illustrations on spraying fixative at
http://www.aldridgestudios.com/610-Fixative.html. You might find it interesting.

And I learned something really surprising to me about how fixative can help in another way for preserving pastel paintings that I would never have expected. I had been reading the paper work of one of the new brands of pastel I'd bought some years ago. They noted that several of their lighter ranges of certain pigment sticks were not lightfast unless sprayed with fixative. I happened to mention this one day when talking to Bob Strohsahl, owner of Great Americans, whose background is as a chemist. He said that some pigments are stable and lightfast when close together----but when they were separated from each other (by other materials---such as a lot of white pigment to lighten the stick of color or other colors you would work into the color, layering) the pigment became unstable and would fade. He said it's a Quantuum Mechanics thing. In oil and acrylic, the binders are so strong that they will protect this type of pigment and keep it stable. In watercolor and pastel, the binders are more subtle, shall we say. They do not provide significant light-fast binding protection for certain pigments when mixed down with other pigments or materials.

Most pigments are very lightfast. But it could only take one or two color areas fading to throw off the whole beauty and balance of any of our paintings.

Spaying ---CAREFULLY--- can protect our pastel paintings in more than one way. May not be obvious to the eye on any one day, but over time, it can reallyl make a difference for the better and it's worth considering!

Take good care! Donna ;-}

Tom Behnke
02-25-2006, 12:24 AM
I always use fixative. Never had it darken the colors, but you have to spray lightly.

Regarding the Krylon fix mentioned above. It is ok, but it is more likely to darken the colors if you hit it too hard, and the reason I won't use it anymore is that it SMELLS. I mean, you MUST use it outside or you will be reliving a 60's bad acid trip for real.

The Windsor and Newton has relatively little odor and is fine, as is the Grumbacher. I always use workable fix. Have never used the permanent stuff.

PainterMike
02-25-2006, 07:55 AM
Ross Merrill of the National Gallery brought up really useful information about a lot of tests that they had done. They could not find any way to keep pastels paintings at their best and safest without fixative. I do believe in their test results. :-) He said that with any amount of tapping on the back, pastel would still come off, even with low impact in their tests. Good fixing would prevent this. I tap the back of my pastel paintings with a rather gentle ferociousness----and then spray for the last time. Never darkens the way I do it! Just takes a little while.

Do take a look at the notes and illustrations on spraying fixative at
http://www.aldridgestudios.com/610-Fixative.html. You might find it interesting.

And I learned something really surprising to me about how fixative can help in another way for preserving pastel paintings that I would never have expected. I had been reading the paper work of one of the new brands of pastel I'd bought some years ago. They noted that several of their lighter ranges of certain pigment sticks were not lightfast unless sprayed with fixative. I happened to mention this one day when talking to Bob Strohsahl, owner of Great Americans, whose background is as a chemist. He said that some pigments are stable and lightfast when close together----but when they were separated from each other (by other materials---such as a lot of white pigment to lighten the stick of color or other colors you would work into the color, layering) the pigment became unstable and would fade. He said it's a Quantuum Mechanics thing. In oil and acrylic, the binders are so strong that they will protect this type of pigment and keep it stable. In watercolor and pastel, the binders are more subtle, shall we say. They do not provide significant light-fast binding protection for certain pigments when mixed down with other pigments or materials.

Most pigments are very lightfast. But it could only take one or two color areas fading to throw off the whole beauty and balance of any of our paintings.

Spaying ---CAREFULLY--- can protect our pastel paintings in more than one way. May not be obvious to the eye on any one day, but over time, it can reallyl make a difference for the better and it's worth considering!

Take good care! Donna ;-}

Wow! Thank you, Donna.
This will help me out a bunch, I appreciate you putting this up...BTW, I visited your website and I love your work!!!!
Mike

Donna A
02-25-2006, 02:28 PM
I always use fixative. Never had it darken the colors, but you have to spray lightly.

Regarding the Krylon fix mentioned above. It is ok, but it is more likely to darken the colors if you hit it too hard, and the reason I won't use it anymore is that it SMELLS. I mean, you MUST use it outside or you will be reliving a 60's bad acid trip for real.

The Windsor and Newton has relatively little odor and is fine, as is the Grumbacher. I always use workable fix. Have never used the permanent stuff.

I'm with you on the Krylon fix!!! And I gave up using use it a long time ago with the other lovely choices. Merrill suggested the Grumbacher Final fix for the most secure fix. He said the difference between Working and Final is that the Working is just more diluted. I think I had just pretty much always used the Working , but these days I keep both on hand, tho have been turning to using the Final more often, even during the working stage----just to see if I could tell a difference in working qualities. I can't---but then I spray very lightly, too. I decided that spraying very lightly with the bit stronger fix could give me a bit better fixing, without lessening my ability to layer---and layer and layer..... :-) I suppose I do find myself gravitating more and more to almost always using the Final.

In my class room studio, I have the artists studying with me go outside to spray---an easy step outdoors. In my private studio, with my 2 black cats ruling in there (they LOVE the light!) (and the wide window sills with cushions for them!) I'll take a smaller piece, like an 18x26, over to my HEPA filter fan and spray next to it-----or, with a really large piece, will certainly take it outside. If the cats are elsewhere and I'm stopping painting for a while, I'll go ahead and spray even a large piece and then quickly leave the studio for a while to go do whatever else and let the spray settle and the smell disappear.

For spraying a finished piece, I'll usually take it into the class room studio when there is no class, of course, and spray once overall quickly----and walk away. I'll let it dry for a couple of minutes at least, then spray again once overall quickly. Walk away again. I might spray 8 to a dozen times, always very lightly! Never darkens this way.

Take good care! Donna ;-}

PeggyB
02-25-2006, 04:41 PM
and when you do want to darken an underlayer, and don't have quite the dark pastel you are looking for, a bit heavier spray with a final fix works well to "set" that dark, darker, and still be able to work over it without having subsequent colors get muddy looking.

Peggy

Donna A
02-25-2006, 08:02 PM
and when you do want to darken an underlayer, and don't have quite the dark pastel you are looking for, a bit heavier spray with a final fix works well to "set" that dark, darker, and still be able to work over it without having subsequent colors get muddy looking.

Peggy

Oh, yes, Peggy!!!! Great point! I save my older cans of fix for those times when I want to darken an area. When the cans are maybe 2/3rds or 3/4th used up, they can get a bit spotty at times, so saving them for those darkening occasions, it works out great!!!

It used to be the ONLY way to get some of the darks a pastel painter wanted or needed----but now I ALSO use it for darkening selected areas in paintings to pull them together a bit and darken when the strokes and colors work, but there is a need for the area(s) to be a bit (or considerably) darker. It's soooooo fun to introduce this to the artists who study with me. I always invite others to kibitz and so often we'll all traizpe outside to watch the morphing of the painting as the spray goes on heavily on selected areas. It's pretty cool! :-) It can really be useful! Thanks for bringing this up, Peggy! It's a great way of making even more use of our fixative!!! Take good care! Donna ;-}

artc
02-25-2006, 08:07 PM
Thank you all, for this very,very useful information.....Art

lost4words
02-27-2006, 01:19 PM
I never use fixative on finished work because once it's framed I feel it's fairly safe.

Philistine that I am, i use hairspray (extra strong hold lol) in my sketchbook. I know, I know, but I have drawings fixed with Revlon's finest going back to the 80's and they are still fine.

Having said that, I like paintings and drawings to age and yellow and i love the general patina that time gives to all art, so I'm maybe never going to have a sensible opinion about this :-)

Donna A
02-27-2006, 07:11 PM
I never use fixative on finished work because once it's framed I feel it's fairly safe.

Philistine that I am, i use hairspray (extra strong hold lol) in my sketchbook. I know, I know, but I have drawings fixed with Revlon's finest going back to the 80's and they are still fine.

Having said that, I like paintings and drawings to age and yellow and i love the general patina that time gives to all art, so I'm maybe never going to have a sensible opinion about this :-)
I have utter respect for INTENT!!!! And you will achieve some very lovely aging and patina! On the other hand, I love the idea of my "comment" (my painting) staying as I "stated" it. For whatever reason, I just hate the idea of being misunderstood. :-) Know it must happen all the time, but I do want to keep my "painting statements" as consistant as possible. Again-----I think intent is sooooo important and the problem most folks have is NOT having a clear intent. Bravo!!!!! :-) Donna ;-}

lost4words
02-28-2006, 08:03 AM
Hi Donna.
Pleased to meet you.
Yes, I agree - Intent is very important in art.
I do know what you mean about being misunderstood. I've seen paintings of mine, years after a sale, which have been badly reframed and mounted and I get what must be a similar feeling.
A few years ago here in Aberdeen, the local council 'cleaned up' some beautiful Pre-Raphelite influenced bronze statues.
There was a very mixed reaction, with some people being appalled that the beautiful green patina had been removed and others much prefering the more 'original' appearance.
No-one is right, I guess.
Your work is lovely, by the way.

Donna A
03-03-2006, 06:03 PM
Hi Donna.
Pleased to meet you.
Yes, I agree - Intent is very important in art.
I do know what you mean about being misunderstood. I've seen paintings of mine, years after a sale, which have been badly reframed and mounted and I get what must be a similar feeling.
A few years ago here in Aberdeen, the local council 'cleaned up' some beautiful Pre-Raphelite influenced bronze statues.
There was a very mixed reaction, with some people being appalled that the beautiful green patina had been removed and others much prefering the more 'original' appearance.
No-one is right, I guess.
Your work is lovely, by the way.
Likewise, lost4words----lovely to meet you, too! :-)

Argh---doesn't it feel just awful when someone "re-do's" your painting's frame----and it just takes away from the original energy!

Hmmmmm---the bronzes----Yes, can see how that could be a real issue. I know from my interest in ancient history and archeology that the early Egyptian statues and temples were painted----and now we see them in the sand-stone colors. We'd be horrified, by and large, if someone went in right now and authentically painted them the original colors. Sometimes it's a matter of what WE get used to. Guess I'm with you----no-one is right! :-)

And thank you very much for the lovely comment! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Tressa
03-04-2006, 09:19 AM
I think a use of fixative is a personal choice, but I do not use them. I use Wallis paper, and have found no problem with reworking a layer, or wiping out with a bristle brush, and redoing. The tooth is great on this paper and I use many layers in my paintings with no problem of color not adhering. The last thing I do to a painting is give it a nice whack on the back with my hand, and any loose particles fall. I like the luminosity of pastels without the binder added, but again, this is a personal choice.

Tres

Eclectic_Asylum
03-13-2006, 06:58 PM
I always use fixative and sometimes in very extreme amounts. It's all an issue of choice. Most people like the immediacy of the colors in pastel and fixative will change the color and luminosity slightly.

When I use heavy fixative I always have to consider the color shift when working and how I'll be applying the fixative. I'll even varnish a work that has been fixed and that causes color shifts too.

If I don't want to the work to change I still use fixative but many light coats layered one on top of another. With the right fixative you won't notice any color shift and you can still rub your fingers over the top without and trace of pastel lifting.

In the perfect world paintings are handled with extreme care but the world isn't perfect. I had a piece that was hanging in a house when the Northridge earthquake hit Los Angeles. If fell off the wall and the glass shattered. When I heard about it I figured it would be ruined simply from the glass rubbing it. I had the chance to see it a few years later and because it was fixed no pastel came off even when rubbed by the shattered glass.

If longevity is a concern just think of all the classical painting found in piles or tucked away in some monestary basement. Do you trust glass alone to protect from whatever the future may hold?

Jason

Eclectic_Asylum
03-13-2006, 07:01 PM
This might make an interesting new topic sharing tips and techniques on how to compensate for using fixative in the painting.

Jason

Donna A
03-13-2006, 11:46 PM
This might make an interesting new topic sharing tips and techniques on how to compensate for using fixative in the painting.

Jason
Hi, Jason. You might find some of the things in Bill Creevy's wonderful book on Pastel Painting interesting. (Bill has a wonderful book on Oil Painting, as well!!!) Bill will sometimes us a 5% solution of PVA---like Elmer's Glue, etc.---in water to spray on his pastel works as he works. He talks about this in his book. He did a marvelous demo of this process at the IAPS Convention in 1999. Was fascinating.

And I have a page from notes I took from Ross Merrill, head curator of the National Museum in Washington, DC from the same convention.

http://www.aldridgestudios.com/610-Fixative.html

The exact title of Bill's book and a note about the PVA spray is also on that page.

I use spray extremely lightly and many times, also, to prevent color change. Have not used it in the very heavy form to darken as you have, unless I'm purposely trying to darken and area. It's really good for everyone to hear different ideas and different ways of using the fixative. Take good care! Donna ;-}