View Full Version : Hello from a new member

03-02-2008, 12:11 PM
Hello from Israel, :music:
I am a new member and the following is a quick bio.
I am an architect with a PhD in philosophy. How that came about took about 15 years to accomplish in order to find an answer to something that bothered me for years. How could Michaelangelo (who was probably the greatest architect of all time) design a torture chamber in his magnificent palazzos? There is a discrepancy here between moral values and aesthetic ones. But enough about that.
When entering college I had to decide between painting or architecture. I decided to eat and did my degree in architecture, but I never stopped drawing.
Right now I am interested in getting some information about pastel drawing. I had always been a water colorist and now I'm doing pastels and loving getting my fingers dirty with pastel dust. How do I make my own fixative (I hate those fixative sprays? How does one frame a pastel without having anybody or anything touch the powdered surface? Which forum should I be in to get some feed back?

03-02-2008, 02:34 PM

I'm sure other people will add to this, but since I'm the first person to respond, here is a bit of information. Pastel paintings are usually framed under glass with bit of space between the surface of the glass so it doesn't actually touch the pastel image. There are some methods to frame pastels with glass where the pastel actually does touch the glass, but I haven't personally seen any of those. There's another method I've heard about and seen a few examples of 'glassless' pastel paintings, where there's a method used to varnish or somehow fix the pastel to allow it to safely be framed with covering it. I think there are some threads here with that topic, and I found some searching for 'glassless'.

Hope this helps, and I hope you like this great site!

03-02-2008, 04:17 PM
I personally don't like using fixatives, I find it alters the colors a bit- usually darker. When I finish a pastel painting, I frame it right away, behind two mats, and then behind glass, never touching the glass to the painting. They just came out with a new kind of pastel, which is called Pan Pastels, this kind of pastel is almost dustfree, and i've heard with this kind of pastel you probably don't have to put it behind glass - but I still do. Here is the thread to using that type of pastel. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=455375

Kathryn Wilson
03-02-2008, 04:32 PM
Hi and Welcome to the Pastel Forum!

Here is a link to a great thread with lots of information you are looking for:


03-02-2008, 04:34 PM
Hello Herb, Welcome. You're in the right place to talk about pastels, and framing them. Unfortunately the Pastel Library is closed for reconstruction, there is a lot of interesting info there. But if you search this forum, there ought to be a number of threads on framing.

What is your problem with fixative sprays? Environmental? Darkening the colours? Schmincke has a fixative for pastels without gases in it, you pump-spray. Their brand changes the colours almost not at all, too. There are other brands as good, though.

Hope to see your work posted in the Pastel Studio section.

Deborah Secor
03-02-2008, 05:31 PM
Hi Herb--and welcome to the dust! The only thing I can think of that might be worse than dealing with spraying fixative would be sloshing around making the stuff! Those fixatives often have some exceptionally nasty stuff in them and should only be used outside.

If you really want to make fixative I'd google for the fix Monet used. I recall seeing something about it at one point but couldn't tell you what was in it. The other thing would be to search for advice from conservators who routinely fix pastel paintings in museums.

Personally I don't use it much. If I absolutely have to, I use the Sennelier Fixative called La Tour. If used exceedingly sparingly it will settle down that excess dust without changing the color too much. Some artists use fix in the process of painting, adding layers of pastel on top of workable fixative.

Generally I don't use it and haven't had much trouble with framing as long as I remove the excess dust from the paper before framing. One way to do that is to lay a clean piece of newsprint on top of the finished painting and burnish the surface with my hand, which settles the pigment deeper into the tooth of the paper (I generally use sandpapers.)

Interesting bio, I must say. :D Never heard of that combo of disciplines but your explanation is intriguing....

Hope we get to see some of your drawings (or paintings) in pastel sometime. Watercolors make great underpaintings for pastels, you know!