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luvmydogs
03-02-2010, 12:51 AM
Hi. :wave: I am new to pastels. Practiced on one once about 4 years ago, and now am suddenly working on 2 at the same time (don't know what I am thinking :eek: ) From what I have read on here, my paper isn't the best Strathmore Artagain. And my pastels aren't expensive ones either. Therefore I feel the need to use workable fixative. I am using black paper, and also using colored pencils with the pastels. i have sprayed each piece twice after doing a few layers on each. They lose so much of their brilliance, but it just seems to be a necessary step with what I am dealing with. Will I eventually have my color stay? I have about 4 different pads of paper (mein tientes? its not right here so I don't know exactly) and I have a few different boxes of pastels and pastel pencils. Buying new stuff isn't an option so I have to learn to deal with what I have. So do I have to just deal with losing color? Do I spray them with something else when i feel they are finished?
I have a stupid question that i have wondered about for years; why are they called painting instead of drawings?
Thank you for your help :)

robertsloan2
03-02-2010, 03:33 AM
Even on that paper, you might not need to use fixative as often. I used to use Canson mi-Tientes for street portraits, and when the fixative darkened or dulled the portrait, I'd add the last details and highlights again after letting it dry. That didn't seem to be a problem.

I'd suggest planning well, work loosely, use the paper color as part of your composition and see if you can do without the fixative if you really don't like its effects. I have been using it less and less over time -- and on black, it really does make the dark paper show through more.

Try working without the fixative and see how far you get. The reason for multiple layers is to add more tooth when the paper tooth is filled. So if you're doing it every layer because you're supposed to, then you might be using it at times you don't need it. Store your paintings with glassine or even printer paper over them to protect them from smudging.

The difference between a pastel painting and a pastel drawing is one of technique and style. Are you doing a lot of painterly marks, building up layers and textured strokes, or are you using a lot of linear "drawing-looking" marks? A pastel drawing can be beautiful too. Often with tinted papers like Canson or Strathmore Artagain, using the paper color as a significant part of the drawing can give a gorgeous effect.

On black especially, don't fix the last layers of highlights. You can bring up anything you lost with the fixative by going over it again -- and then don't fix the last layer.

I hope this helps.

Colorix
03-02-2010, 07:12 AM
Hi, welcome to Pastel forum!

Robert gave excellent advice. Hm, the pencils you use, are they the waxy fatty sort? If so, the pastel dust may not stick to a layer of them, but fall off. The dry and hard pastel pencils work fine.

Try applying the fixative in several light layers, let dry between. Then it might not 'melt' the pastels as much. Another trick is to roughen up the paper with a fine sandpaper (very fine), it will hold much more dust, then, but also loose a little bit of brilliance, but nowhere near what fixative does.

Oh, almost forgot, the fixative itself is important. The ones for graphite and charcoal don't work well with pastels, they really darken.

When you try the mi-teintes, you might like the reverse side better, it is slightly smoother, but holds as much pastel as the more textured side.

Good luck!

Charlie

luvmydogs
03-02-2010, 10:28 AM
So if a final layer has no fixative, does it need to be matted/framed/glass in order to be sold?
I remembered overnight that I have another question; can pastels be used on canvas?
I'm sure I will think of many more :-)
Actually, I just thought of one pertaining to the site in general. When I sign in at the home page, is there an easy way to get to this thread? I have a bad memory and I know I will end up some days doing a lot of searching :o

Thought of one more about the site; I've been going to the reference gallery for a number of years and then didnt for atleast a year. Now I don't see where to add pictures to my favorites. I can view my favorites that were put there years back just dont know how to add more

Thanks!

Colorix
03-02-2010, 11:37 AM
Answers in red, in the quote below. Doing a "search this forum" is a great way to find many answers. And here is a link to a collection of useful links (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=553953)on how the site works.

So if a final layer has no fixative, does it need to be matted/framed/glass in order to be sold? Yes, or use spacers instead of mats.
I remembered overnight that I have another question; can pastels be used on canvas? Yes, do a "search this forum", there are several threads, one relatively recent.
I'm sure I will think of many more :-) Definitely! :)
Actually, I just thought of one pertaining to the site in general. When I sign in at the home page, is there an easy way to get to this thread? I have a bad memory and I know I will end up some days doing a lot of searching :o
At the blue bar at the top of a thread, (once you've opened it) there is a drop-down menue called "Thread tools", choose "subscribe to this thread". You'll find your subscriptions in "my wetcanvas". This can be done when you start a thread too, there is a box to check, before hitting send. You can also mark a thread as a favourite, and find it through "my favourites".

Thought of one more about the site; I've been going to the reference gallery for a number of years and then didnt for atleast a year. Now I don't see where to add pictures to my favorites. I can view my favorites that were put there years back just dont know how to add more
Under the rating dots under an image, there is a row with five colourful icons, the leftmost one is for saving a photo in your favourites. Roll the cursor over that icon, and a text will be visible. You click the icon, and it saves more easily than before, and you don't have to back up at all.

Thanks!

DAK723
03-02-2010, 11:43 AM
Yes, usually pastels need to be framed under glass or acrylic (plexi) in order to be sold, regardless of whether they have been sprayed with fixative. Some folks always fix, some never. It does depend a lot on the paper. I find that I almost always use fixative on the smoother papers - such as Canson or Strathmore, sometimes use fixative on the papers with a sandpaper like tooth, and never use fixative on a support like velour.

And the brand of fixative makes a huge difference!

Here are some recent threads on the topic:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=596179

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=550634

Don

robertsloan2
03-02-2010, 03:11 PM
One more thing -- I just saw a good demo where the artist worked on Canson paper. I could tell it was the smooth side because he wasn't getting the basketweave texture. This might show you some techniques you can use with the materials you have:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=610677

Also notice that Arnold Lowry didn't use any fixative at all throughout the painting. Finger blending can restore tooth, he also shows how you can scrape with a razor blade to remove excess pastel from an area to add more layers. Work lightly and you may not need fixative at all.

Potoma
03-02-2010, 05:08 PM
At any time, you can subscribe to a post. Look toward the top under Thread Tools. Makes it easy to find your posts and the others you find interesting.

luvmydogs
03-02-2010, 06:24 PM
One more thing -- I just saw a good demo where the artist worked on Canson paper. I could tell it was the smooth side because he wasn't getting the basketweave texture. This might show you some techniques you can use with the materials you have:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=610677

Also notice that Arnold Lowry didn't use any fixative at all throughout the painting. Finger blending can restore tooth, he also shows how you can scrape with a razor blade to remove excess pastel from an area to add more layers. Work lightly and you may not need fixative at all.


I just watched parts 1 & 2. He makes it look easy, and fast. lol.
I can see what part of my problem is, atleast based on his style. I am trying to be too precise and overworking/overthinking it.

I use to do custom framing, so I did plan to put my stuff onto a backing, foamcore or whatever, then put foamcore spacers, and then mat. But how would i put glass or plexi glass if I am not putting it in a frame? (how would I hold it there?

Thanks, Lisa

robertsloan2
03-02-2010, 06:42 PM
If you're not going to frame, just mat it, then you can put glassine over it to store it. Or put it into a clear archival photo bag, there's several brands of those. Or shrink wrap the mat, art and back board package if you're going to sell paintings unframed. I did that a lot when I was doing street painting in pastel and the shrink wrap protects it just as well as glass until the buyer frames it.

I'd have needed a car if I'd had to transport every one of my finished pastels framed, frames with glass get heavy!

Arnold Lowrey
03-03-2010, 01:11 AM
Thanks for the nice comments.I rarely use fixative and it darkens down the colours so scrapw off the excess with a razor blade. On the odd times I have used it, I use the cheapest non smelly hair spray I can get.
Here are a few previous efforts. The third one was on bright red Canson paper
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2010/47691-3_cliffs_copy.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2010/47691-Boats_at_dusk,_pastel_copy.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2010/47691-Dawn_seas,_pastel_copy.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2010/47691-Urchfont_Manor_pastel.jpg

SiaraFirebird
03-03-2010, 04:18 AM
thank you for the tip on the hairspray. I hate using some of the fixatives. Sometimes they'll leave spots on my painting. and they dull and darken the colors. Can you work over the spray? Is it workable or just more like a sealant?
Thanks for the tip.

PS- Snowden was lovely, so was the wirrel.
cheers!

Sia