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ctanner
05-27-2010, 10:47 AM
I am new to this so please bear with me.

I would like to know what fixative works best for layering?
I have some Sennelier pastel fixative in a pump spray bottle.Also a workable all purpose fixative.

I have been told that Turpenoid may be used to create washes,etc.,what about Gamsol?

Anyone using wax like Gamblin's Cold Wax Medium?

What are you using for your final fix?

Thanks,I'm primarily a painter and these are uncharted waters for me.

mollerman
05-27-2010, 11:11 AM
Depending on the paper you are using and the amount of layering, fixative may not be necessary. This seems to be the case if using Wallis or UArt sanded paper. There are several threads on fixatives in the learning forum of soft pastels. I usually don't use a fixative between layering unless I am using colorfix paper which is not my choice. Some fixatives can darken the colors and some can even spit out spots that need to be worked over. I have had better results using Lascaux fixative. There is also a method of using a steam iron that sounded like a pretty good method and a lot cheaper and less risky. I have tried looking back and finding the post but still haven't found it. If anyone knows what I am talking about please let me know.
You can do a wash with pastel and water, turpenoid, watercolor, light oil stain. I'm not sure about wax?

allydoodle
05-27-2010, 11:12 AM
Welcome to te pastel forum!

There are no hard and fast rules to the fixitave issue. Some people always use fixative, others use it occassionally, and others not at all.

If you want to use it when layering, the first thing you need to do is make sure it is workable fixative. Secondly, most seem to darken the colors, to what degree depends on the manufacturer. Spectra Fix is a new product that I particularly like if I feel I must use fixative (I'm one who hardly ever uses it). It doesn't seem to darken the colors, and is friendly to the environment and my lungs! When I do use it, it is early on to set an underpainting or an initial sketch. For me, it's usually the underpainting that I want to set. The sketch (unless it's a portrait, which is more difficult and time consuming), can always be adjusted.

Many people feel that if you are using a good sanded paper, then the need for fixitave is not there. Just smack the back of your painting at the end, to remove any loose dust, and you should be good to go. That has been my experience, so for me I'd rather do without the fixative anywhere near the end of the painting.

If you like working on Canson paper, it has less tooth, and sometimes it is useful to spray workable fixative on your work if you've lost the tooth and want to paint some more. Just keep in mind that the colors will darken. Spectra Fix can be used on Canson paper, but it goes on a little wetter, and tends to curl the paper a bit. If you use it on Canson, I would tape the paper down before spraying, and let dry thoroughly before continuing to paint. I always tape my sandpaper down before painting, so I've never had a problem with using it there. Also, sandpaper usually can handle wet media, so the spray doesn't seem to affect it or make it curl.

Hope this helps. I'm sure others will weigh in with their experiences and opinions, all of which will be valuable and interesting. Like I said, there are no hard and fast rules. You have to find what works best for you, your style of painting, and the supplies you use.

sketchZ1ol
05-27-2010, 12:00 PM
hello.
haven't tried the spray pump you mention, tho i've seen it in catalogues.
aerosol sprays are, for the most part, acrylic based.
wax and pastel don't play well together.
canvas and pastel do play well together when the canvas is properly primed (see: materials and methods)
spirit/resin solvents are debateable - pastel is pigment+a gum binder and can also have fillers, anti-mold agents.
my final fix is in the hands of the Maker...
:} Ed

DAK723
05-27-2010, 01:35 PM
Generally speaking, the higher priced fixatives made specifically for pastels work best - Lascaux, Spectrafix, are two I have good experience with. I'm sure your Sennelier is also one of the better ones. Avoid the cheap fixatives!

Here's a thread with more fixative info, and links to even more threads:

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

Underpaintings are a very popular way to create a foundation that does not consist of loose dust! You can do underpaintings with water, OMS (oderless mineral spirits) such as Gamsol or Turpenoid, with watercolor paints, etc.

Here is a recent thread on underpaintings that includes many links:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=622276

Hope this helps!

Don

Colorix
05-27-2010, 03:00 PM
Sennelier pastel fixative is excellent, both for finish and for working on top of. It is the only fixative I use. The aerosol is better than the pump, as you can get a more even coat with it. But for working fixative, the pump is excellent. Very little change of colour, but as with all fixatives, the pastel dust 'sinks'.

Just watch out so you don't have the Oil pastel fix...

Charlie

Studio-1-F
05-27-2010, 06:41 PM
Anyone using wax like Gamblin's Cold Wax Medium?
Here is a thread in the wc forum about using wax as a final coat (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=620766), instead of framing. Interesting.

There may be some info in the thread that you can apply to sealing (more aggressive than mere 'fixing') soft pastels.

I have even used encaustic wax over soft pastels and it's neat-o! I like the look very much.

Jan

Deborah Secor
05-27-2010, 06:48 PM
Sennelier Fixtative for Soft Pastel, called LaTour, is all I used for many years. Please be very respectful when you use it, as it contains some very nasty chemicals. Spray ONLY outside, wearing a mask and with the wind blowing away from you. I would advise 4-5 whisper light layers drifted down onto the paper and let dry between. (I now use SpectraFix because it's totally non-toxic.)

Years ago we used Turpenoid to tone our paper or make washes because we worked on a sandpaper, Ersta, which was made with a water-based glue, so watercolor, acrylics, etc. moved the sand around. Yes, you can certainly use it, but you can simply use water over your colors to fine effect. Don't use the good brushes on sandpaper, obviously!

I've never thought to use Gamsol nor heard of anyone trying it, nor Gamblin's Cold Wax Medium. I would think both would either clog the tooth needed to capture the pastel, or break down the crystal structure making pastel into paints.

I generally don't use a final fix of any kind if I can avoid it. All fix will flatten the powdery surface of pastels. However, if it's really needed, I use SpectraFix, which seems to me to change the look much less.

I looked at your web page and your work is very interesting!
Deborah

*Deirdre*
05-27-2010, 07:45 PM
Depending on the paper you are using and the amount of layering, fixative may not be necessary. This seems to be the case if using Wallis or UArt sanded paper. There are several threads on fixatives in the learning forum of soft pastels. I usually don't use a fixative between layering unless I am using colorfix paper which is not my choice. Some fixatives can darken the colors and some can even spit out spots that need to be worked over. I have had better results using Lascaux fixative. There is also a method of using a steam iron that sounded like a pretty good method and a lot cheaper and less risky. I have tried looking back and finding the post but still haven't found it. If anyone knows what I am talking about please let me know.
You can do a wash with pastel and water, turpenoid, watercolor, light oil stain. I'm not sure about wax?
I found a test & discussion (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=455336&highlight=steam+iron) by Dave Patterson

ctanner
05-28-2010, 09:03 AM
Thank you all!I really appreciate the information and links.

I was really excited to work on this painting this morning,but as fate will have it,I won't be able to do so until tomorrow.

I am going to do a test strip before I use any of the fixes.

Again,thanks for sharing your knowledge.