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View Poll Results: Favorite workable fixative
SpectraFix 35 62.50%
Blue label 0 0%
Winsor and Newton 5 8.93%
Prismacolor myston 0 0%
Grumbacher 3 5.36%
Blair 3 5.36%
Krylon 10 17.86%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-12-2012, 12:16 AM
SSB SSB is offline
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Favorite workable fixative?

I was hoping to get everyone to participate in another poll. This one is about workable fixative. I'd like to avoid the whole buying 5 different things to find out which one actually works routine, if possible.

If you would, vote for your preferred brand, and if you will, explain why! I am putting an "other" category. It could be a different brand, final fixative or even none at all. Please explain why you choose other if you do. Thanks!!!!
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:34 AM
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nvcricket nvcricket is offline
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

Well, I'm just going to dive right in here first to break the water...

I don't see the "other" option, and that is what I choose when I fix.

I will burnish, then occasionally I will steam a painting as the fibers of the substrate will grasp and hold the pastel particles.

By burnish, I mean I will put a sheet of glassine over the painting and press the pastel .

For steaming, I have a portable travel steamer that I like that I will lightly pass over the pastel. I won't get the pastel wet, but I put enough steam where the color will look like it has changed - darkened. Then when it dries I really don't see much of a difference. After steaming, and after it has dried, only a small amount of pastel will be released on my finger where I test it.

I have a few cans of fixative around that I will use on occasion, but I hesitate using the canned fixatives because of the vapors.

I hope to buy some spectrafix some day, but when I have the few extra dollars, it usually goes to buying pastels, or paper.

Some people say that steaming changes the molecular crystalline structure of the pastel. Maybe it does, but I don't notice it with the naked eye.

Here is a thread I started a few months ago about steaming.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show....php?t=1058742

I'm interested in what everyone says too.

Carol

Last edited by nvcricket : 05-12-2012 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:21 AM
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

I don't see the "Other" category either, or the Dick Blick fixative which is pretty much like Krylon but about a dollar cheaper per can. I still use that occasionally for isolating layers in other mediums because I have it.

SpectraFix has been my favorite ever since I got the knack of using it. It takes a bit longer to dry and it takes finesse using the pump bottle instead of a canned aerosol spray - but it's worth the effort. My cat doesn't run out of the room when I use it. I'm not destroying my lungs when I use it and don't need to leave my room to avoid toxic fumes.

It doesn't darken the pastels nearly as much - it's taken a while for me to get used to that. Back when I did portraits out in the French Quarter of New Orleans, I used to use fixative to darken the colors and intensify them. I'd work a bit lighter and brighter than intended, liked the way fixative deepened everything and just accented the brightest lights afterward.

I've had to change my style a bit to work with the SpectraFix but it's very cool that my pastel art comes out looking as if I didn't use fixative at all. Enough layers of it will keep sketchbook pages from smudging across the facing page too.
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:49 AM
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

I am a Spectrafix fan too!
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:42 AM
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

Based on the various threads that have appeared from time to time here on WC - at least to the best of my recollections - the brands that get the most recommendations are Spectrafix, Lascaux, Sennelier's Latour, and Schminke pastel fixative. Some of the older threads mention Grumbacher brown label as a good choice, but I'm not sure if that is still available (or the same) as Grumbacher has been bought and sold numerous times in the past few years.

Donna Aldridge took notes on a presentation about fixative during a 1999 IAPS Program on Conservation by Ross Merrill, which can be found here, and may be useful. Spectrafix was not yet being produced in 1999.

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

Personally, I have found the best results with Spectrafix and Lascaux. I would give Spectrafix my highest recommendation except for the fact that it sometimes "spits" out larger spots that don't go completely away and I have had to rework some paintings because of this. Not often - and the blame is probably mine as I know that I should clean the nozzle from time to time!

The biggest advantage to Spectrafix is that it is non-toxic. The other sprays (as far as I know, I am not familiar with all the brands mentioned) are toxic and need to be used in well ventilated areas - and preferably wearing a respirator.

Generally speaking, however, I try not to use a fixative after painting the final layers of the painting. Or perhaps, putting it another way. If I spray when I am done with the painting, I always need to go back in with a few light and bright colors and "fix" what the fixative darkened or dulled, however slightly.

Don
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Last edited by DAK723 : 05-12-2012 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:56 AM
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

Thanks everyone for the input so far. My pastels are stacking up by the dozen and I need a way to seal and store. But, we want to buy a good enough brand for the Artist Extrordinaire to use as well. So a workable fixative seems like the best choice. I did a lot of searching and found various opinions. I think I saw what you wrote DAK723 about three times. I figured another poll wouldn't hurt. Thanks again! Sorry about the other category, I messed up!
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:52 PM
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

I voted Spectrafix, it's non-toxic and doesn't darken colors (just a tad, hardly noticable). I rarely use even Spectrafix, but if I feel the need that's the one. I wouldn't use any other brand because of the deadening and darkening effects they have.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:30 PM
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

Spectrafix, only negative is the droplets that occasionally come out of the sprayer and must be worked over after they dry.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:56 PM
pasdontel pasdontel is offline
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Smile Re: Favorite workable fixative?

I just tried Spectra-fix and it will become a regular worker in my arsenal. But one that I have used and would still rely on is Lascaux or Sennelier. Both I feel don't darken or change the pastel to the naked eye. But spectra-fix can be sprayed right in the studio with no ill effects and that is tremendous. I hate having to take my work in progress outside to spray. Generally, however, I seldom use any fixative.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:34 AM
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

I use spectrafix because it can be used inside so it's not dependent on the weather, and I have literally soaked paintings (a friend has done this with all of her pastels) and it doesn't change the look of the pastel at all unless you have it at an angle and then it can drip down the painting so if it does get that wet I suggest you have it laying on a flat surface.

but, I often don't use any fixative at all. And I save my pastels i clear poly bags usually or with glassine put all around it front and back and taped all around it. most people who do this than put it between two pieces of foamboard, and tape each side to keep it safe or several paintings can be layered with the glassine and put in between two pieces of foamboard. another thing I have done is used the poly bags and used ones slightly larger than the paintings and hung them on those plastic hangers for skirts and pants. and stored them in a closet. that actually worked really well!

Sara
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:39 AM
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

My fix and store method is to fix the pastel (Spectrafix) if necessary then tape down in a cardboard portfolio (like these from Blick) http://www.dickblick.com/products/ca...ck-portfolios/
cover with glassine, then put another pastel over that, tape down, cover with glassine, etc., etc,...matching the sizes of paintings of course in separate portfolios. This method has stored and saved my pastels over the decades I have had them, some since 1970...and they survived two evacuations from fires and several home moves. I of course open the portfolios and check to make sure nothing has shifted every few years. Never had a smudge or problem and some of those old paintings on Canson look the same as they did when I painted them. I must mention that I store them flat in map drawers. Oh and I cut that black "sleeve" arrangement out of the portfolios with a razor blade when I buy them, they are just a nuisance...
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Last edited by adventureartist : 05-16-2012 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:10 PM
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

Spectrafix if I use any at all. That is totally because I cannot use anything with fumes because of migraines. But even if I could, I would use Spectrafix, because I think it is the best one out there.

Lynn
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:40 PM
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

Lascaux, but I don't mind the fumes I just spray it and leave it for a few hours in another room.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:55 PM
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

Quote:
Originally Posted by equinespirit
Lascaux, but I don't mind the fumes I just spray it and leave it for a few hours in another room.


I thought it was a final fixative?
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:05 PM
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Re: Favorite workable fixative?

You can work over it too, I often do the BG and spray that quite heavily so that I can go over it without the colours blending in.
Only spray very lightly when its finished though as it does darken and dull the colours if you spray heavily, but its very useful if you have a black BG and want fine white hairs over it for example.
You can also spray finely then work over that too
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