|'The Coming Storm' 11 x 14 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
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What do you do to a finished painting?
- I have always found that fixative darkened and dulled my colors so I preferred not to use them. I realize that there are some fixatives such as Spectrafix that claim not to change the colors, I have tried Spectrafix and have been pleased with the results. But I am so used to not spraying that I'd rather not take a chance with them. ( I once had a spray bottle squirt our blobs of fixative and ruin a painting so I don't want to take the chance of the happening again)
- I build up my paintings in thin layers on sanded surfaces so I have very little dust build-up. I find that a good whack on the back of a finished painting is enough to dislodge whatever loose pastel is on the paper. I store paintings in between layers of glassine paper until framed. If I sell an unframed painting I cover with glassine and give instruction for proper care. See my post here on shipping pastels.
|close up of the texture achieved with fixative|
|Spectrafix and Blair workable Fixative...my fixatives of choice|
When do you use fixative and what kind do you prefer?
- I love using workable fixative to create special effects. I take advantage of the fixative's darkening effect when I want to darken a passage in the painting.
- Fixative will restore tooth to overworked areas but the pastel layers on top of the fixative will be rougher. I happen to love this effect and exploit it.
- I find that working over a layer of dried fixative creates an interesting textural effect. The pastel skips over the 'fixed' layer allowing the darkened layer to peek through. (see photo)
- To get even more interest you can let the fixative drip or dribble on your painting. The little dark spots can be exciting in the right place.
- I have worked pastel into wet fixative for an almost sculptural effect.