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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Why I Like to Use Workable Fixative

'Texas Spring'                 9 x 8.5                pastel                ©Karen Margulis
available $165
 I don't remember when I started using it. But I discovered that using workable fixative helped me simplify the complicated wildflower meadows I so loved to paint. I had a can of Blair workable fixative because I thought I needed to have some. It sat on my shelf for years. One day I decided to try it and to my horror it made the painting dark and dull. I layered pastel over the fixative and noticed something else interesting.....the pastel didn't go on smoothly. It skipped over the darkened pastel. Instead of being upset over this I was intrigued with the effect.

This darkening and fixing of the pastel layer gave the illusion of texture. It wasn't deep impasto texture but it made the grasses and flowers I added appear as though they were growing in dirt.  I was hooked.  I now use workable fixative in most of my landscape paintings that have grass and foliage.

I prefer Blair Very Low Odor Workable fixative but I wanted to see how other brands performed. I wanted to see if other workable fixatives gave this same darkening and textural effect. I did a test of four brands. Of the four the Blair VL Odor still was my favorite.  You can see the video review on my Patreon Page. If you aren't a member I promise you that the $4 monthly pledge is well worth it!! 

I tested this workable fixatives on my Patreon Page

About this painting: I wanted to love the Spectrafix fixative since it is natural with no odor but I didn't get the same effect with it. One of my patrons suggested I try to apply two layers of fixative before layering. I tried it and it does seem to give me the texture I love. The drawback is the Specrafix takes longer to dry. If I use it I will need to multitask and have some patience!

A close up view of the texture



Very beautiful art work !!!

Jason said...

Wow, I'm going to try this! Thanks Karen.