Art Supplies

What is the meaning of the art term Pastel Fixative?

A pastel fixative is a type of spray that is used to protect and preserve pastel artwork. When applied, it creates a thin, transparent layer over the pastel pigments, preventing smudging and smearing. It also helps to prevent the colors from fading over time.

Fixatives are available in different types, including workable and final fixatives. Workable fixatives allow for additional layers of pastel to be applied on top, while final fixatives create a permanent, protective layer that cannot be reworked.

When using a pastel fixative, it is important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure proper application and preservation of the artwork.
Pastel fixative is a type of varnish that is specifically designed for use with pastel artwork. Its primary purpose is to prevent smudging, smearing, and fading of the delicate pastel pigments, as they are prone to smearing due to their soft and powdery nature.

The fixative comes in the form of a spray or liquid and contains a combination of resins, solvents, and propellants. The resins used in the formulation create a protective layer over the pastel surface once it dries, effectively securing the pigments in place. The solvents help in dissolving the resins and aiding in the even distribution of the fixative when it is applied.

While there are different brands and types of fixatives available, artists commonly use workable fixative or final fixative based on their specific needs. Workable fixative allows artists to continue working on their pastel drawings after applying a thin layer of fixative. It helps to set the initial layers of pastel and prevents them from smudging, without completely sealing the surface. This allows artists to add additional layers of pastel, make corrections, or make adjustments to values and colors.

Final fixative, on the other hand, is used as a protective coating once the artwork is completed and no further changes are intended. It creates a more durable and permanent layer over the pastel surface, protecting it from smudging, moisture, and UV light exposure. It helps in preserving the vibrancy, color accuracy, and longevity of the pastel artwork.

When applying pastel fixative, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. It is recommended to apply the fixative in a well-ventilated area or outdoor space due to the presence of solvents. Additionally, it is important to hold the can at a distance from the artwork to ensure an even and light application, as excessive spraying can alter the texture and appearance of the artwork.

When using fixative, it is essential to remember that it slightly alters the surface of the pastel, creating a more pronounced, glossy finish. Therefore, it is advisable to test the fixative on a small piece of scrap paper or an inconspicuous area of the artwork before applying it to the whole surface. This helps the artist gauge the effect of the fixative on the colors and texture before committing to its application.

Pastel fixative is a valuable tool for pastel artists to protect and preserve their delicate and powdery medium. It allows artists to prevent smudging and fading, prolong the life of their artwork, and confidently share and display their pastel creations.
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Made from a vinyl resin and alcohol base, this totally transparent fixative leaves a clear and glossy film to protect oil pastels against dust and smearing... Illustration And Drawing Supplies.

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