Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I discovered several things this week that don't please me. The latest involved the drawing that I uploaded last night in the previous post. It being pastel and prone to shedding its pigment everywhere, I decided I would give it a quick spray of fixative to ensure that it stayed put.

I don't know if it was the paper or the type of pastel but I sprayed it and the colour faded and darkened to a mere shadow of itself! So I've spent some of tonight reapplying pastel to the paper. It doesn't look quite the same however and I wish I had known that fixative would have this effect. I guess because the surface is so rough there was probably little chance of the pastel coming off too much, but old habits die hard. I've learned a lesson.

The other learning experience is that of understanding people. Or not understanding them. There are reasonable people in the world and then there are unreasonable who you cannot get through to no matter how hard you try. I come across both in work and in my personal life and neither cease to amaze and both can make me soar or sink.

I think its why I prefer animals in many cases. This photo was taken on Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands which are off the west coast of Ireland and was taken in about 1975. I stayed on the island for about 3 days. The donkey was friendly and reasonable.


Katherine said...

Oh gosh - 1975 (sigh.........)

One's first experience with fixative always seems to be a very salutory experience!

Yes that's what fixative does very often. I use abrasive supports so I can avoid using fixative - I pin my up afterwards to 'harden off' in the air - that's after I've given them a great big thwack on the back to remove as much loose stuff as possible.

Now if you want to use paper the trick with fixative is to use it sparingly and often - basically fixing as you go - and then don't fix the top level if you know you can keep it from being smudged. That way there's minimal dust to deal with and minamal deadening of the pastel.

Jeanette said...

Yes, I know. A zillion years ago...bigger sigh.

I haven't had this problem with fixatives before Katherine, that's what puzzles me. Its as if the drawing disappeared! I figured it was the paper or the pastels, who knows?

I shall keep your tips in mind for next time. Thanks.