My first pastel painting...NOW WHAT!?!

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Patsel wrote
on 8 May 2014 7:57 PM

Hi all. New here. I've done a little acrylic painting in the past, but really wanted to try pastel painting after seeing some pretty cool stuff online. I picked up some cheap pastels and some canson paper. My first pastel painting turned out much better than I'd anticipated. I had lots of fun making this. I real love this medium. However...and a BIG however, now that I'm done, I don't know what to do with this!!!  taped it up to the back of a door to paint it and now I'm afraid to take it down. It seems super delicate. I've read mainly bad things about fixative. And I called Michael's about framing and they want like $250!!? (It's 25x19 paper.) At least in acrylic I can finish throw some varnish on it and it's strong enough to drag with a truck. I mainly give them away. But I just don't know what to do with this? I'm afraid that this medium may be a little too high maintenance for me. Any advice? Thanks! Pat

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Arkart wrote
on 9 May 2014 9:36 PM

Pastel paintings are not that fragile if you used a paper with "tooth". You can frame them like anything else that's on paper - needs to be under glass (not plexiglass because it has static electricity) and can be matted or not. Lots of "opinions" about the "correct" way to frame but it's not that complicated. I've painted with pastels for 20 years and it's a great medium.

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Patsel wrote
on 9 May 2014 10:37 PM

Thanks Arkart. Do you frame your own? And can you point me towards a source on exactly how to do this?

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Arkart wrote
on 10 May 2014 2:22 PM

If you want to keep a pastel for awhile without framing, cover it with wax paper or glassine ($$$) and store flat. You can stack a lot of paintings without problems. Canson paper is sturdy and the pastel will not fall off. Just try to brush it off and stat over and you’ll see it sticks pretty good especially if you want to reuse the paper for a different painting.

There are two schools of thought about framing pastels:

1.     Mat them by placing a spacer between the painting and the mats to hold the glass away from the painting surface. The space allows pastel dust to fall behind the mat.

2.     Place the glass directly on the painting (no mat) and seal the back tightly with tape to keep the air out and painting tight in the frame.

Both methods use glass – not plexiglass (static electricity pulls off the pastel particles) and backing board like foam core (not cardboard) as the support. I have framed both ways and found the first method to be extremely problematic. You need a frame with a deep rabbit for layers of glass, mat board, spacer, foam core and the painting. It makes the piece heavy and the mats get dirty anyway. This is probably the method the framer would use and that’s why it’s so expensive.

When I read that the French have been placing the glass directly on the painting and sealing the back for years with no problems I started doing it that way and have never looked back.

If you use museum glass ($$$), it looks like an oil painting and I’ve noticed that pastels in the big competitive shows are framed that way quite often.

Also, as an aside – get some quality (not cheap student grade) pastels. The difference is night and day.

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arkart

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qblin wrote
on 25 Jun 2014 4:35 AM

post comparison photo up,can see how the matter levels painting

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