Hey there, fellow pastel artists! We know the drill – you’ve worked hours on a pastel piece, and it’s looking just the way you want it.
You’re just about ready to call it a day when, bam! One slight smudge, and your masterpiece is looking like it had a run-in with a dust storm.
It’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out, right? Well, fret no more, my artsy amigos. That’s where fixative for pastels come in to save the day!
This magic-in-a-can helps you preserve the vibrancy and texture of your pastel artwork, protecting it from smudges and dust.
So, stick around as we dive deep into the wonderful world of fixatives for pastels – consider this your all-access pass!
When purchasing a fixative for pastels, it is important to pay attention to the type of fixative and its intended use.
Workable fixative is ideal for artists who want to continue working on their drawing, while final fixative is ideal for artists who want to protect their final piece.
It is also important to consider the toxicity of the fixative and ensure that it is safe to use indoors.
We spent hours researching and testing various fixatives for pastels to identify the ones that provide the best protection and longevity for pastel artwork.
**This page may contain affiliate links to products I have used or recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.**
Best Fixatives for Pastels
We know that as a pastel artist, you want your artwork to last for a long time.
Fixative sprays are the perfect solution to preserve your pastel drawings. They protect your artwork from smudging, dust, and fading.
However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the best one for your needs. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best fixatives for pastels to help you make an informed decision.
Our roundup includes fixatives that are easy to use, versatile, and provide excellent results.
So, let’s dive into our top picks and find the perfect fixative for your pastel artwork.
If you’re looking for a fixative spray for your pastel drawings, we highly recommend the Krylon Workable Fixatif Spray.
- Protects computer prints, pencil, pastel and chalk drawings
- Prevents smudging, wrinkling and allows for easy reworking of the artwork
- Acid-free and archival safe
- Contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm
- May have a strong odor
- Can cause the artwork to darken slightly
We’ve used this spray on several of our pastel drawings, and it’s been a game-changer. It prevents smudging and wrinkling, which is especially important if you plan on framing your artwork. Plus, it allows for easy reworking of the artwork if you need to make any changes.
One thing to keep in mind is that this spray contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm, so it’s important to use it in a well-ventilated area and avoid inhaling the fumes.
Additionally, it may have a strong odor, so we recommend using it outside or in a well-ventilated area.
As committed pastel artists, we found the Sennelier Latour Spray Fixative for Pastels to be a revelation. We all know the feeling of heartbreak when an accidental smudge or layer of dust compromises a beautiful pastel piece. This fixative, though, safeguards our creations from such unfortunate events.
Specifically tailored for soft pastels, this blend of resin and alcohol applies smoothly, preserving the delicate hues and vibrancy of our pastel colors without any discoloration or yellowing.
What we achieve is the most unblemished, non-yellowing matte finish – almost as if nothing has been applied at all. What truly resonates with us about this product is not just its ability to protect our pastel artwork, but also its capability to seal it onto the base, increasing resistance against environmental elements.
However, to experience the best results, we’ve found that the fixative should be applied in light, repeated layers. This requirement might seem a bit tedious to some of us, but trust us, the end results are worth the extra effort!
- Tailored specifically for soft pastels, ensuring optimal protection.
- Provides a transparent, non-yellowing matte finish, keeping the artwork as close to the original as possible.
- Seals the pastel onto the support, enhancing its resistance against environmental factors.
- Repeated light applications are necessary for maximum protection, which might seem time-consuming.
- The alcohol-based solution might not suit all types of paper or pastel types.
- While it does an excellent job of preserving pastel artwork, it might not be as effective with mixed media pieces.
Winsor & Newton Artists’ Aerosols Workable Fixative, Transparent – 400ML, 1 Count (Pack of 1),Charcoal
If you’re looking for a fixative that can preserve your pastel work for the long term, then Winsor & Newton Artists’ Aerosols Workable Fixative is a great option. It can also help prevent smudging while working on your art piece.
- Can be used on charcoal, pastel, pencil & chalk drawings
- Protects from smudging & dust
- Enables the top of the surface to be continually worked by the artist
- May darken the color tone
- Can remove some pastel if sprayed too heavily
- The nozzle may detach from the bottle during shipping
We used this fixative on our pastel drawings and it worked like a charm. The transparent fixative did not affect the color of the pastel, and it improved the adhesion of particles to the surface, which made our work look even better. The fixative also allows us to keep working on the surface, which is a great feature.
One thing to note is that the fixative may darken the color tone slightly, so it’s best to test it out on a small part of your work first. Also, be careful not to spray too heavily, or it may remove some of the pastel.
Overall, Winsor & Newton Artists’ Aerosols Workable Fixative is a great choice for artists who want to preserve their pastel work for the long term and prevent smudging. Just be careful when using it and test it out on a small area first.
If you’re looking for a fixative for your pastel artwork, the SENNELIER HC10 Spray Fixative is a great option to consider. Here’s what we found after using it:
- Highly concentrated fixative made from protective acrylic resin
- Lightfast, permanent and water-resistant
- Does not yellow
- Strong solvent smell, not suitable for indoor use
- May not make pencil lines smudge-proof
- Slightly more expensive than other fixatives
In terms of performance, the SENNELIER HC10 Spray Fixative does a great job at protecting your artwork without altering its appearance. The acrylic resin formula is highly concentrated, making it more effective at preserving the colors and details of your pastel, charcoal, or watercolor artwork. It also works well with ink, acrylic, gilding, or photos, and can be used on a variety of surfaces including paper, canvas, wood, glass, ceramic, porcelain, or walls.
One thing to note is that the fixative has a strong solvent smell, which may not be suitable for indoor use. We recommend using it in a well-ventilated area or outdoors to avoid inhaling the fumes. Additionally, while it does make the artwork water-resistant, it may not make pencil lines smudge-proof, so keep that in mind when using it.
Overall, the SENNELIER HC10 Spray Fixative is a reliable fixative that will protect your artwork from fading, smudging, or yellowing. It’s slightly more expensive than other fixatives, but the concentration and effectiveness make up for it. If you’re looking for a high-quality fixative that will preserve your pastel artwork for years to come, this is definitely worth considering.
In our artistic endeavors, the Sennelier D’Artigny Pastel Fixative has proven to be a staple in our oil pastel arsenal. Nothing deflates the joy of artistic creation quite like seeing a painstakingly made oil pastel piece compromised by dust or smearing. But thanks to this transparent fixative, we can confidently put those fears to bed.
The D’Artigny Pastel Fixative, made from a combination of vinyl resin and alcohol, applies seamlessly, leaving a clear, glossy film that does an exceptional job of protecting our oil pastels. The finish it gives is not only protective but enhances the richness of the pastels, giving them an added depth and vibrancy. And the fact that it comes in a 400 ml aerosol spray can makes application a breeze.
However, we’ve found it’s best to apply it in a well-ventilated area due to the alcohol base, and while it does a superb job on oil pastels, its performance on other mediums may vary.
- Designed specifically for oil pastels, providing excellent protection.
- The transparent fixative leaves a clear, glossy film, enhancing the depth and vibrancy of the artwork.
- The 400 ml aerosol spray can allows for easy, even application.
- The strong alcohol base means it’s necessary to use it in a well-ventilated area.
- Primarily designed for oil pastels and may not perform as well with other mediums.
- The glossy finish may not be desirable for all artists or for all types of pieces.
We highly recommend the Krylon Fixatif Aerosol Spray for anyone who wants to protect their delicate dry media artwork.
- Provides invisible protection to your fragile dry media
- Includes an 11-ounce can
- Conforms to ASTM D 4236
- Danger. Extremely flammable-vapors may cause flash fires. Contents under pressure. Vapor harmful.
- Not suitable for dry pastels
- May darken colors
We recently tried the Krylon Fixatif Aerosol Spray and were impressed with the results. The spray provided a clear, matte finish that protected our artwork from smudging and fading. We appreciated that it was easy to use and came in a generously sized 11-ounce can.
One of the standout features of this fixative is that it conforms to ASTM D 4236, which means it has been tested and certified to be safe for use in art. We also liked that it provided invisible protection to our artwork, so it didn’t alter the colors or texture of our pieces.
However, we did find that the spray was not suitable for dry pastels, as it caused the colors to darken and lose their crispness. Additionally, the warning label on the can was alarming, cautioning that the contents were under pressure and could cause flash fires. We recommend using this product in a well-ventilated area and taking all necessary precautions.
Overall, the Krylon Fixatif Aerosol Spray is a great choice for protecting your dry media artwork. We were impressed with its ease of use, clear finish, and safety certifications. Just be sure to avoid using it on dry pastels and take caution when using it due to its flammable nature.
When it comes to choosing the right fixative for your pastel artwork, there are a few things to consider. Here are some factors to keep in mind when selecting a fixative:
Type of Pastel
The type of pastel you use will affect the type of fixative you need. Soft pastels, for example, require a fixative that will hold the powdery pigment in place without dulling the colors. Hard pastels, on the other hand, may require a fixative that provides a stronger bond to keep the pigment from rubbing off.
The surface you are working on will also play a role in determining the type of fixative you need. If you are working on a delicate or textured surface, you may need a fixative that will not damage or alter the surface. If you are working on a smooth surface, you may need a fixative that will provide a stronger bond to keep the pigment in place.
Consider how you will be applying the fixative. Some fixatives come in spray cans, while others come in bottles with atomizers or pump sprays. Some fixatives can be brushed on, while others require a specific application method. Consider which method will work best for you and your artwork.
It is important to consider the safety of the fixative you choose. Some fixatives may contain toxic chemicals or have strong odors. Look for fixatives that are non-toxic and have low odor. Additionally, make sure to use the fixative in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask if necessary.
Fixatives can vary in price depending on the brand and type. Consider your budget and how frequently you will be using the fixative when making your selection.
By considering these factors, you can choose the best fixative for your pastel artwork.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can we protect our soft pastel drawings without using fixative?
If you prefer not to use fixative spray to protect your pastel drawings, there are a few alternatives you can try. One option is to use a fixative-free pastel paper, which has a surface that holds pastel pigment without smudging. Another option is to frame your artwork behind glass, which will not only protect it from smudging but also from dust and UV light.
What are some alternatives to fixative spray for preserving pastel artwork?
In addition to fixative spray, there are a few other options for preserving pastel artwork. You can try using a workable fixative, which allows you to continue working on your drawing without smudging while still providing some protection. Another option is to use a fixative gel, which can be applied with a brush and provides a similar level of protection as spray fixative.
What is the best fixative spray for pencil drawings?
If you are looking for a fixative spray specifically for pencil drawings, we recommend using a workable fixative. This type of fixative allows you to continue working on your drawing without smudging while still providing some protection.
Can you varnish over fixative on pastel artwork?
It is not recommended to varnish over fixative on pastel artwork. The varnish may react with the fixative and cause discoloration or other damage to the artwork. If you want to protect your pastel artwork further, consider framing it behind glass.
What is the most effective fixative for preserving pastel artwork?
The most effective fixative for preserving pastel artwork will depend on your personal preferences and the specific needs of your artwork. Some artists prefer a stronger fixative for maximum protection, while others prefer a lighter fixative that allows for more workability. Experiment with different types of fixatives to find the one that works best for you.
Does hairspray work as a good fixative for pastels?
While hairspray can be used as a fixative for pastels in a pinch, it is not recommended for long-term preservation. Hairspray is not designed for use with artwork and may cause discoloration or other damage over time. It is best to use a fixative specifically designed for use with pastels.