It Used to Look Nice

Cardinal by Meg Lyman

5×7″ Pastel

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I spent a fairly long time working on this cardinal. It was my first time using pastels on Pastelbord, and I liked it. I overworked it a bit, but at least I’m starting to get the hang of pastels, and when to use the cheapies vs. the Senneliers. I was pretty happy with the piece.

Then I tried to be adventurous. I have fixative spray for Claybord. I know they make fixative specifically for pastels, but this fixative was specifically for Claybord. I thought, what the hell, might as well try it. …… BAD idea. I really hope I can help someone avoid learning this lesson the hard way. Oh well… I’d never learn anything if I didn’t take chances.

This is what it looked like before.

4 thoughts on “It Used to Look Nice”

  1. Wow, what a difference – and what a shame. Thanks for sharing this – I’m an amateur with pastels and I’m finding your blog really helpful and fun. I like that you share your works – the good and bad and your commentary often makes me giggle.

  2. Christy,

    Thanks for your comment. Glad I’m being helpful! If I’ve prevented even one disaster, then I’m doing great.

    Good luck pastelling! I’m pretty new, too. But beware of the addiction.

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience with alternate fixatives. Pastel works well with so many other things it would seem a logical thing to try.

    I use Krylon Workable Fixative, but avoid it on the final layers. Anything wet seems to take the sparkle out of the pastel.

    There’s a big difference in the before and after pictures, but the subdued colors have their own attractive quality.

  4. Thanks for your comment, Lisa. I agree that this work still has some merits – the fixative didn’t trash it. It’s just different. In a not-as-good-way. Yeah.

    I should note that it doesn’t look AS bad as it did when I scanned this, which was right after I fixed it. Time mellowed the change a slight bit. Not much, though… it still looks more like the first than the second. I’m going to wait a couple more weeks to see if it gets better.

    I have krylon fixative, but haven’t tried it with pastels. I use it mostly on graphite. I’ll have to give it a try during one of my pastel sessions. Thanks!

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