It’s Friiiiiiday! And it’s question time for one of Pastel Today’s Advisory Board members. Today, Nancie King Mertz answers the question – Do you use spray fixative?
Here’s Nancie with her answer.
“Ordinarily, I do not use spray fixative with plein air and live demos, because I need the wetting agent to dry as soon as possible. So I use denatured 99% alcohol. SpectraFix, the spray fixative I use occasionally and only in my studio, takes a bit longer to dry, but hey…I’m in my studio with no one at my shoulder! The company recently offered a misting pump spray bottle, which I prefer over their original pump that spattered a bit.
IF I use spray fixative, it’s ONLY at the very initial stage when I have laid down the dark shapes. I use it to wet the darks and brush them around in a painterly manner.
When dry, I can easily paint on top of the darks with mid-to-light values since the darks are “set.” I do not use the fixative again at any other stage of my painting because it will darken and dull my colour choices. In my photo examples, you can see that I can brush with one hand and spray with the other. Again, only at the start.
The surface I’m painting on is a 23 ½ x 20 ¼ Gatorboard that I prepared with Liquitex clear gesso with pumice added. When I squirt on the gesso, I also squirt on 2-3 different hues of acrylic paint and then brush the entire mess around the surface with a 1-2 inch brush.
I love this surface for larger pieces for several reasons:
- It provides an interesting, underlying texture and colour (optional)
- Although the pastel glides over the ridges to layer colour, the pumice tooth holds the pastel well
- It’s easier on my finger as I tend to flick an edge after laying down the mark and it’s not as abrasive as sanded paper.
And there you have it! Thanks so much, Nancie for sharing your spray fixative use and part of your creative process!
You can see more of Nancie’s painting process in her video on Urban Pastel Painting.
The Paintbrush – A PleinAir Salon Honourable Mention
Tim Reilly’s pastel painting took an Honourable Mention in the October PleinAir Salon. I love the focus on this one object – a paintbrush. And, the title of the piece – Legacy – conjures up all sorts of narrative possibilities. What’s your story about this painting?
You too could have a winning entry!! Click to ENTER. This is the last Salon competition in 2022!
And that’s it for this time!