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My Journey as a Creative Designer

I encourage comments from everyone!  Due to software restrictions, all comments need to be approved before showing.  I will check several times a day to approve comments and answer questions.  Enjoy the posts! This blog is cross-posted in several locations. If you wish to see my older blog posts, they are all archived at http://lumberjocks.com/scrollgirl/blog

Today's post will be pretty much to the point. I have already been out and back and have a multitude of tasks that I need to work on today. It is all a great deal of fun though, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Most of you have seen my completed pastel drawing of my dear cat Pancakes:



I have had such a wonderful response to it that I can't express my appreciation for your wonderful support. It really helps me feel as if I am heading in the right direction with my art and my work. Again - I am very grateful to Jason Morgan as well, for sharing his knowledge and love of art with us. I encourage those of you who are looking to learn from an expert to visit Jason's Patreon channel and consider supporting him. You will certainly be glad you did. I have learned more from him in the short time I have subscribed to his channel than I can ever tell you. 

With the drawing being complete, I found myself in a bit of a dilemma . . .

What can I do to protect the fragile pastels that I used to create this piece? 

Unlike watercolors or paint, pastels don't 'set' or 'dry' and they remain workable and movable on your paper until you fixate them in some way. Even if they are put under glass, they are still exposed to the elements (although to a lesser degree) and susceptible to damage. 

Because of their fragile nature, you can't just use anything to 'fix' and seal them. While I was creating the drawing, I had used a high end product that was meant for 'fixing' colored pencils and set the eye, as I had reached a stage when creating it that I thought was good. I wanted to 'freeze' the eye into place so that I wouldn't smudge it or ruin it while completing the drawing.  But once I sprayed the product, I noticed that many of the highlights were dulled and knocked out. The entire image appeared to be somewhat darker. 

I didn't panic because as I said - I was still in the drawing process. I simply re-applied the highlights as I continued to work. But it left the question in my mind as to how I would protect and fix this drawing while keeping its colors true. 

I asked around some of my forums, but didn't find a definitive answer. I realized that it would be up to me to try some things and experiment and I am pleased to let you know that I think I found an acceptable product. 

A while back, I invested in Krylon's Gallery Series Fine Art Fixatif.



I say "invested" because I think this 11 oz can cost me over $17. That is about twice the price of the usual Krylon Fixativ that I have used. I had originally bought it to use on my watercolor and colored pencil drawings, but have not used it as of yet. 

As you may be able to see, the label states that it provides "Invisible protection of artwork without dissolving whites and lights."  

That was good. It was as if they knew exactly what the problem with the other fixativ was.  It also said specifically that it "Safeguards pastel, charcoal and pencil from dusting, smudging and fading." 

Yay! That meant it that they had pastels in mind when they created this formula. Hopefully, it also meant that they were aware of the above mentioned issues that  I had encountered. I saw promise. 

In the old days of creating, I would have run right out and given ole' Pancakes a spray with it, hoping for the desired result. But call it age or experience of intelligence, I had learned in the past that things don't always do what they promise. I was using Krylon's Temporary Spray Adhesive for applying my scroll saw patterns and the quality recently had diminished so much that I won't touch the stuff anymore. I had hoped that this wouldn't be the case here (especially since it cost so much!) and I have LEARNED to TEST on a benign piece first.  (Ahh - you CAN teach an old girl new tricks after all!) 

So here is what I did . . . 

I took some white Pastelmat paper (the same type of paper I used on Pancakes - only WHITE) and applied a range of pastel colors. I also applied white over them so I could check for the highlights fading out. 





For good measure, I took the end scrap from the same paper I did the Pancakes drawing on. I also put a variety of colors on it. 




I then placed a sheet of cardboard over half of the drawings and taped them to a board. I sprayed a good, solid layer of the Krylon Gallery Series Fine Art Fixatif over it:



Below are my result:



I tried my very best to take the photos in the same place in the same light and not adjust them at all.  You can see that the Krylon did pretty well. 

The division line is barely discernible. I used the red arrows to show where it actually is. There is a very (VERY) faint difference between the two sides, but even side to side, it is hard to see. These were taken in pure, indirect daylight. 

Even on the dark paper on the bottom, you can't see any fading to speak of. 

I think we have a 'winner'. :) 

Now I am sure you are waiting for the photo of the Pancakes picture sprayed, and I must admit that I am still getting my nerve to do it. Even though the tests came out well, I am sure my artist friends can empathize with my reservations about actually spraying it. I am mustering up the courage to do so later today. 

I invite anyone else who has had experience with this product to share it with me. Good or bad, I would love to hear from you. 

In other things, my pumpkin is in the oven and on its way to being worked on today:



My Merry Christmas is also on my painting table and the first stage of painting is nearly complete. (YES - I WILL have the wood cutout available on my site for those who want it! I have already been asked by several people. :) )



(Sorry the picture isn't the best!)

It will be a busy and creative weekend. I need to shoot a video with some of the techniques that I am using on the pumpkin, too. That is going to be a really fun project. 

I wish you all a great Friday today and a wonderful weekend ahead. It is overcast, cold and rainy here in Nova Scotia. I made a large pot of vegetable beef soup and I have some bread to go in the oven (after the pumpkin is out, of course!) and it is a good day to stay in and curl up with my art supplies and kitties. I think I will spend the entire weekend doing so! 

Enjoy your weekend as well and do something wonderfully creative! You will be amazed at how uplifting it can be! 

Happy Friday!
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