Caring for your Pastel Pet Portrait Artwork
Your pastel pet portrait is a work of fine art. I use only the best materials for its creation, and with the right care, your pet portrait will last for many lifetimes.
What are Pastels?
Pastels are made up of pure powdered pigments, they are mixed with very little binder to form either sticks, pencils or pans. The small amount of binder that is added means that the resulting effect is a high amount of pure pigment, which forms a very vibrant colour. The pigments that are used are the same that are used in the production of both oil and watercolour paint.
Pastels will last an incredibly long time with appropriate care. Unlike oil paintings, they will not crack or darken over time, and the result is as permanent. There are pieces of pastel artwork that were created in the 1800's which are still as vibrant as when they were first drawn.
Your pastel portrait may shed a few particles of pigment when new. This is normal and will not damage the image. The surface will become more solid with time and shedding will stop. Please do not attempt to rub or brush away fallen particles, as you may mar the surface of your portrait. Lightly shake them off.
Where Should I Hang my Pastel Pet Portrait?
The most important thing is to choose a dry place indoors out of direct sunlight. Sunlight, even filtered through a window, is the enemy of all fine artwork. It degrades the paper and can fade pigments. Dampness may damage paper and even allow mould to grow on paintings. Outside walls, basement walls and stone or concrete walls may transmit dampness, so avoid hanging art on them. An ideal spot is an interior wall which doesn't have any nearby windows. Bedrooms, sitting rooms and hallways are often the best places for fine artworks. Any rooms that may have damp air, such as bathrooms and kitchens are best avoided.
How do I Frame my Pastel Pet Portrait?
I personally recommend taking your portrait to a professional framer. If this is not an option here are some tips for framing it yourself.
Your pastel pet portrait will arrive ready mounted using acid-free archival framing materials. If you decide you want a different mount once it arrives, you must use the same quality materials. Cheap mat-board or cardboard backings will stain and cause yellowing to your portrait, so take your pastel pet portrait to a framer to be remounted using conservation standard materials.
Do not spray any kind of fixative on your pet portrait as this changes the colour.
Purchase a frame deep enough to hold the glass, a mount, backing board and spacer.
The pastel should never touch the glass, using the acid-free mount I provide, prevents this.
Do not use plexiglass or acrylic instead of glass for pastels, as the electrostatic charge will attract fine particles of pastel off your pet portrait.
Seal up the back of the frame with tape to prevent any dust from being able to enter the frame.
Once framed be gentle with it, do not hammer any hardware in afterwards as it will dislodge the pastel. Do any frame adjustments before putting your portrait into the frame.
Always transport your pastel pet portrait facing up.
Pastels are as durable, if not more so than many other portrait mediums. They will last just as long as a painting, so do not be afraid to purchase one. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me.
What are Coloured Pencils?
You may be more familiar with coloured pencils, although you are maybe more likely to have heard of Crayola than Caran d'Ache. All coloured pencils consist of pigment and a binder to hold the pigment so it can be applied to the paper. I use both pencils with an oil binder and with a wax binder. The use of wax-based media in crayons can be traced back to the Greek Golden Age. Wax-based materials have appealed to artists for centuries due to their resistance to decay, the vividness and brilliance of their colours, and their rendering qualities.
The same rules apply for coloured pencil portraits in terms of care and framing as pastel artwork. The only difference is the mount I supply does not have a gutter for any powder fallout, as this is not an issue with coloured pencil.
Caring for your Coloured Pencil Pet Portrait
If you've got some questions on how to care for your portrait, why not get in touch.
How Your Pastel Pet Portrait Will Arrive
Your pastel pet portrait will arrive mounted. This means there is a sheet of mountboard at the back and a border around the front. These are stuck together along the left edge so they can be opened like a book.
Your portrait will have a sheet of glassine paper covering it. Simply lift this off to see your portrait. It is best to keep your portrait covered until it can be framed.