Whether you’re an experienced artist or just starting out, caring for your pastel paintings is essential to preserving their beauty and value for years to come. Pastels are a delicate medium, and they require special attention to maintain their vibrancy and quality. To help you keep your pastel paintings in tip-top shape, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to caring for your pastel artwork.
1. Proper Storage: When it comes to storing your pastel paintings, it’s important to keep them in a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight. Exposure to sunlight can cause the pastel colors to fade over time, so it’s best to store your paintings in a dark, climate-controlled space. Additionally, it’s a good idea to protect your pastel paintings with acid-free paper or glassine to prevent smudging and smearing.
2. Handling: When handling your pastel paintings, it’s crucial to be gentle and careful. Pastels are prone to smudging, so it’s best to hold them by the edges or use gloves to avoid transferring oils from your hands onto the artwork. If you need to transport your pastel paintings, consider using a protective covering to prevent any damage during transit.
3. Cleaning: Dust and dirt can accumulate on pastel paintings over time, so it’s essential to clean them regularly to maintain their appearance. To clean your pastel paintings, use a soft brush or a microfiber cloth to gently remove any debris. Avoid using water or cleaning solutions, as they can damage the delicate surface of the pastel artwork.
4. Framing: Proper framing is key to preserving and showcasing your pastel paintings. Opt for a high-quality, acid-free mat and backing board to protect the artwork from deterioration. Additionally, consider using UV-protected glass to shield the pastel colors from fading due to sunlight exposure. It’s best to have your pastel paintings professionally framed to ensure they are properly and securely mounted.
5. Avoid Fixatives: While fixatives can be used to protect pastel paintings from smudging, they can also alter the colors and texture of the artwork. It’s best to use fixatives sparingly and only when necessary. If you do decide to use a fixative, choose a high-quality, archival-grade product that won’t affect the integrity of the pastel colors.
By following these simple yet important steps, you can ensure that your pastel paintings remain beautiful and vibrant for years to come. Proper storage, handling, cleaning, framing, and maintenance are key to caring for your pastel artwork and preserving its value. With a little attention and care, your pastel paintings can continue to bring joy and inspiration for generations to come.