I heard from my client this weekend and she loves the painting of Libby - whew! I have it propped up in my studio where I can see it and I've decided that I like it. That's kind of scary to me as when I like a painting of my own, many times others don't like it at all!
This time it's worked out though and both my client and I like the painting!
Now, on to the glassless preparation. I've used workable fixative between the layers of the painting as I painted it where Jana uses PVA between layers. I'll use a couple of layers of the PVA as a barrier between the painting and the final finish and that will probably require touching up after each spray before the final PVA layer. After the final barrier layer is completely dry, I'll spray with Golden's UV protectant acrylic varnish. It's time consuming to mix the spray materials, spray, wait for it to dry, touch up any "melted" pastel, spray again, touch up again etc. until the pastel has enough build up to look as it's intended. At that time the final varnish coat can be applied.
It's really not as complicated as it sounds but just takes time to get right. The end result is worth it though and my customer will be able to ship the painting to its destination without the danger of the pastel being smudged or damaged. Also, there will be no glass to break in transit! The colors remain brilliant and the painting should be preserved for many, many years to come!