Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More on Glassless Framing for Pastels - Japanese Chin

I've completed the little Japanese Chin dog and have been working on finishing it for glassless framing.  I used the PVA glue method for the pastel layers and that worked well, I've never had a problem using diluted PVA.
However, I have had problems with the final varnish coats this time.  I'm using Golden's UV Gloss Varnish for the final, protective coats and have gotten tiny little bubbles.  Golden says to watch for these (and also foam) when applying with a brush but it doesn't say how to get rid of them if you get them!

So, I've had to let the portrait dry completely then I've used a very fine sandpaper to sand out the bubbles then  I've used ammonia to smooth and even out any marks that were left.  I don't know if this i the correct way to handle the bubbles but it seems to have worked for me.  If anyone knows of a better way, please let me know!

BTW, if you use ammonia in any way, please open a window or make sure there is plenty of ventilation and don't expose yourself to it for more than a few seconds at a time!  Ammonia can do great damage to lungs!

I want to add that I tried brushing on the varnish this time and do not recommend doing that at all.  You get a much nicer finish if you spray on the varnish.

It's been frustrating for me but I hope my experience helps someone else in the future!


sue said...

Well I appreciate that this is all part of the learning curve Jan, but it sounds like a lot of work and headaches to me :o)

Thanks for sharing your experiences - somehow I don't think I'll be doing much glassless framing!

Hope this works out well as its such a lovely portrait by the way

Jan said...

I agree with you, Sue. Actually, it's really not a whole lot of work when it all goes right but the thing that bothers me most is that it no longer looks like a pastel when it's finished!

However, it's also a royal pain to try to ship a traditional pastel. Pastel's my favorite medium for pet portraits but think I'll switch to something else for portraits to be shipped!

Jan said...

Oh, even if I painted the pets in acrylics, I'd still have to varnish them & could have the same problem with the bubbles.

Dors said...

Thank you Jan for sharing your problems. You experiment far more than I would ever dare... Good for you. It's all trial and error.
Maybe one day I may step out of my comfort zone and experiment like you
There is so much to learn from you.

Teresa said...

Every medium has its little quirks and "challenges" it seems. Good for you for experimenting!

Jan said...

Dors, Teresa, I know I'm very unconventional and I truly believe that if it works, do it! I like to experiment to find a better way. I know the experiments don't always work as well as I would hope they would but that's part of learning.

I think I'm about ready to give up on glassless pastels though. I wish there was a way to keep them looking like pastel while removing the risk of having it all fall off!

As Teresa said, every medium has it's own set of problems along with its beauty!