If you have received your very own piece of original fine-artwork, a soft pastel portrait of your horse/dog or if you have gifted a portrait to a loved one, please read!
Pastels are unique in that they do not dry out and crack over time, like oil and acrylic paintings. Pastel is one of the most permanent art mediums. The permanence of your custom portrait depends on it’s framing, handling and care. When properly framed and securely hung, the pastel particles will stay fixed in place for centuries to present you with a timeless treasure with the same richness in colour and no deterioration. As soft pastel has less binders and more pigment, your pure pigment pastel piece will stay bright, velvety and beautiful as long as you remember these few tips.
As pastel is easily smudged it is important not to touch the surface and must be handled with extreme care while it is unframed. While it is ok to keep your fine-artwork in its protective packaging for short term storage, it is strongly advised to have it professionally framed behind glass as soon as possible to protect your artwork from accidental smudges and preserve your portrait. I recommend keeping your artwork in it’s protective case right up until the moment in goes into the frame to avoid over-handling and creasing the portrait. Pastel paintings require extra special care when framing. With an excellent framer you can expect to receive acid-free, archival materials with a high-quality backing board and mats to ensure the longevity of the artwork. I have a whole article dedicated solely on how to frame your pastel portrait here. It is also important to hang your artwork in a place that avoids direct sunlight, extreme heat and high humidity. I go into greater depth on this in my article Where to hang your Artwork.
Unframed pastel paintings should be stored with the acid-free glassine paper. I send all portraits out with this to prevent any smudging of the pastel. Until the portrait is ready to be framed it is safest to keep the portrait in it’s hard case packaging with the provided sheet of glassine paper over the surface of the artwork and stored face up or upright in a dry place out of direct sunlight or areas where there is possibility for high heat exposure such as in a hot car or near a fireplace. Areas with moisture are not going to be good for the longevity of the work so places such as bathroom and kitchen are not acceptable storage locations. Like most art mediums, protection from the elements is essential to guarantee your work’s perpetuity.
Your custom artwork will be enjoyed for years to come!