One of the reasons pastel paintings are so beautifully unique is the quality of the pure color particles and how they catch and reflect the light. Pastels are pure pigments applied to heavy paper or textured board.
Pastel pigments are dry, held together with a small amount of binder and shaped into round or square sticks. These pigments are the same as those used in liquid paints such as oils or watercolors. Well cared for pastel works from over 200 years ago are as fresh and brilliant as the day they were created because pastel doesn’t discolor, fade or crack like liquid paints.
Pastel paintings are very resistant over time as long as they are properly cared for. In order to prevent damages, the surface of a pastel painting should never be touched. Pastel paintings need to be framed under glass. If you don’t have framing experience, it is recommended that you use a professional framer. Keep the painting covered with the sheet of glassine paper or in the clear bag until it can be framed. Hang the painting in a place that avoids direct sunlight, extreme heat or high humidity.
Because using heavy layers of fixative can change the colors as well as destroy the reflective quality, I do not use fixative on my paintings. For this reason, in the process of shipping a painting, small amount of pastel particles may become dislodged. This is no way affects the quality of the painting. Using a spacer (passe partout) in framing will allow pigment particles not to stick to the glass.