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This tip is from Jennifer Blenkinsopp at ArtWanted.com:
It is a waste of time (and expensive art materials,) in trying to force yourself to paint when you are not in the mood. Here are a few personal tips on getting oneself motivated and finding the time to do some art: 1. Have a source of income other than art, so that you can paint when you feel like it - not just when you need money for food, rent and beer! 2. Have a bit of space, (a spare room, well-lit garage - or even just a corner of the living room if you are not lucky enough to have your own studio,) where you can leave all of your gear out. That way, when the mood strikes, you will not have the bother of getting all your art materials and accoutrements out before you can even start. This is a great way of maximizing your precious painting time... 3. Unplug the computer! 4. Unplug the TV 5. Put on some nice music. 6. Take the dogs for a walk first. Get them tired-out - and then you can concentrate on your art! 7. Open a can of cold beer or a bottle of nice red wine. 8. Get some painting done before you fall asleep!
I have had countless problems with pastel fixatives and I have totally ruined many a good painting by using too much of the stuff. The first solution here is to use as little as you can get away with - and never fix your final layer. Just be very careful with the painting until you can get it framed behind glass... However, if like me - (and as suggested in another tip by Jennifer Blenkinsopp) - you like to work in layers; you will definitely not be able to completely avoid using pastel fixatives. My advice here is to simply go for the very highest quality product that you can lay your hands on... For one thing, the price of a very high-quality pastel fixative will put you off using too much of it!! And you will stand much less chance of getting any very undesirable "frosting" effects if you do accidentally use too much. My fixative of choice is the one made for pastels by Senellier. (Senellier also do a very similar fixative which has been formulated especially for charcoal drawings. I find that it also works very well with pastels but it does seem to be a bit lighter - and so you really need to use more of it when working with pastels...) I can not get hold of Senellier fixative in the Philippines but I find that the museum grade varnish, satin, produced by "Golden" suites my purposes quite well. The only real problem that I have with the Golden varnish is that it takes quite a while to dry. But then again, that usually gives me a good excuse to go out for a beer! I buy my Golden varnish at Diovir's in Santa Cruz, Manila I wouldn't touch any of the other so-called fixatives that you can buy in National Bookstore, with a bargepole!!