A transparent liquid, it consists of a binder and solvent that protects artwork from smudging or damage. Fixatives for charcoal and pencil drawings usually have a small amount of resin dissolved in alcohol. Pastel fixatives are not a total covering but only prevent the pastel from dusting away, which explains why many pastel artists cover their paintings with glass. Fixatives are applied with a sprayer, mouth blower or atomizer. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"<br><br>A solution, usually of shellac and alcohol, sprayed onto drawings, to prevent their smudging or crumbling off the support.<br><br>A resinous or plastic spray used to affix charcoal, pencil, or pastel images to the paper. Used lightly it protects finished art (or underdrawing) against smearing, smudging, or flaking.<br><br>FixativesA thin varnish, natural or synthetic, that is sprayed over charcoal, pastel, oil pastel, oil crayon, pencil, and other drawing mediums, as well as photograps, maps, signs, and unfired ceramics, to protect them from smearing, finger prints, and detatching from a supporting surface (paper, etc.) All or some fixatives will alter the original colors slightly. The best are colorless, non-yellowing, and flexible. Some fixatives permit a medium to remain workable, while others lock it into its position. Some permit the choice of a glossy or a matte finish. Manufactured fixatives are most often available in aerosol cans. Common hairsprays work well as student-grade fixatives. (pr. FIX-ə-təv)A related link: The articles on fixatives and various dry media in Drawing Materials and Drawing Techniques, a Guide and Glossary by Michael Miller. Also see fix and stump.