Heat Up Your Art

One of the most fun products I’ve used this year are the heat-set materials produced by D’UVA www.duva.com. Until they’re set, the pastels, watercolors, and sumi-inks are erasable. They’re also non-toxic and created from recycled art materials.


D’UVA pastel background blended then heat set. After heat set immediately painted over with swirl design in acrylic paint.

For those of us who are “pastel impaired” these products are lifesavers. For some reason, I’ve never been able to “fix” a pastel drawing. When I begin to work over the area, or store it, at least part of it that wasn’t properly set smears.

D’UVA products are erasable (using a standard eraser) until set by heat. You can set either by putting them in an oven or by using an inexpensive heat tool like those used by rubber-stampers for embossing. Because of the erasability of the products, you can create negative techniques without using masks.

In addition to the pastels, D’UVA makes watercolor, a mixable powder, Sumi ink and watercolor mediums.


D’UVA watercolor painted then let dry. Erased with standard art eraser then heat set.

The products can be used to create a fast and permanent background for other media. I like to use them in my art journals, for example. Once heat set, you can use any other media over them—oil, acrylic, watercolor, etc. with absolutely no smearing. You can also create layered paintings using the same product so, for those of us who have pastel challenges we can heat set each layer before going over them with more product.

The pastels work as well as any pastel I have worked with. They’re smooth and blend beautifully. The charcoal holds its darkness and intensity when heat-set.

Try working with the products in combination with more traditional materials for a whole new look to your traditional art.

Nita Leland is an award-winning artist from Dayton, Ohio. Her books include Creative Collage Techniques, Exploring Color and Creative Artist, from which this article was excerpted.

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