Art FAQ’s

What’s so unique about pastel on suede?

Excellent question. Click here to find the answers you seek.

What are the sources for your portraits?

The sources for my artworks are photographs from historical archives, public collections, and professional and amateur photographers. These works are:

  • Public domain (free to reuse for both personal and commercial purposes);
  • Under Creative Commons licenses (free to use with certain restrictions);
  • or used with permission of the photographer.

This means that while my paintings themselves may not be reproduced without permission, the images they are based on are free for anyone else to use. In almost all cases I will cite the source/author of my reference photos. It’s important to me to respect the intellectual property of others by using public domain sources, providing attribution where necessary, and obtaining permission from the artist whenever the use of their work is in question.

If you have any questions about the sources used in my paintings, or to learn more about copyright laws & artists, send me an e-mail.

Most of the portraits are based on photographs from the Edward Curtis collection, unless otherwise noted. Curtis spent decades during the late 19th and early 20th centuries traveling across the United States and eventually took more than 40,000 photographs of Native American people. You can visit my Blog for more about Curtis and other early photographers documenting Indian country.

For my wildlife paintings, I obtain reference photographs from public domain sources such as the US Fish & Wildlife Service, or by permission of the photographer. For specific questions about rights & usage please contact me.

Jessica Crabtree original paintings

What kind of pastels do you use?

Each painting requires a variety of soft and hard pastels. I have used Sennelier soft pastels, Prismacolor Nupastels, and Art Spectrum most frequently.

Do you use fixative on your finished pastels?

No. I never use any chemical products on my artwork. The suede has a deep pile that allows the chalk to blend deep into the surface for a more permanent finish. The painting is then framed with the suede directly against the glass – this also creates a static bond and prevents any loosening of the chalk.

Are your originals already framed?

Yes. Immediately after completion, each painting is enclosed in a custom-built frame that protects the surface and beautifully complements the artwork. Non-reflective glass is used to prevent glare.

Do you offer prints of your artwork?

No. Part of the value of original art lies in the fact that each individual painting is hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind, and will never be mass-produced. This gives them a high long-term value.

Do you accept commissions?

Occasionally. Click here to view a PDF brochure explaining more about commissions.