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Some artists including me spend over 30 hours on a graphite pencil drawing.
If you spend that amount of time on your drawings, you might want to consider protecting them when you are done.
How To Preserve Pencil Drawings
Graphite is an unforgiving medium to work with and can smudge very easily.
The graphite will transfer to anything it is in contact with, including hands, glass from frames, or paper.
The good news is that there is a product you can use to protect your drawings.
You will want to consider using this product if you are planning on selling your pencil drawings.
How To Preserve Pencil Drawings With Fixatives
Spraying a fixative on your finished drawing will protect your drawing and reduce the change of smudging.
The two types of fixatives you will want to become familiar with are workable fixatives and final fixative.
Workable fixatives allow you to continue to work on your drawing while protecting it until you return to work on it at a different time.
Final fixatives should only be used when your artwork is completed.
The final fixative provides some protection against smudging and ultraviolet light.
There are many fixative brands available, and you will want to try a few to see what works best for you.
I use Grumbacher Workable Fixative, and I am pleased with the quality of the product.
How to spray your drawing:
- Read instructions on the can before using.
- Shake the can before spraying on your finished drawing.
- Always test on a scrap piece of paper first to make sure it is spraying evenly. Sometimes the nozzle will get clogs and spit instead of spraying.
- Use the fixative in a ventilated area. Some fixatives can be hazardous to your health. Refer to the label for more information.
- Put your drawing on a flat surface and lightly spray and even coat from side to side.
- Let dry for 15 minutes and test with a tissue to see if any graphite transfers to the cloth. If it does, then add another coat of fixative.
How To Preserve Pencil Drawings With Frames
Like I have mentioned some of my graphite drawings take over 30 hours to complete.
I always take the extra step to protect my finished drawings.
After I spray the drawing I let it dry for 24 hours.
Once the drawing is completely dried I matte and put the drawing in a frame.
Now the drawing is safe for handling and will be in perfect condition when it arrives at the buyer’s residence.
I also include a safe handling letter for the buyer that explains not to touch the drawing surface and always keep the drawing framed.
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