How to Seal Pencil Drawings on Paper

How to Seal Pencil Drawings on Paper
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Art is sadly one thing that we are slowly forgetting how to do yet is something that has followed us since the beginning of civilization. Even caveman did paintings on cave walls during their time and those are still well maintained to this day.

There are different forms of art, but all of them come with the same goal – to provide a human being with a unique way of expressing feelings and thoughts, and spreading a message that they believe in.

Although values have changed, especially in the last century, there are still artists and painters who enjoy creating masterworks for their collections as well as for commercial purposes.

Whether you are a professional artist or a beginner who does drawings and paintings in their free time, there is one thing you need, and that is a good sketchbook. Luckily, the market is large, so you will have no problems finding an adequate one.

Using A Fixative

There are few different things to consider when buying a sketchbook and among this is the quality of the paper it contains as well as the type of cover it comes with. The most popular is a hardcover which will protect your papers from creasing.

On the other hand, depending on what kind of media you are working with, you might need a lighter or a denser paper. If your drawings are mostly done by pencil, you are lucky as most of the sketchbooks available include paper that is durable and long-lasting when it comes to pencil drawings.

Still, after some time, your drawings might start to yellow and fade, and that is something you want to prevent. So, let’s go ahead and take a look at the few tips on how to seal pencil drawings on paper so you can preserve them for years to come.

Using A Fixative

The most popular method has to be using a fixative. It is a spray that provides a protective layer over your pencil drawing and slows down the aging of your art.

There are two types of sprays: a workable one and a final one. The decision for which one you will use is up to you.

If you plan to add certain things to your pencil drawing after it is complete, a workable spray is your best choice. A final fixative is somewhat stronger and doesn’t allow for any further changes. Still, you want to be careful with the way you apply it as overuse can darken your drawings.

Firstly, you should be aware that both workable and final sprays are toxic, so you will want to provide proper ventilation in the room that you are using it in. Shake the spray bottle and test it out on a blank piece of paper.

In no way should you apply the spray directly to the paper – use it as you would do with a deodorant – at a safe distance. Spray it from around 30 centimeters away, and be sure that your paper isn’t on a rough surface.

You should first spray your paper vertically, leave it to dry for around 10 minutes, and repeat the process but turn your paper to a horizontal position.

If you aren’t satisfied with the results, you can go ahead and add another layer once everything has dried.

Alternative Methods

Although using a fixative is the most effective method, some people don’t like it due to the fact that it is toxic, and might darken your work. There are a few alternatives, some being better than others.

Your best bet if you don’t want to put a fixative spray over it is framing it in double glass – this way you will get a drawing that is attractive for presentation, and secured from any possible damage. Unfortunately, this is an expensive alternative, especially if you have quite a few drawings to protect.

The other alternative is to heat laminate your drawing – while this might provide you with the desired results, and will protect your paper from going yellow, it still is not as efficient as the previously mentioned two options.

How Does Quality of the Sketchbook Affect Your Drawing?

A proper sketchbook can be a good way to seal your drawings as well. What do we mean? Well, if it has a high-quality hardcover that is water-resistant, it is a huge plus.

Along with that, you should look for an acid-free paper book that has somewhat denser sheets (around 80-100 lb.) – paper of that kind will be perfect for pencil drawings as it will keep its original color for a long time.

​Final Thoughts

Pencil drawings are something you will love and enjoy doing – so why not try your best to protect your artwork? As you can see, there are a few different methods that you can try out to seal pencil drawings on paper.

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