Things You Need to Know to Properly Store Pastel Drawings

Things You Need to Know to Properly Store Pastel Drawings

pastel drawings of the wilderness
(Photo by David Clode from Unsplash)

Pastel drawings are a delicate and intricate art form that requires careful handling and storage to preserve their beauty and vibrancy. Properly storing pastel drawings will protect them from damage and help maintain their quality and longevity.

This article will go over how to store pastel drawings, including tools you need and tips and tricks for keeping pastel frames.

Why is it Important to Store Pastel Drawings Properly?

Pastel drawings are made with a soft, powdery medium prone to smudging and fading over time. Proper storage can help protect the integrity of the artwork and preserve its appearance for longer periods. Pastel drawings should be stored in acid-free, archival-quality matting and framing materials to protect the paper and prevent discoloration.

Storing pastel drawings properly can also prevent damage from light exposure, humidity, and other environmental factors. Pastel drawings should be kept from direct sunlight and stored in a controlled environment with low moisture to prevent fading and deterioration.

What Tools Do You Need in Storing Pastel Drawing?

Archival Boxes or Sleeves

These are specially designed containers that help protect the pastel drawing from dust, moisture, and other environmental factors. Archival boxes or sleeves are made from acid-free materials and are typically made to fit a standard-size drawing.

Acid-Free Mat Board

Using an acid-free mat board is important if you want to frame your pastel drawing. Acid-free mat board will not yellow or discolor over time and will help preserve the integrity of the drawing.

Glassine Paper

Glassine paper is a type of archival paper used to protect drawings from moisture and other environmental factors. It's a good idea to place a sheet of glassine paper between the picture and the mat board when framing the drawing.

Climate-Controlled Storage

If you have a large collection of pastel drawings, it's important to store them in a climate-controlled environment. This will help to protect the drawings from extreme temperature changes, which can cause the pastel to fade or become discolored.

UV-Protective Glass

Using UV-protective glass is a good idea if you're framing your pastel drawing. This will help protect the drawing from harmful UV rays, which can fade pastel colors.

How to Store Pastel Drawings

Pastel drawings should be stored in a dry, cool, and dust-free environment or placed in a protective sleeve or between sheets of paper to prevent smudging or damage. It is also recommended to frame pastel drawings behind glass or acrylic to protect them further. They should not be stacked or hung in direct sunlight as this can cause fading or discoloration. Proper storage of pastel drawings will help preserve the integrity and longevity of the artwork.

How Do You Stop Pastel Drawings from Smudging?

To stop pastel drawings from smudging, you can use a fixative spray to hold the pastel in place. You can also use a workable fixative, which allows you to continue adding layers of pastel without smudging the previous layers. 

Another option is to use a sheet of paper or a piece of glass between the pastel drawing and your hand or other surfaces to prevent smudging. Finally, you can also use a harder pastel stick or apply less pressure when drawing to reduce the amount of smudging.

personalized memorial portrait

Tips and Tricks in Storing Pastel Drawings

Use Acid-Free Materials

Pastel drawings are vulnerable to fading and discoloration due to exposure to acidic materials. It is important to use acid-free materials for storage and framing to prevent this. Acid-free mat boards, backing boards, and storage boxes are all essential for preserving the quality of your pastel drawings.

Avoid Direct Sunlight and Extreme Temperatures

Direct sunlight and extreme temperatures can harm pastel drawings. Sunlight can cause fading and discoloration, while extreme temperatures can cause the pastel to become brittle and prone to cracking. To prevent these issues, store your pastel drawings in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Protect the Surface of the Drawing

Pastel drawings are delicate and prone to smudging, smearing, and smearing. To protect the surface of your drawing, you can use a fixative spray or a protective coating such as a varnish or a UV-protective spray. These products will help set the pastel and prevent smudging and smearing while protecting the drawing from environmental damage.

Handle with Care

Pastel drawings are easily damaged by rough handling, so it is important to handle them with care. Use clean hands when taking pastel drawings, and avoid touching the picture's surface as much as possible. If you need to move or transport your pastel drawing, wrap it in acid-free tissue paper or a clean cloth and place it in a sturdy, protective container.

Store Vertically

Storing pastel drawings vertically is the best way to prevent damage and maintain their quality. This allows the pastel to remain stable and prevents the surface from being smudged or smeared. If you do not have space to store your pastel drawings vertically, you can keep them horizontally, but use acid-free mat boards and backing boards to provide additional support and protection.

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