How to Protect a Charcoal Drawing (Tips and Tricks)

How to Protect a Charcoal Drawing (Tips & Tricks)

How to protect charcoal drawing can be delicate and difficult. These are highly vulnerable to smudges and smears, so proper care is essential to preserving the beauty of your work. Charcoal is a delicate medium, and it's important to keep the artwork safe from dirt, dust, and grease.

Knowing how to preserve charcoal drawings can keep these artworks from fading and future damage. 

girl drawing

Why is It Important to Protect Charcoal Drawings?

Preserving a charcoal drawing is essential to maintaining the artistic integrity of the piece. Without proper care and protection, charcoal drawings can quickly fade or become damaged. Charcoal paintings can be easily damaged by moisture or humidity. When charcoal comes in contact with moisture, it can become brittle and start to crumble.

Charcoal paintings can easily fade or discolor if they are exposed to too much direct sunlight. Over time, the charcoal particles will break down, and the painting will lose its vibrant colors and details.

Finished pieces can be damaged if it is exposed to extreme temperatures. Excessive heat or cold can cause the charcoal to crack and flake off, ruining the painting.

Benefits of Protecting Charcoal Drawing

charcoal portrait of a family

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Keeps The Artwork Safe

Protecting your drawings is a great way to display them without worrying about accidental damage. Not only it keeps the artwork safe, but it also allows you to show it off to friends and family. You can ensure that charcoal on canvas remains vibrant and the charcoal intact for years to come.

Keeps It Off From Dust

Charcoal drawings can easily become covered in dust, which can be difficult to remove without smudging the artwork. Protecting your drawings can help keep them clean and dust-free. Even the slightest amount of dust can cause the charcoal particles to become clumped together, making it difficult to clean. To protect your painting, make sure it is regularly dusted and cleaned from loose particles. 

Keeps it From Fading and Damage

A protective layer will make it easier to clean the charcoal drawing without damaging the artwork. This will help to keep it looking its best and make sure that it doesn't become dull or discolored over time.

It will help to enhance the color of the charcoal and provide a more vibrant and vivid appearance. This will help the art to stand out and make it more visually appealing.

Steps to Protect a Charcoal Drawing

another family drawing made of charcoal

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Use a Fixative for Charcoal Drawing

A spray fixative for charcoal is applied to the finished charcoal drawing to help seal it and prevent smudging. It acts as a setting spray for charcoal drawings that helps to protect them from dirt, dust, and grease. Make sure to use the fixative in a well-ventilated area, and apply it from a distance of at least 12 inches.

It is the ultimate option for keeping your charcoal art protected. There are different types of fixatives available in the market. Make sure to use the most appropriate one for your artwork.

Put Your Artwork Behind Glass

Framing your drawing is an excellent way to protect it from damage. Make sure to use an acid-free piece of paper and UV-protective glass to keep your artwork safe from the elements. If framing is not an option, you can use a board or a mat to protect the finished artwork. A board or mat can help to keep the artwork safe from charcoal smudges and fading.

Keep The Charcoal Sketch in a Safe Space

Try to keep your charcoal drawing away from environmental damage. It may include direct sunlight, heat, and humidity. These elements can affect the quality of your artwork and cause it to fade. Make sure to keep the artwork in a dry, dark place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Avoid Touching The Charcoal Art

Do not touch the artwork directly, as the oils from your hands can cause smudging. A slight touch may also damage the artwork. Wet fingers tend to damage the paper over time. Also, try to avoid using any type of eraser, as this can rub away the charcoal and damage the entire piece in the long run.

Gently use a cloth or drafting brush to clean the artwork of any dirt, dust, or grease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hairspray preserve charcoal drawings?

Surprisingly, yes, since it is an alternative to fixative. However, it is used only when needed. It is still recommended to spray fixative for charcoal drawings instead of hairspray. These fixatives have the proper chemicals that are intended to keep a charcoal drawing at its best quality.

Do charcoal drawings need to be sealed?

Though it is not required, a sealed charcoal drawing will keep it from smudging. Sealing the charcoal artwork will keep the charcoal particles in place and make it look vibrant. It may also prevent damage from accidental touch.

Can you varnish a charcoal drawing?

Yes, the varnish for charcoal artwork comes in the form of a fixative spray for charcoal drawing.

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Charcoal artworks are a timeless way to capture memories. The artwork looks just as beautiful today as it did when it was originally created. Memorialize Art can create charcoal artwork depending on your preferences. The artist can adjust the size and layout, making it a perfect piece for you.