10 Tips to Protect Your Pencil Drawings

This page contains affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra charge to you. Read the full disclosure here

As an artist, you’ve likely put a lot of time, effort, and emotion into creating your pencil drawings. It’s important to take steps to preserve your artwork so that it can be enjoyed for years to come. In this blog, we’ll discuss 10 tips for preserving your pencil drawings and keeping them looking their best.

Use High-quality Drawing Paper

The paper you use for your drawings plays a big role in how well it will hold up over time. High-quality drawing paper is specifically designed for use in art and drawing applications. It is typically made from cellulose fibers, which are derived from wood pulp, and is acid-free to prevent discoloration and deterioration over time.

There are several different types of papers that can be used for drawing, each with its own unique characteristics. Here are a few common types of drawing papers: Drawing Paper, Watercolor Paper, Pastel Paper

Avoid Smudging

It’s easy to accidentally smudge your drawing while working on it or handling it. To prevent this, be careful not to press too hard with your pencil, and consider using a kneaded eraser to lightly lift any smudges without damaging the paper.

Protect from Light and UV exposure

Excessive light and UV radiation can fade and discolor your drawing, so keep it away from strong light sources and out of direct sunlight. If you must display your drawing in a bright light, use UV-blocking glass or acrylic in the frame to protect it.

Use a Fixative

A fixative is a spray that helps to set the graphite and prevent smudging. Use it sparingly, as too much can cause your drawing to look flat and lifeless. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application, as different fixatives have different usage guidelines. I would suggest try Krylon Workable Matte Fixatif as this has been a great choice for my drawings. It is a great brand and you can read about the product the reviews of this product and take a decision if it would work for you or not.

Krylon Workable Fixative - 11 oz, Matte, Spray Can

Always remember to try out in a rough drawing keeping the instructions of the product in mind before you attempt to spray on your original work.

Use Protective Cover

If you are storing a drawing for an extended period of time, consider using a protective cover such as a sleeve made of acid-free paper or polyester. Check the size of the cover before purchase and make sure your art fits inside the protective cover. Check Ktrio Protective covers and see if it works for you.

Use Wax Paper

You can place a sheet of wax paper over your drawing while you work on it to help prevent smudging. The wax in the paper will help to create a barrier that keeps your graphite from transferring to your hands or other surfaces.

It’s important to note that wax paper is not a permanent solution for protecting your drawings, and it may yellow or become discolored over time. It is best used as a temporary measure to protect your drawings while you work on them or while they are being displayed.

You can buy a Roll of wax paper or buy the Precut wax paper to save some time. However when you purchase the precut wax paper, make sure it fits the size of your drawing. Or else you can go with the rolls and cut it as per the size required.

Avoid Extreme Temperature Changes

Proper storage is important for preserving your drawings. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. You can also consider placing them in a protective sleeve or frame to keep them safe.Extreme temperature changes can cause the paper to expand or contract, leading to cracks and creases. To avoid this, keep your drawings in a consistent, moderate temperature and avoid exposing them to drastic temperature changes.

Handle with Care

Make sure your hands are clean and dry before handling a drawing. Oils from your skin can damage the surface of the paper or medium.When picking up a drawing, hold it gently by the edges and avoid touching the surface as much as possible. If you need to move a drawing, lift it from the bottom rather than the top to avoid placing undue stress on the paper.

Avoid Framing with Acidic Materials

Acidic materials such as newspaper or cardboard can cause the paper to yellow and deteriorate over time. When framing your drawing, be sure to use acid-free matting and backing materials to help protect it.

Consider Digitizing

If you’re concerned about preserving your drawing long-term, you may want to consider digitizing it by scanning or photographing it. This will create a digital copy that you can store and share without worrying about damage to the original.


By following these tips, you can help preserve your pencil drawings and keep them looking their best for years to come. Whether you’re an artist or an art collector, taking the time to protect your artwork is an important investment that will pay off in the long run.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart