To Seal and Protect
are a form of spay-on sealant. They are sold in cans
like spray paint and formulated specifically for paper
and art board. As the title states, the purpose of
a fixative is to seal and protect artwork from fading
and smudging. It is most commonly used to seal graphite,
charcoal, chalk, and oil pastel. If you want to preserve
your work be sure and utilize this inexpensive tool.
come in two varieties, workable and permanent. Workable
fixatives offer the advantage by allowing you to edit
your art work even after they are applied. For example,
if you have completed a portion of your work and want
to prevent smudging, you can seal the finished portion
with a workable fixative and then finish the piece.
Some workable fixatives even erase and allow editing
of the already sealed portion. Permanent (or non-workable)
fixatives are used for the protection of finished
art work. As the name implies, once treated with
these the artwork cannot be edited. You can purchase
permanent fixative in either matte or glossy finishes.
Even if you use a workable fixative during the creation
of your art, it would be advisable to seal it with
a permanent, non-workable fixative once it is complete.
should always be applied in a well ventilated area.
I usually spray my pieces outside. There are some
low oder varities of fixatives avalilable.
range in price from 4 dollars up to 15 dollars per
can, depending on brand and variety. You can purchase
a can of Krylon Workable Fixative at Wal-Mart and
art supply stores for between 4 and 5 dollars. When
purchasing fixative, be sure the label states that
it is clear and non-yellowing. If you are worried
the fixative may change the look of your medium, do
a few tests on separate paper before applying it to
your art work. I have found fixative tends to slightly
reduce the reflective qualities of graphite, making
the treated piece slightly more matte.
common myth that has been propagated is that hairspray
works as a fixative. This is not the case! It can
remain sticky, turn yellow, and ruin your artwork.
use hair spray as a substitute for fixative! Hair
spray was meant for hair, not paper. You will not
be pleased with the results.
Many Varieties of Fixatives and Sealants at
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