Toad Hollow Studio's Drawing Tutorials And Classes by Carol Rosinski

Keep Your Drawings Clean (And Your Customers And Framer Will Thank You)

Paper is fragile and graphite smudges easily, so take a few extra steps in the set-up stages of a drawing and you may save yourself a lot of extra work at the end. Here are two inexpensive drawing guards that have saved me a lot of headaches. I hope they do the same for you.

Back when I started to draw seriously, and don't ask me how long ago that was, I spent over 200 hours on a piece without protecting its borders in anyway. The drawing turned out very well, but the framer had few options when framing it. He had to cover up those messy borders!

Now I always apply Frisket Film around the borders of my drawings before I begin, and I like to extend that protection even further. First I attach the paper to my board and mask the edges of the drawing with two inch wide strips of Frisket film. Then I cut scrap paper in wide "L" shapes and tape them around the drawing area, too.

This keeps the entire border clean out to about six inches, and framers can leave as much room around the drawing as their hearts desire. Those large scrap paper borders are a great place to test tools and jot down notes too.

Sometimes I like to store my drawings where I can see them between sessions, because glancing at them in odd moments helps me to see them objectively. One time I made the mistake of leaving a drawing sitting out unprotected, in the middle of a dry summer, with all the windows in the house open. When I started to work on it a few days later, I was horrified to see that the whole thing was covered with a coating of dust!

I spent the rest of that day lightly brushing and blowing the dust away. Sadly, I spent my next free day re-drawing some very dark details that had been lost in the cleaning process.

My very simple solution for dust, and other mysterious spots and specks, is to tape a piece of plastic food wrap to the back of the drawing board, and then flip it over the drawing between sessions. After a while, the wrap loses most of its clinginess and you can easily flip it from one side to the other.

Sometimes the best solutions to drawing problems are home grown and inexpensive. These drawing protectors could save you many tedious hours of clean-up work and will help you create a professional looking piece of art that's easy to frame. Your buyers and your framer will thank you for taking time to keep your entire drawing clean, including its borders.

More Paper Care Links

Clean Borders - Keep the drawing edges clean.
Erasers - The best art erasers for pencil drawing.
Paper - The best paper for pencil drawing.
Drawing Paper Care Tip - Got spots? Remove them with these steps.

Carol Rosinski
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Drawing Made Easy, Getting Started by Carol Rosinski
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Toad Hollow Studio - Teaching how to draw since 1999