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Hi all, apologies if this topic has been discussed already, but I'm looking for advice on how to protect my pencil sketches. These are just my daily practice / ideas sketches in my sketch book that I do almost entirely in pencil, if I use both sides of the sketchbook and use a lot of shading with a softer lead it rubs off onto the other drawing.

I don't want to mount any of them, the only value they have is sentimental, after I finish this sketchbook I probably won't look at them very often but I'd like to keep them from getting smudged and faded.

I've read about spraying them with hairspray / special art spray - haven't looked into that further yet.

Another web page mentioned putting some kind of wax paper in between pages, but I take my sketchbook out and about and don't want a load of loose sheets slipping out if I open it carelessly.

Using some kind of adhesive clear plastic to stick over pages? Not sure if that's advisable or what kind to get.

I could use ink, and I do on some but I like the pencil look and love shading with pencils.

What do you guys do with pencil sketchbooks?
krylon makes a nice clear uv-resistant spray coating which can be found at your local art store near the painting supplies or at a walmart near spray paints and stuffs. be liberal with it (meaning spray the shit out of it since graphite is really fine dust, but not to where it's dripping wet). do it outside and don't breathe in the fumes or it will coat your nose hairs and throat with acrylic for a few days.
Hair spray worked fine for me for preventing charcoal drawing from smudging but I don't know how it will work for sketchbook.
From other things you can do is:
-Draw on only one side of pages in your sketchbook in a way that you are not pressing on side with existing sketches
-use harder pencils HB, H and above
- Buy sketchbook with smooth paper, I know from experience that my drawings in sketchbooks with rugged paper faded much faster than in cheapest notebook with blank pages
hair spray or fixant works, also after putting that on and it being dry you can put sheets of tracig paper or copy paper between the pages and that will keep the pencil work from smudging onto the other page.
Thanks for the replies! I'm trying out hairspray for now, that Krylon stuff is £30 per can over here (like $50 or so), at least that's how much it is from Amazon. I'll see how it goes with the hairspray, and might try a smoother paper sketchbook next time. Thanks for the tips!
I scan my favorites, and put them in a file folder labeled with the year. That way when my three year old decorates my sketchbook with a marker, I still have some memory of it. It's more of a timeline thing, though. I don't like too many sketches in those books any more!
Since I bought a scanner I've just been scanning every page, just for my reference really so I can see my progress in case I lose the book or yes, a little person attacks it with a pen!

Hairspray seems to be working great though; I give it a kind of medium coat of hairspray, let it dry, do it again, let it dry and do it again. The page goes a little stiff but it won't smudge on its own (you need to really rub the lines hard with your a finger to smudge them). Can safely use both sides of the page without fading anything.
Huh well share some pics about that...!
(04-18-2014, 03:59 PM)falah21 Wrote: [ -> ]Huh well share some pics about that...!

I've done it on all the pencil sketches in my sketchbook thread, I mean you can't notice any difference but I guess that's the point : )
I use fixative spray. :) Those are flammable and smell like paint so be careful. Otherwise, spray on like donkey kong
Just to update with some info I was given - apparently using hairspray on sketches can cause the paper to yellow with age. I can't verify if this is true but just throwing it out there!
Yes, hairspray will both yellow the paper and darken the whole drawing a little bit. And it will enhance contrast (which isn't necessarily a bad thing lol). However, it will guard the drawing as good as the fixative. The difference is that the good fixatives yellow the paper less. But they are also more expensive.

Personally, I wouldn't worry much about the finesses, as your sketches will be conserved and the changes to the drawings are relatively small - as sketches are more like a "testament of time" it shouldn't be important.

For sketches that you do cherish above others, you could use some quality fixative and/or frame them under the glass.