Do I need to varnish pen and ink drawings and if so, how?
Reader Question: Do I need to varnish my pen and ink drawings? What should I use to do this? I want to protect them but I don't know how. Thanks.
It is indeed a good idea to protect your pen and ink drawings when they are finished to prevent damage from dirt, dust, or smudging if the ink drawing happens to get wet. You'll need to use a spray varnish
for this (also called a final fixative
Plus, spraying a pen and ink drawing with a fixative gives the artwork a nice finish, somehow unifying the look of the piece.
Here are my two favorite brands of spray varnish:
Lascaux UV Protect
Lascaux UV Protect is a spray varnish that offers your pen and ink artwork archival, UV-protection. It is non-yellowing and dries clear. Lascaux UV Protect can also be used on other media, such as watercolor, acrylics, pastel, and even oils.
Golden Archival Spray Varnish
Golden Archival Spray Varnish is another good choice for protecting pen and ink artwork. This archival varnish is available in Gloss, Satin and Matte. Like Lascaux UV Protect, Golden Archival Spray Varnish can also be used with other media.
Whichever spray fixative you use, be sure to look for one that is labeled "archival
", because that means it won't turn yellow over time.
Also, be sure to follow the instructions on the can very carefully, and always spray in a well-ventilated area (it's best to spray outside, if possible).
Hope that helps!