Ensure your portrait lasts a lifetime

How to care for pencil drawings

Pencil sketch portraits can last a lifetime and give you many years of pleasure. However, it’s quite a delicate medium so here are some tips on how to care for pencil portraits to ensure they stay in the best possible condition.

When you order a family, child, or pet portrait, it will be 100% hand-drawn, and heavily-worked in pencil. Although I will spray it with a clear fixative for protection, it will still be prone to smudging and must be handled with great care until framed.

To minimise movement in transit, your portrait will arrive secured to a foamex board with small glue dots which are easily removable. However, I recommend leaving it attached to the board until it is ready to be mounted and framed. This will help prevent smudges and creases. Avoid placing anything on top of the portrait – I place a sheet of tissue paper over the top to prevent the pencil being transferred to other objects.

I always recommend using a professional picture framer – it will be a little more expensive than doing it yourself, but they will give good advice regarding the choice of frames and mounts, and will use good-quality materials that shouldn’t react with the paper. A professional finish can make a huge difference to the final appearance, and ensure that you are delighted with your pet or family portrait for many years to come.

It is important that you hang your picture in an area that is not subject to high humidity, such as bathrooms, or in direct sunlight, which may lead to premature fading of the pencil.

If you have any further queries, or some suggestions of your own on how to care for pencil portraits, please do not hesitate to contact me – it would be great to hear from you.