Pencil drawings, collage and acrylic paint


Judith asks: "I wonder how to seal pencil (lead, ink, and colored too), ink jet xeroxes, and watercolor and pastels so that when trying to collage them...the image doesn't smudge or disappear into the polymer products.

Thanks for your question, Judith. The best way to protect pencil or water-based images from smudging when applying polymer products on top is to use a protective spray like Golden's MSA Varnish. Be sure you test on a similar sample first. MSA Varnish may cause darkening or discoloring of delicate pencil or pastel. Always test first!

I also have had a fair amount of success by very carefully laying a pool of polymer medium at the top of the paper that the pencil drawing is on, and then gently tilting the paper (taped to cardboard for stiffness) so that the polymer rolls over the pencil. You may have to shake or jiggle the paper so that you get an even covering of polymer. In this way you can cover the delicate pencil or pastel with polymer without disturbing it with a brush.

You can also try Airbrush Medium, which is very thin, and spray it from a spray bottle. Cover the entire pencil/pastel image with Airbrush Medium and let dry. Don't over-saturate it. Two or three thin layers are best.

As I said above, always test first! Keep me posted on how it turns out!