Protecting and Preserving Your Work
Orangutans
Jay Montgomery

It’s a question every artist asks themselves toward the end of a project.

“Is it finished?”

No doubt, everyone has a set of criteria to determine when they’re “done.”

For artist Jay Montgomery, it’s a looming deadline that decides things. Or “I’m just sick of looking at it.”

Regardless, the next logical step is figuring out how to protect and preserve your hard work.

The answer is what’s known as a fixative. There are working fixatives and permanent ones. To avoid fading or environmental damage, an acrylic or permanent sealer spray does the trick.

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Jay says the secret is to spray the fixative about one or two feet away.

If you’re new to sealing, practice so you understand how the propellant works and what happens if you get to close. Jay works from top to bottom in a left-to-right pattern.

Sealer sprays dry very quickly, so you can move to displaying within a few minutes.

Jay frames all of his work, and chooses archival quality mattes that are acid free.

If you notice that dust is sticking to the surface of the artwork, Jay recommends taking a long handled brush about 7-8 inches long and removing whatever debris is on the newly sealed art.

With the glass, he always cleans with a household glass cleaner, and wipes with a newspaper. Paper towels contain lint and can leave unwanted fibers trapped underneath. Newspapers are naturally lint free.

When you hang your work, sunlight is unavoidable. But that’s what the fixative is for—to preserve that beautiful art you worked so hard to create.

Tools used: Prismacolor Premier® Soft Core Colored Pencils

Copenhagen watercolor pencil