You purchased a print or an original artwork from the [email protected] shop. Now what?
How do you protect your art until it is time to put it on the wall? What do you do to protect your art once it has taken up its permanent place in your home? What happens if you move or need to put your art into storage for a period of time?
Artwork can be beautiful, but it’s also fragile. It’s best to keep your original pieces in a safe place so they don’t get damaged. The best way to protect art is with these tips:
Protect art from the elements
Keep art away from direct sunlight or artificial light. Sunlight can fade colors and discolor your paintings, while artificial light can make them brittle and damage the surface of the work. Further protect art by storing it in a frame that has UV-blocking glass.
Keep art in a cool, dry place away from moisture. Never display original artwork in bathrooms. No matter how well-ventilated, steam from the shower or bath can cause irreparable damage. When not on display, protect art by storing it in a temperature-controlled environment. This will help make sure that it doesn’t crack or warp over time due to weather changes, and avoid mold growth. It’s also important not to put your art near windows or vents, because these areas are susceptible to fluctuations in temperature and humidity levels.
Make sure to avoid touching the art with your bare hands. The oils in our skin can interact with other materials and wreak havoc on artwork.
Protect art from dust and other debris
Using frames & sleeves
Frames and sleeves are a great way to protect art from dirt, dust, pet hair, and many other contaminants. Frames are particularly good for hanging on the wall, especially if you want to showcase the artwork as a centerpiece in your home.
Good quality frames do not have to break the bank. I have found a great site that provides custom framing options for decent prices. Check them out at: CustomPictureFrames.com.
One of my own paintings framed using CustomPictureFrames.com
Upgrade frames with museum-quality glass
Glass adds an additional layer of protection, and museum-quality glass significantly reduces glare and filters the amount of light that touches the artwork.
Dust open-framed or un-framed artwork regularly
When glass is not a logical choice (such as with stretched-canvas paintings), make sure to dust art regularly. Don’t use a dust cloth, which has threads that can catch on rough spots of paint, or with a feather duster/stiff brush, which can scratch the artwork. Instead, use a soft, natural-hair bristle brush that is one to two inches wide and dust with a light touch.
When framing, always use a mat to separate glass from the surface of the art. Use an acid-free matting system that will keep the piece clean and further protect the art from outside elements.
Also, make sure not to use too much tape or glue when framing your artwork. These adhesives can cause damage over time, especially if they’re applied directly onto the surface of the painting itself (rather than onto cardboard backing). I highly recommend the use of acid-free linen tape specifically designed for matting artwork.
Using protective sleeves
For storing art long-term, protect art by sealing them in protective sleeves. They’re easy to store when not in use, and they provide ample protection for the artwork inside them. (Make sure to use archival-quality, acid-free sleeves. Otherwise, the protective sleeves will degrade over time and interact with the paper and media of the artwork.)
Also for long-term storage: Don’t put anything on top of your work that might scratch or damage its surface (like another piece of artwork). It’s also best not to stack things on top of each other so they don’t get crushed under their own weight—this could loosen screws or break off pieces from underneath them!
Mount art on a wall with proper hardware
Like frames themselves, proper hardware can help protect art from fall damage. If you have a large piece of art or something that needs to be hung on a wall, make sure you use a frame that’s designed for hanging heavy objects or has reinforced corners so it doesn’t rip off the wall if someone bumps into it accidentally. Heavy artwork should be mounted on the wall through studs or using wall anchors.
I always recommend getting an original piece professionally matted & framed to ensure the highest quality materials, proper handling of art. However, if you’d prefer to do-it-yourself, there are several tips and tricks on how to mat and frame art for proper display.
I hope that these tips help to protect your art so that it lasts and can be enjoyed for generations to come!
This piece was done as a recent wedding present. I thought it would be perfect for this week’s Illustration Friday prompt, which is “Party.” I’d definitely say they are having a little party — especially the lone woman dancing. 😉
Illustration Friday: Party. A woman dances on the bar, smiling and in her own little world, while a man nearby playfully hits on two Russian women.
I came across these while looking through old files. While the comic quickly fell into the mythical land of unfinished projects, I figure they ones I completed are still cute enough to pass along on here. 😉
There are times when an idea plants itself in my head, takes root, and refuses to fade.
(Usually those times happen late at night, just when I am trying to fall asleep.)
Last night, I had one of those ideas. Having earlier finished a new book, one particular scene caught my fancy and it wouldn’t let go. So, being the obsessive-compulsive that I am, (very) early this morning I took pencil to paper and sketched out the basic architecture. Still it remained. I then blocked in the highlights and shadows. Then, color.
Hours later, I finished the sketch to my (not-really, but I needed sleep) satisfaction.
It isn’t often that a story will do that to me. Take hold of my thoughts so obsessively that I can think of nothing else until the idea becomes a tangible manifestation. Since this one had that effect, I thought I would write up a quick review, because if you like fantasy, especially that takes place around the turn of the 19th century, I think you’ll really love this book.
First, the scene I depicted (below) is a small one where Matthew Glass removes India Steele’s coat for her. A simple gesture, but the whole moment is wrought with romantic tension and I loved the chemistry they shared. So much so that I had to sketch it.
Matthew Glass assists India Steele in removing her coat.
Now, for my (brief) review:
India Steele is desperate. Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance, and no one will employ her, despite years working for her watchmaker father. Indeed, the other London watchmakers seem frightened of her. Alone, poor, and at the end of her tether, India takes employment with the only person who’ll accept her – an enigmatic and mysterious man from America. A man who possesses a strange watch that rejuvenates him when he’s ill.
Matthew Glass must find a particular watchmaker, but he won’t tell India why any old one won’t do. Nor will he tell her what he does back home, and how he can afford to stay in a house in one of London’s best streets. So when she reads about an American outlaw known as the Dark Rider arriving in England, she suspects Mr. Glass is the fugitive. When danger comes to their door, she’s certain of it. But if she notifies the authorities, she’ll find herself unemployed and homeless again – and she will have betrayed the man who saved her life.
This story has everything I look for in a quality, entertaining piece of fiction. 1) A strong female lead, 2) a dark and mysterious male character (I admit, they are my weakness), 3) eloquent writing, and 4) lots of quirky humor and banter.
It kept my attention and while the story unfolds at a leisurely pace, I did not find it overly sluggish or at all boring. There was just enough mystery to keep me turning the pages. The characters are well written (although the villain aspect was just a tad one-dimensional for my tastes).
I had the wonderful opportunity a couple of years back to do an all-day Illustrator’s Intensive in Nashville. We worked with Laurent Linn, Art Director at Simon and Schuster, Emmy-award winning puppet designer for Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop, and all around great guy (if you haven’t checked out his debut novel, Draw the Line — definitely go take a look!)
The workshop was amazing – I met all sorts of wonderful illustrators with whom I still keep in touch, and I got a lot of very constructive (and positive!) feedback. If you ever have the chance to do something like this, I highly recommend it! I will definitely be getting back into it now that my life is calming down a bit. 🙂
I am a professional artist who specializes in pop art, illustration, and graphic design. Much of my time is spent creating whimsical portraits and fantasy art. My work includes both digital and a mix of traditional wet media. (Check out my art gallery to view my work!) I find inspiration from animation (e.g. Disney and Japanese anime), fantasy, fairy tales, and especially those magical little moments in everyday life.