Artists frequently find themselves with spectacular drawings preserved in a portfolio because studios lack the space to hang multiple photo frames.
When you are short on space and want to show more of your artwork, whether in your home, art studio or at an art stall, multi photo frames are a convenient choice, and far more cost-efficient too.
Unlike prints though, drawings need a little more prep work to both arrange the drawings and to prepare them before they are framed to protect any damage to the drawings, whether that be from the risks of UV exposure, smudging or any other factor that could damage the drawings inside the frame.
3 Things to Consider When Framing Multiple Drawings
Before framing any artwork done in pencil, charcoal, or pastel, it can be beneficial to add a fixative over the drawing to keep everything intact, as it is, without the risk of smudging.
Fixatives are available for pencil, pastel, and charcoal drawings as both non-workable and final varieties.
A workable fixative is the type you use to add a layer of protection as you are creating your art. Final fixatives are also known as non-workable fixatives, and these are what to use on your final version. The majority are spray adhesives, have a strong odour, and should be sprayed outdoors.
As a precaution, it is best to test your fixative in a small area of your drawing that will not be noticed in the frame, to see the effect it will have. Some are prone to darkening, while others could turn the paper a different shade.
Any difference to the shade of your drawing won’t be fully noticeable until the fixative is completely dry so test a small surface first, and once you’re happy it won’t drastically change the appearance of your drawing, apply it over the rest, and let it dry before handling it for framing.
Fixatives are not necessary for framing any type of drawing as the picture mount is what will separate the glazing from the drawing preventing damage from smudging.
Any artwork you are framing is best done with everything inside the frame being acid-free including the paper you use to draw on as it’s the acidic content that leads to the paper yellowing, eventually causing discolouration to your artwork.
Acid-free mounts offer a protection barrier by keeping your drawing from touching the glazing on a frame.
When you plan to frame various drawings in the one multi-aperture photo frame, consider the material you are using, and whether they have been protected with a fixative.
As an example, if you plan to frame two pencil sketches with charcoal for a darker shade as a centrepiece in a 3-aperture frame, a double or triple mount may be best for framing an unsprayed charcoal drawing. The thicker barrier gives extra protection by preventing droplets of charcoal touching the glass and potentially spreading across to other drawings in the frame.
Glazing is the other factor affecting the length of preservation in a frame. There are UV-resistant options that are best used when you plan to hang your art somewhere that has a higher exposure to UV rays from sunlight. All artwork is best displayed away from direct sunlight, but this cannot always be avoided. UV-resistant glazing offers a higher degree of protection against UV damage, therefore, prevents discolouration too.