How To Ship a Charcoal Drawing? (6 Top Tips And More)

Today many artists use charcoal as the best media for creating dry drawings. These drawings are known as charcoal drawings. But shipping a charcoal drawing is a typical process.

The information provided here will help you to know how to ship your drawing after preserving it.

Creating and Preserving a Charcoal Drawing

Normally two types of charcoal are used to make these drawings, vine charcoal, and compressed charcoal. Vine charcoal obtained by burning willow wood is very delicate and can be spread and erased easily.

On the other hand, compressed charcoal, obtained by binding charcoal with the help of a gum binder, makes darker marks than vine charcoal and is hard to erase. However, after creating a charcoal drawing by using different types of charcoal you will have to preserve it before shipping it.

Tips To Preserve Charcoal Drawing

Preservation of charcoal drawing is necessary before shipping it to maintain the beauty of the drawing during the transit and thereafter. To preserve a drawing you will have to follow the steps discussed in the following.

Spray a fixative. You can find various types of fixatives in the market with a matte or glossy finish. The use of fixative spray is a must on a charcoal drawing to stop smearing of the sketches.

To avoid dust from the sketch you should apply several light coats of the fixative instead of only one thick coat. You should spray fixative outdoors or in a properly ventilated room.

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While spraying fixative on the drawing you should keep the spray gun nearly 2 feet away from the drawing. You should move your hand continuously while spraying fixative.

You should leave the sketch for at least 30 minutes after spraying several thin layers of fixative to allow it to dry on the sketch.

Alternative to fixative. If you are unable to find a fixative spray then as an alternative you can also use hairspray. But usually, experts do not recommend using hairspray as it is not as effective as a fixative.

Moreover, the chemicals used in hairspray can change the color of your paper to yellowish with time. Furthermore, the paper of your charcoal drawing will become sticky if hairspray is used too much. So it is better to use a quality fixative to preserve your charcoal drawings before shipping them.

Avoid rubbing or touching the drawings. While preserving your charcoal drawing you must keep in mind that to protect them from smudges you should never touch the sketches with your fingers.

Even while creating these sketches you should keep tracing paper under your hand to avoid rubbing or touching them. It will help in making these sketches long-lasting if preserved properly.

Avoid exposure to direct sunlight. You should place your charcoal drawing away from direct sunlight even if it is not going to fade charcoal sketches. But while preserving charcoal sketches you should hang your finished sketches away from direct sunlight as it can be harmful to the newness of the sketches as well as their color contrast.

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Be careful about your drawing sheet. While preserving your charcoal drawings you should also be careful about preserving the texture of the drawing sheet on which the sketches are drawn. To keep them secure and safe you should handle them softly without crumbling or smashing them. Any harm to the drawing sheet can directly affect the looks of the sketches. It can also deface and deform your charcoal drawings. So you must keep your drawing away from the reach of kids as they can try to tear them up.

Shipping The Charcoal Drawing

Now when you have preserved your charcoal drawing, you can start the process of shipping it safely and securely.

Supplies needed for shipping the charcoal drawing:

  • Two identical pieces of mat board, foam core, or stiff cardboard which should be one inch longer and one inch wider than the drawing sheet on which you have created the charcoal drawing. It will help in keeping your drawing safely sandwiched between these two boards.
  • One roll of clear wide packing tape made of cellophane to seal the box containing your drawing
  • One roll of masking tape to pack the sandwich containing your drawing

Tips to Pack Drawing In a Protective Folder 

  • To make a big protective folder for your charcoal drawing you should use a wide clear packing tape along the sides of the cardboard to make a binding.
  • The tape should be put on both the outside and inside edge of the binding so that it can work as a hinge while closing and opening the folder. You should not leave any sticky part of the taps exposed even while opening the folder.
  • Now put a cover sheet on your charcoal drawing before placing it inside the folder.
  • If you have extra space around the drawing then you can use it to fix the drawing inside the folder by using masking tape.
  • You can also use masking tape to fix the cover sheet. But while using the masking tape you should be careful as it should not touch the surface of your sketches as it can damage them.
  • Now you should close the big folder and secure it by using masking tape around its edges or a big rubber band. You should choose the medium to secure your big folder depending upon the conditions of shipping your charcoal drawing. If you have to open and close it several times during transit then you should use big rubber bands otherwise masking tape can keep your drawing safe during shipment.
  • Now your well-preserved charcoal drawing is ready for shipment.
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So, when you have to ship your charcoal drawing then, first of all, you will have to take the necessary steps to preserve it.

The drawings created by using charcoal are a raw form of art and you will have to preserve its every detail forever. If you preserve it properly, before shipping, then you will be able to keep it with you for generations.

So you should take every step to ship your drawing carefully and safely.