Regarding varnish and fixatif

I have done 4 illustration on old maps using sharpies and a common orange pen (example attached) and I have now a new sketchbook where I am also using pencil. Is there any fixative that I can use for both of them?
On this skecth book I ill also be using watercolour and oil pastels so I dont know If there is an all purpose fixative out there.
Thanks for the help.

In art school, we always used Krylon Workable Fixatif, but that was mainly to fix charcoal, graphite and chalk pastels to keep them from rubbing off or smearing. It anchored things without being visible or changing the surface texture of the substrate. Your oil pastels will be a little subject to smearing if rubbed, but why do you want to coat a paper map with fixatif —ink won’t smear. A spray varnish isn’t really ideal for paper. Some people place a layer of varnish over watercolor, but it’ll change it’s appearance. If you really want to coat things with a protective layer, Krylon Crystal Clear is what I always used to use, but it will add a layer of gloss over everything.

Thank you for your input Just B!

I am actually thinking of preserving the paper from yellowing and the ink from fading.
For the sketchbook probably the workable fixatif will do, but I am also doing a oil pastel on canvas, you think it would work?

I’m not sure much of anything will protect paper from yellowing since the yellowing is mostly a reaction of different chemicals over time within the paper itself. Exposure to sunlight can accelerate that yellowing — especially ultraviolet light. It’s best to use archival-quality paper and place it under glass that blocks ultraviolet.

As for oil pastels on canvas, I wouldn’t use Crystal Clear on that. I might fix the pastels as I was working on them to help prevent them from smearing into each other in unwanted ways, As a permanent protective and finishing layer, though, I’d likely use the same varnish that’s used for oil paintings, but that’s something I’m not quite sure of. It might be best to look it up and visit an art store to see what’s available. Maybe something else here can give you better advice.

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There isn’t gonna be much you can do for the sketchbook unless you take it apart. Even if it is an archival paper sketchbook, the bindings and covers have to be taken into account, along with whatever your hands may have smeared on the paper and edges during handling.

The yellowing of paper is more of an oxidation reaction with the air. UV inhibiting glass will protect the pigments of your colorings from fading to some extent, but it also helps to seal out air. Unless the glass art is archivally sealed though, you will eventually get yellowing around the edges as air infiltrates.

Usually when we deal with ephemera artifacts like paper in a museum exhibit, they go in a tightly sealed case with a dessicant chamber below. I’m sure that’s going far beyond what you need to be doing. Or maybe not.

We get most of our archival storage products from a place called Archival Methods.

There are a few archival quality spray fixatives out there. But I don’t know of any to use on oil pastels, though I’m fairly sure they exist (try Dick Blick art supplies.) Varnishing oil pastels can be tricky, and any product you might want to try should be tested on something other than the art you are trying to preserve. Varnishing of oils (and I’m only familiar with oil paints) can lead to unintended darkening of color.

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@PrintDriver and @Just-B You guys are awesome! Thank you very much for all your input, I learned new stuff and that s always good :slight_smile:
I ended up buying the Krylon Kamar Varnish, hopefully it will work alright.

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