Archiving work - How do you store your physical work?



  • Hi. So i'm in the process of moving to another country and i am packing an entire life so i was thinking, how do you store and archive your drawings for years and years?

    Do you use fixative on all your drawings and paintings? I only use fixative on heavily graphite work or chalky pastel work but should i use it on watercolors or watercolors that has pencils on?

    Do you store each drawing or watercolor in a separate clear plastic foil or do you use tissue paper between drawings?

    What would be some best practices? Also what's your favorite storage furniture or folio case?


  • Pro

    I did a lot of watercolor a few years ago and I store them in portfolio binders with clear plastic sheets. Makes it easy to look at them if I need to while also archiving them. I haven't put fixative on them, but the plastic protects them well enough I think. I keep the binders in a shaded corner in a dry room.


  • Moderator

    I paper tape an exact sized, with one edge folded over, acid free sheet of paper over my water colors. Then store them in a big studio art portfolio with a handle. It’s one of the things I’m grabbing in case of fire. I live in the California foothills. πŸ”₯ πŸ™€
    The line art is just in paper folders on the shelf. Most of that is stored on an external hard drive which would also be grabbed in case of fire. 😜



  • @burvantill I find 90% of my work get stored in the trash lol!



  • @NessIllustration @burvantill @DOTTYP Thank you very much. I was actually thinking of plastic sheets in a folder too but my big ones are bigger than an a2, some are a1. At the moment i also keep them in a portfolio with handle. I dream of getting a shelving cabinet with thin big drawers to lay everything nice and neat inside

    @dottyp said in Archiving work - How do you store your physical work?:

    @burvantill I find 90% of my work get stored in the trash lol!

    hahaha ❀ Don't worry, mine too 🐲



  • @irina I store mine in Stiffy Bags keeps it safe, padded and protected from dust. Plus a couple of soft and hard portfolio cases.



  • @irina Nice to know i am not the only one who wastes a ton of paper -I dont think i have ever seen an A1 portfolio case for sale


  • Moderator

    I saw a large drawer cabinet in an antique store once. It was glorious and huge. πŸ’²πŸ’²πŸ’²Someday. 😬



  • Throughout the painting process, I utilize acid-free products to store my paintings. This means that all of the portfolio materials, including paper and masking tape, are acid-free. Because acid causes the painting to yellow, this is significant. As a result, your artwork will begin to decay sooner rather than later, especially when exposed to light and heat.



  • A bit late to the conversation here, but pastels should never be stored in plastic or cellophane, not even if they've been sprayed with fixative. The plastic will cause static electricity and dislodge pigment. (For this same reason, pastels should only be framed under glass).

    I use the plastic sleeve portfolios mentioned above for watercolors, ink and acrylic, but have a simple folder type portfolio for any paintings done in charcoal or pastel. I separate the paintings with sheets of acid free paper...and always keep the portfolio stored flat, without anything on top of it..


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