I've seen countless graphite/pencil artists use a transparent plastic sheet that they place their hand on to prevent smudging of the picture they draw. Exactly what is this called, and can you buy these?

  • Are you looking for something like Acrylic Clear Sheets?
    – agarza
    Oct 13, 2021 at 15:36
  • Yes! I looked for drawing supplied clear plastic sheet for smudging, but I got results for mylar sheets... Wasn't sure that was exactly what I was looking for, though. Oct 14, 2021 at 12:29

1 Answer 1


I think you can buy any generic plastic sheet for that purpose. Sturdier plastic - acrylic, PET - sheets will probably work better as they are less prone to movement.
Many artists use regular paper sheets to rest their hands on while drawing.
If you really want to diminish the risks of smudging, you can tape both your drawing and the plastic sheet to your working table.

A great alternative is to use bridges:

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The great advantage over sheets is that they don't need to rest on the surface, which will prevent any accidental surface damage. They are also relatively easy to craft yourself (allowing for customization).
On the other hand, they will slightly impede your hand movement, and need some getting used to.

  • 1
    Writing this as a comment because I'm not entirely sure about its efficacy and would like someone's opinion on this first: for improved anti-smudging it might be better to choose an anti-static acrylic/PET sheet, especially when working with charcoal, so it doesn't disrupt the loose particle.
    – Joachim
    Oct 13, 2021 at 9:57
  • For hand movement, I wonder if another (small) sheet of paper laid on top would help
    – Chris H
    Oct 13, 2021 at 10:10
  • @ChrisH, almost anything would be better than a sweaty palm, but unless the paper was extremely smooth, the surface might abrade or drag graphite. Shiny, coated paper like scrap magazine pages would probably work best if there are no plastic sheets around.
    – fixer1234
    Oct 17, 2021 at 18:52
  • @fixer1234 I meant extra paper on top of the plastic, but I really wasn't clear
    – Chris H
    Oct 17, 2021 at 19:48
  • Could use glassine paper, but another sheet of the same paper would be fine too. As long as it stays still it protects the drawing. I would say plain paper is better because your hand will not stick to it, as well as the static thing.
    – rebusB
    Oct 19, 2021 at 17:37

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