Drawings drawn with graphite shine a lot under even a little light. The paper needs to be held at certain angle for proper viewing. Anyway to reduce or stop this?

  • Is it possible to adjust the light so that it is not in the reflection at the desired viewing angle? – rebusB Jun 10 '18 at 15:17
  • @rebusB Well light source is always not in my hand to control. So... – Bluebug Jun 10 '18 at 15:53

Spray fixative should make the drawing more matte as well as protecting it.

You could also try a layer of acrylic matte medium, sprayed or brushed, but that would be a little more involved and riskier to the original work if it cannot handle the wet medium.

Either way do some test pieces before trying on the finished work.

I also would recommend drawing with a softer lead for dark areas, it will require less working and less material to get the tone you want, which means less buildup and less gloss.

| improve this answer | |

If you use graphite, then you have the properties of graphite: it conducts electricity and it shines.

To make it less shiny after using it, you most likely need to apply a layer of something which washes away (partially) the shine, but still leaves the drawing visible.

You can try some of the following:

  • special plastic sheet, used instead of glass, to protect the front of the paintings; it was especially designed for the purpose to minimize reflections;
  • apply a layer of fluid, which will cure into a non-glossy solid; e.g. hair spray, special fixating spray for graphite / charcoal / crayon drawings; linseed oil (or any other oils for painting)...

Note: before you apply anything on the original drawing, make a test on a separate piece of paper, on which you draw some shape. In that way you do not destroy the important art, trying to improve it (see below a sample of what I mean).

Be warned: I am not an artist and I did not try any of this myself (yet).

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you For the suggestion ٩(๑~▽~๑)۶ – MKX Jul 21 at 5:58

There is a type of spray that is often used by film production teams called “dulling spray”. It is a spray that kills reflections on anything, because in movies you DO NOT WANT HIGHLIGHTS.

The spray is expensive and quite a challenge to come by, as the best sprays are only distributed by photography and film equipment rental shops.

If you do use it, always spray very light coats - and definitely do a test on another piece of paper before you risk ruining your work.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Well that's a new piece of information indeed. Thank you. Although I'm not sure I can find it locally. I found some in Amazon. – Bluebug Jun 11 '18 at 20:37
  • this sounds like its for temorary use (while filming) for a drawing however you would need to ensure its also archival. – Vincent.W. Nov 14 '18 at 15:18

Vertruvian Fine Art Studio, an online drawing and painting school has a very good answer to your question, provided by instructor David Jamieson.
The shininess is "burnishing" which happens when an area is worked too much or you press too hard.
He says:

"In my experience, there are only 3 ways to prevent your pencil drawings from becoming burnished:

  • Limit the amount of graphite on the page.
  • Limit how hard you press with the pencil.
  • Limit how many times you rework an area."

More detail on these is provided in the article.

| improve this answer | |

Actually I doubt that there's a way to do that. Every drawing medium has its own traits and one of graphite is to be shiny. (To be honest, I like that a lot about graphite, so it's not a bad thing). Because of the different shininess I simply wouldn't use charcoal and graphite together in one picture. Using 7B instead of charcoal will give the drawing an even shiny effect.

You can try adding a layer of matt varnish (a spray one). It will make the overall picture matt, though I'm not sure if it works with graphite's shininess. Also your paper shouldn't be too thin or it will become wavy.

For the future you could try switching completely to charcoal. You are able to create similar drawings as the one you drew but charcoal is not shiny.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.