With our custom detailed portraits, we go the extra mile to ensure we create your portrait with the ultimate in permanence using acid-free, archival 100% cotton paper. High-quality cotton fiber paper is known to last hundreds of years without appreciable fading, discoloration, or deterioration when treated carefully following certain standards.
With sketch drawings, we use a variety of quality acid-free papers depending on variant selections made in the brief.
Most papers eventually break down over a period of time varying depending on how & what's been used to make it. Lucky for you everything we use to create your portrait is top artist-grade, acid-free materials including the archival storage sleeve your portrait gets shipped & stored in.
So now that we have done everything we possibly can to ensure the longevity of your artwork. There's just a few things I feel are worth mentioning and some tips about keeping your portrait drawing in pristine condition.
Environment plays a big role in the longevity of your artwork. Light, heat, and humidity all have its effect on paper. Too low a humidity can cause paper brittleness, and too high a humidity increases the chance of mold. The lower the storage temperature of the paper, the longer it lasts.
It’s said the life of paper is doubled with every decrease of 12°C. Sunlight and ultraviolet light can also cause fading and brittleness. When there are temperature & humidity fluctuations, over time this weakens the paper causing it to expand and contract to break down paper fibers.
Most of these things are unavoidable in most real-life situations but worth keeping in mind when deciding on a place to display your portrait. I’d suggest avoiding displaying anywhere that's likely to get direct sunlight and avoid wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens where temperature & humidity are most likely to fluctuate.
Drawings are best suited framed & sealed behind glass, hinged correctly allowing enough air and room so the fibers in the paper to naturally expand and contract to limit damage to the artwork. When complimenting artwork with matting boards and frames it adds to the overall presentation and value of the artwork, colored mats & framing material are a personal choice. I suggest knowing beforehand where it’s going to be on display and what you wish to achieve in that overall space before jumping into any ole frame.
If you want the best solution I strongly suggest getting artwork framed by a local professional framer this way the correct archival standards should be upheld when requested. However professional framing option isn’t cheap and it is possible to do it yourself keeping in mind all materials that touch the artwork should be Acid-Free if not archival if possible. This includes mounting boards, tapes, mats, glues, adhesives etc.
There are a few cheap DIY solutions such as buying Ikea frames and swapping out MDF backing boards with acid-free foam board, buying pre-cut acid-free window matting online to fit the frame etc.
Just be aware vast majority of these frames that can be bought in larger chain stores usually don’t follow any archival standards to prevent acidic materials leaching into your artwork which will over a period of time causes the paper to yellow and degrade even when the artwork is done on 100% cotton paper.
Tempting as it may be touching the artwork when removing it from its archival storage sleeve is not recommended, we strongly suggest not removing it from the archival storage sleeve until you’re ready to frame. Even though the portraits are sprayed with workable fixative giving it multiple layers of protection that helps prevent accidental smudging by locking graphite on the paper, it’s still not enough protection from our hands. Our skin has natural oils which can in time also cause damage to the drawings.
If you must remove it from its sleeve to frame etc please take care doing so. I’d simply recommend removing jewelry washing hands clean of any chemicals and oils & made dry prior and only touch the outer edges of the paper when positioning it in place. Many professional framers when handling artworks will use clean cotton or polymer gloves.