5 ways to avoid smearing when drawing. No matter how good of an artist you are, accidental smear and smudge will happen when you are drawing with graphite pencil or chacoal. It is hard to avoid, all we could do is to be careful and keep the accidental smearing to the minimum. The more experience you are, the more you will learn how to deal with it. I just got a few e-mails asking me this obvious question that I’ve never occurred to me in a long time. Anyway, there are 5 tips I can tell you and will keep your drawing clean and keep the smear and smudge to the minimum.
1) Be careful where you rest your palm, try not to rest your palm and drag it against the paper you drawn on. As you move across the paper, be alert and lift your palm instead of rub it against the paper. What I usually do also is I will try to work from left to right since I am right handed. So my palm will be less likely to rub against the already drawn graphite. If you are left handed, you probably want to work from right to left.
2) If I am doing a 3-5 hours drawing and shading (which is rare nowadays), I will put a piece of clean smooth white paper in between my hand and the drawing. This helps reduce the accidental smearing really well, just make sure the paper stays in place and don’t drag it along as you draw.
3) Get a can of Workable Fixatif. You have to make sure you get the workable kind. It is a really great tool when spray coating which prevents smearing. Once spray the drawing can still be erased, and you can draw over it. Though make sure you spray it thin enough. If you spray too much coat the drawing can be very difficult to work on.
4) On sketchbook page, if you finish a page, make sure to coat it with matte finish. It is different than fixatif. This spray will permanently coat your work. It is a very good material to keep your sketchbook clean and your sketches will last longer and never get smeared.
5) Do not erase so much because it can ruin your paper surface. And it is better to clean eraser crumbs with brush rather than wipe them off with your hand.
Hope these tips help,