How to Seal your Artwork + How to Keep Art Journal Pages from Sticking!

How to Seal your Artwork + How to Keep Art Journal Pages from Sticking!

(bright music) (upbeat guitar music) – [Karen] Hello, hello, okay,
this video is super overdue and I apologize, but this
question comes up all the time. And today I really just
wanna talk about it and that is the question of fixatives. As you can see, you have a ton of options. This is probably like 10% of
the options available to you. If you go onto Amazon
or walk into your local wholesale arts, your local
art wholesaler or JOANNs, a Michaels and A.C. Moore,
there’s a lot of options on the market for you. I’m not gonna go through
each and everyone of these, but I am gonna talk about,
touch on them a tiny bit. And then I’m gonna tell you
why out of all these products, I only ever use this one. (laughs) Right here, so if you don’t have time to watch this whole video,
this is my all time number one, all time favorite go-to, okay? It’s why in a nutshell, it’s
cheap, it’s widely available, and it works on everything. So, this is my favorite. Yeah, that’s pretty much like
will sum up this entire video. But there’s a few things to touch on. So, say you were walking down the aisle and you’re like, I don’t
know which fixative or varnish to get or finisher. This one I think is very interesting. This is UV-Resistant Clear. This is, I’ve had this for a long time and I used to put this over
all of my acrylic paintings. So it’s for photography, artwork, painted surface, its like for everything. You can even put it on
dried or silk flowers, paper, wicker, glass, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah. And it’s suppose to protect your artwork from harmful UV rays. Okay, but here’s the thing and
this kind of pisses me off. Is that if the whatever
materials you’re working with, if they are not lightfast,
this is not going to save you. And I know this because I’ve
tested this in the past. So things like any of
your dilution sprays, all of Jane Davenport’s Mermaid Markers, a lot of the Ranger products. Anything that’s dye
based are not lightfast, even Copics are not lightfast, so those are going to fade with time no matter what you put on top of them. It doesn’t matter which cover you put on, those are going to fade. Just intrinsically,
they are going to fade. So, I don’t buy this
because it more depends on what product you’re
using underneath that spray. Okay, matte finish, I just tried this one because I was trying to figure out, well, what’s the advantage of
this over my trusty Americana? And so, I just sprayed this watercolor, this is just one of my junky journals. And I just wanted to see how it compared. Now this, my favorite does say matte and this is also matte finish. Now this, I do have to say,
is actually matte (laughs). Whereas mine, I say mine, I
just love this product so much. This one says matte and it
definitely is more of a glossy. So, if you want matte then
don’t use the Americana one. You might actually want to
use something like this. This is probably one and a
half times more expensive, but you can use it in the
same way in that it is, I don’t know if it’s acrylic or not, but it’s a non-gloss permanent finish. Dries fast and clear, and it seals all of
your finished painting. So, this would also be
very an appropriate product if you wanted something matte. I just sprayed, this is watercolor, and as you can see there’s
no sheen whatsoever. This is sprayed with Americana, I just did this project yesterday, and as you can see there
is quite a gloss to it. It probably is also partly due to the fact that I have Mod Podge under there, although I do only use matte Mod Podge so you can see there is
a sheen though going on. I do like the matte finish. It does not have a strong odor
the way that this one does. And so, I like that, although I always recommend
spraying everything outside. You cannot rework it. If you add water to it you will see it just repels it entirely,
so it just beads up and the water will not penetrate. So, that is a nice second go-to. Another product you
might see on the shelves of your favorite art store
is this Kamar varnish. I just sprayed it on this side
and holy mother, it stinks. Okay, so it’s disgusting. It’s very, very stinky. Non-yellowing protection for
oil, acrylic, and watercolor. Well, I think all of these
products are non-yellowing so I’m not really sure
what the draw is there. This is also, again, my favorite. It’s a clear, protective,
non-yellowing waterproof coating which provides permanent
protection to all painted finishes. Well, I think that’s kind of the idea of all of these, really. But this one stinks to high heaven. Again, it’s more expensive. I’m sure it’s an equal
opportunity employer, you can use it in just the same way. And it is matte, as you can see, and if I try to rework it it
beads up not quite as much, however, as that matte finish. So, I would not put this
one on your shopping list. I don’t personally see
the draw, I really don’t. It smells, it’s more expensive, and there’s other products
that do the same thing. Okay, you also have brush versions. This is like a clear gloss, but again, seals,
protects, and revitalizes. That’s sort of the same thing as this, I would just use this in more heavy duty, furniture applications. Bonds to plastic, but again, fast drying, non-yellowing, UV resistant. All of these sprays are kind of getting at the same exact thing, so that’s just something to keep in mind. So, what’s the benefit
of a spray over something that’s liquid is that if
you’re using a liquid varnish, or sealer or protector,
when you drag your brush across water soluble
material, so say watercolors or if there’s a Stabilo under there, or any water soluble pencil,
or a gelato, or a Neocolor II, and then you brush your color on. Agh, you’re going to be moving and manipulating your medium
underneath which is bad, right? That’s bad, and so that’s
why sprays are so much better for me personally than
something of a liquid kind. Now, that being said, if you’re doing oil, or painted work, or acrylics, there are, again, on the shelves any time you see the word varnish you’re talking top coat. And that is something
that would be applicable and it’s something that’s
fun to play around with. And you can see the kind
of deepening effects that it can have on your artwork. I used to get a lot of heat for, oh, my cat is trying to break in. Can you hear here? Let me let her in. Okay, so I had a lot
of professional artists watching my YouTube videos
and they are like horrified that I use Mod Podge all the time. And that being said, this is what I use. I only use the matte because
there is a little bit of sheen to it and I just
love everything about it and I use that all the time
in my in between layers. I always glue, really Zoey? I always glue down with matte medium because it works the best with paints. I always seal my in between layers with the Mod Podge because
I love using my Pitt pens on top of the Mod Podge,
and then I always seal at the end with this Americana sealer and finisher spray because it’s amazing. But when I had a couple of people that were horrified by
my use of Mod Podge, they said, “Oh, you must use
gloss medium and varnish.” So I said, “Okay.” So I went and I bought
this ludicrously large and expensive bottle of
gloss medium and varnish and it did work exactly
like the Mod Podge, with two exceptions. One, it’s really expensive. So, even with my 50% off coupon
it was much more expensive. And two, while it did
work just equally the same in terms of water solubility
and activating my Stabilo, and all of the magical things
that Mod Podge does for me, it also took way longer to dry. And that’s not cool, because you all know, if anyone knows me, you
know I have no patience. I have things to do and I
like to bang out my projects, and ain’t nobody got time for that. So, I, whatever, it’s sad that
I bought this giant thing. But you can use this. If things are adhered properly,
you can swipe this over. And I did do this, my
journal I was gonna show you that I used this on is actually
at Stampington and Company for publication in their
upcoming art journal magazine. But it does work, it does
work, I can’t deny it works. It’s just not worth the expense and the time it takes to
dry for me personally. So, the clear winner again,
this is like $7 at A.C. Moore. I can also buy it online at Amazon. What I like most about this Americana is that it keeps my pages from sticking. So, my art journal pages, if
you’ve watched any of these, and they’re all on YouTube,
they are messy and goopy. And I use tapes, and layers
and layers of collage, and Mod Podge, and there’s just layers of goop in here, right? So, if I just keep in all
the goop and I close this, and I do keep my journals
closed, they all stick together. If I take this outside, spray
just one nice clear coat, it dries in like 15 minutes
and it’s nice and shiny. It really adds an actual
additional depth and dimension to my work and I can close
this and there’s zero stick. Zero. Zero stick. So, I cannot actually stress how much I love this product enough. And it’s the underdog,
I never talk about it, because it’s kind of
like behind the scenes, after the fact step,
because I have to wait for everything to dry to put it on. The only other fixative,
sealer type spray I’d like to talk about because it’s super important and it has a lot of
applications, is fixative, okay? So, people talk about what
should they spray on… Oh, I should say real quick,
I actually just use this on everything from watercolors to drawings to my mixed media projects. I literally slap this sucker on everything and I use it like a
fixative when I’m all done. But if I’m in the process of working and I’m doing some involved
charcoal projects this fixative, and you can also use hairspray, like cheap regular old aerosol can
hairspray will work great. And the reason that the
fixative is so important is that it fixes whatever dusty, chalky medium you’re working with. So, this is like a conte crayon. You can see I’m working and I’m working, and I’m making a fancy
project, and then oh, I have it exactly the way I
way to and I wanna layer on it but I don’t want these
underlayers to move. This is where your
fixative comes into play, and this is really important
when you’re working with pastels or PanPastels,
or just chalk pastels. Anything, charcoal, Willow
charcoal is the worst in terms of movability. But, I should’ve shaken this earlier, but if you basically spray this on here it’s freezing those layers underneath it and then they will no
longer move to the touch. It did a little bit but it’s not dry. Okay, so then you can layer on top and you can keep working and it will literally
fix those underneath. So, I do recommend and I like this brand, this Crystal Kote, whatever. I’m sure there’s others out there, but what you’re looking for is fixative. And this is workable matte, I’m sure it comes with glossy too, but I prefer to work in matte
because the gloss is too much. That’s why I like the natural gloss of some of the matte products, because it’s not too glossy but you do have a little bit enough. And back to this one product. I just have to read the back here, and again reiterate why
I lose this so much. It says, “DecoArt American
Matte Acrylic Sealer Finisher “is a clear protective,
non-yellowing, waterproof coating “which provides permanent protection “to all painted finishes.” Yes, and then this is what
I completely agree with and I love so much. It says, “Colors are
intensified with clear depth “and given a matte appearance
with a single application.” And I do think it does that. It does add an extra oomph to my finished journal
pages, it’s amazing. So, bum ba ba, this is
my top recommendation. You will not be sorry. I hope this video wasn’t
too long or annoying, or fast or slow, and that
you got something out of it. And I love you all and I will
see you in the next video. Bye. (upbeat guitar music) (bright music)

Dereck Turner

45 thoughts on “How to Seal your Artwork + How to Keep Art Journal Pages from Sticking!

  1. Karen Campbell, Artist says:

    I know a LOT of people struggle with how to seal their work and/or art journal pages, so if you know of any Facebook groups or people who could benefit from this info, feel free to share it! Have an awesome day!

  2. felineaddict says:

    Thank you for your helpful video. All these products are confusing and overwhelming but I've learned a lot are the same type. I so agree with about the expensive products for mixed media journal work. I have a question though, I haven't used Americana brand but I have used every other one mentioned plus the mod podge spray in matte. My problem is after I spray and let dry complete, my pages still stick together. Another YouTuber advised frogger car wax. Have you tried that and does it work?

  3. Nancy Watkins says:

    Thanks girl. I like that one too!

  4. Crafting Vicky says:

    Thank you for the info. I just ADORE liquitex gloss but that is a personal choice I think. But I will be looking for the deco fixative for the top coat it seems fabulous. Would there be an issue with using fixative that's for hair on artwork? There seems to be lots of opposite comments about this and I'm totally confused lol

  5. TinaMarie says:

    Thank you for the FYI!! I will be purchasing the Americana spray

  6. rhonda w says:

    Thanks for the info! I have the more expensive version I am going to buy the Americana next time.

  7. Tracy Plans says:

    Love! But hey – I didn't catch which one is your favorite!! 😂😂😂😂😂😂 You know I'm just teasing you! This was so helpful. I also love "Billy was here" 😂😂 I haven't seen that since grade school! So cute!!

  8. Raven Faith Barnett says:

    One thing with the Kamar varnish. It will not reactive your alcohol products like alcohol inks, sharpie markers or copics.

  9. Kimberly Bajorek says:

    Thank you! I was @ Michael’s tonight trying to decide which fixative to get. I left empty handed. Now I can go back with confidence & purchase one! Love your videos. Great sense of humor!

  10. Regina Rooks says:

    Hairspray can yellow over time, so I wouldn't use as a fixative. Spectrafix is a fixative that can be used safely indoors. It's not a finish coat like you are using on your art. Jason Morgan Wildlife Art did an excellent review of workable fixatives on his channel. He does amazing things with pastels. Thanks for this video Karen. I found the info useful for keeping pages from sticking together.

  11. Chrishawn Simpson says:

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Donna Lyon says:

    Great video!! Since taking your classes I’ve used the Americana spray and it works wonderfully. I especially like it on the larger page journals like our cereal box journals we’ve made. Super cool like you❤️❤️. See ya in class💕

  13. April Richardson says:

    Great video and I love your personality and enthusiasm 😀

  14. Boocat Design says:

    You are so awesome❣️ Thank you for all you do, you are not only incredibly talented but incredibly generous as well‼️‼️‼️‼️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Happy New Year


    One of the main perks of being a digital artist is not dealing with sprays! lol

  16. Kat F says:

    Love this video!!  I love the products too.  The americana, I've used on my polymer clay… I'm going to have to use it with some journals!!  Thanks karen!  btw, I don't see the Mod Podge spray!!  lol  BTW, It stinks to hell and back too!

  17. Merry Dooley says:

    FYI. The background music makes it much harder to understand you….otherwise love your video

  18. Katerina Mylona says:

    Thanks for the tips and advice!!! Yes, that was helpful and not long!!! <3 xxx

  19. Paula Brennan says:

    Fab girl! Thanks for those tips 👍🏼

  20. Cheetarah says:

    Oh gosh, I had to laugh so much when that HUGE bottle of MP showed up. Definitely shows your preferred medium there. I use MP too so I get it 😄 Will check out Americana fixitave, thanks! I used Cobra arts (I think the manufacturer was Thalens) spray varnish for a while and for no reason it just leaked out of the bottle and left a horrible sticky stain in my closet. What a pain was that to clean out. Did any of your spray cans just spontaneously started leaking?

  21. Marsha Stark says:

    How do you work with PanPastels and other products? If I use it as a background color can I use a fixident like spray varnish and then add other products?

  22. Marsha Stark says:

    Your video just answered my question. Thank you so much.

  23. Marsha Stark says:

    ❤️ thank you for responding

  24. Mandy Mcgregor says:

    WoW I gave up half way through……….sadly the music was so irritating over your voice I could not concentrate on what you were saying. You appeared to be talking louder to compensate. Excellent video idea though……Respect Mandy

  25. Patti Faivor says:

    Thank you! Your videos make my day-so much information so much energy!!

  26. staceybrister says:

    Super great info video! I'm so thankful for you! I have the spray you showed last, er, second to last spray…the Rust-Oleum one. I am hoping that one will work okay for me till I use it up, and next time I will get the DecoArt one, for sure! I'm getting ready to play with Mod Podge for the first time 🙂 I love ALL this arty stuff <3 Thank you, Karen, for all you do for the art and craft community! Wishing you a wonderful week <3 ~Stacey EDIT: I guess if my pages stick, I'll get the DecoArt spray sooner….'cause I want zero stick too 😉

  27. Nicki Montie says:

    Have you ever tried the spray Mod Podge? I thought of getting it after my first attempt at making a journal resulted in a lot of smearing, but I haven't seen anyone use it.

  28. vanitha Alla says:

    Which varnish should we use on gel pen art canvas?? And how to protect art from dust in future???

  29. meghan Floyd says:

    Totally rewatched this video because of my BIG ooopsie last night with massive graphite smears. Tears LOL. I had to cover it and re do it BUT question because you are awesome… so the fixative if I plan on adding to it and then Americana spray to finish or if Im done and nothing else will be added, just Americana?? Its a mixed media canvas but with a graphite face if that makes since. Any help would be amazing because you are the mixed media yoda 😂😂😘

  30. Kate says:

    Ive got a headache now

  31. Vonalda Utterback says:

    Loved the info! Thank you! Have to agree that the music competed with what you were trying to say and made me a bit insane. No music at all…pleeeze.

  32. Susan Sacco says:

    Hi Karen. I need a fixative that is really matte and that I can layer or work over in mixed media projects. Am I wording this right?🤷🏻‍♀️ lol. Specially, oxide inks and watercolor. Thanks.

  33. Susan Sacco says:

    Sorry, any suggestions?

  34. Mister Bigears says:

    You didn't show how to use it just what to use.

  35. Debbie Deanne says:

    WOW! That sealer was $18.45 on amazon

  36. Carol Tribou says:

    Do you know if this would work for sealing a watercolor that's been painted on canvas? I noticed that the end product looked glossy to me, but still very nice. Maybe gloss would be extra shiny? Thanks!

  37. Forgetit89 says:

    Same here, what you have to say is interesting and you seem charming but music is so loud it's distracting and giving me a headache. (although the music is nice, just lower the volume)

  38. Karen Campbell, Artist says:

    I know the music is distracting on this video (sorry!) so I've added captions to this video file. To read the captions without sound, simply hit the little "CC" or Closed Captioning symbol on the lower right hand of the screen and then you can turn the sound off and still learn about all the sprays.

  39. Terry Lee Cone says:

    Can I ask you why do I need to use mod podge at all?

  40. Bev Warn says:

    im diamond painting and plan on sealing with either tombow aqua glue or decoart triple thick glaze. thing is i want the diamond painting and the mounting c canvas were rf proof? can the Americans be used over this

  41. রঙ মোহর says:

    Hlw…i painted my phone case with acrylic paint….plz suggest me which spray should i use for clear coat or how can i seal it

  42. steve harrigan says:

    I have been painting watercolors for over 40 years. I have never used any type of sealer on my art. In 40 years, no problems. To each his own, but beware in investing your hard earned money on something you do not need.

  43. A&Egmail says:

    I clicked the link for your instagram and it does not look like you 😅

  44. Wooshinwev says:

    Thank you for these clear explanations! Now I know which one to go buy and try out

  45. Ms. Lee says:

    Awesome video. I will try hairspray as a sealant .

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