Personally I use Krylon workable fixitive. I've found it not only eliminates "wax bloom" but also helps to preserve my artwork and gives a nice "workable" finish to the piece. You can still add layers of pencil on top of the spray... to an extent! Make sure you're really done with your piece before applying any fixitive because the amount you can "play" with you piece afterwards is limited. :-)
Supplies out here are very limited. Only a few brands available and not a lot of variety in each. So far I've tried only Grumbacher Final Fixative (Matte Finish), I haven't tried the Gloss yet. Still have to get used on working with them, I've sprayed 3 coats on a watercolor pencil piece yesterday and I tried to rework it with a damp brush to see if everything's covered, to my dismay, some colors bleed meaning I haven't got some areas covered. I initially chose the matte finish because some CP artists recommended it if you like to have a non glossy finish that won't reflect much when framed making it easy to view, and also it doesn't change the color of the artwork. They said the gloss finish darkens darken the colors up a bit but I haven't tried using it yet.
Maybe the problem why I haven't got all areas evenly covered is because I can't see it all. I sprayed some gloss varnish before on furniture and you can easily see the shine that lets you know it's all covered. Any tips on how to coat artworks evenly?
Well since I mostly use the gloss type it's easier to see the finish... Three coats should be enough to get ya covered I would think... I've not tried it on watercolor pencil though or tried to wet it afterwards to see if it covered. I do have some of the exact fixitive you're talking about though and I can play with it some more to see what I experience and get back to you on it :-) When I'm spraying my pieces I try to do it in bright sunlight and at a bit of an angle so that I can see the finish being applied to the paper... I'll admit that I do tend to over spray mine a bit and sometimes I've gotten runs in it because of that.
Well believe it or not I've heard of people using old fashioned hairspray as a fixitive for their artwork. I'd highly advise against that since it'd make your artwork even more flamable. Plus it'll degrade your paper. Now-a-days with acid free papers and fixitives that are designed to preserve not only the colors and quality of your artwork but the paper it's self I really don't know of any that I'd not recommend. Personally I only started using a fixitive to preserve my artwork about a year ago... I've gone back to some of my earlier works and sprayed them too now to not only help protect them but to liven the colors up some too... The Krylon can make some darks a bit darker but this can help in some cases... The Grumbacher doesn't seem to change anything but it tends to run easier... Just depends on the piece and what you're going to do with it. My blue rose piece is actually a card and it's gotten several coats of the Krylon to preserve it from handling. My Blubirds In Spring isn't coated with anything and I've noticed that in the sunlight especially it shows "wax bloom" in the worst way! I'm afraid I'll have to take it out of the frame and spray it soon. My Owl In Winter is sprayed and it's doing great even in strong sunlight! I'm still learning as far as this goes so hopefully we'll get some more input on this subject :-)
I've only fixed charcoal drawings. I tried to use the one at the workshop but found that it was really crap because the charcoals weren't fixed at all, so i tried the hair spray I had at home and it worked perfectly. But maybe it's not the best option and I have never tested it on colors.
I spray mine at an angle, I've got an old piece of plywood that I tape my piece to then angle it up against the shed so that the sunlight shows the sheen of the spray and I can see exactly how it's covering my piece.
I'm one of those people that does it on the cheap, with a can of Aquanet hairspray. I haven't had a problem, but I use it over thicker papers. After a couple of sprays the paper does get a little more textured, but that's easily avoidable with masking. I just can't justify paying $15 for 6 oz of fixative when I can get 14 oz of Aquanet for $2.