Instead of adding a lighter value to create a highlight, graphite pencil artists must either preserve the white of the paper or erase. As you might guess, our erasers are nearly as important as our pencils!
Here are erasers I use and why I like them.
Kneaded erasers are extremely useful. You can lighten an area with gentle tapping or rolling, you can pinch the point into various shapes and use it to create details and textures, and it’s great for cleaning up the edges of a drawing. They’re cheap and tend to get lost, so pick up a few while you’re shopping.
The Tuff Stuff eraser is fairly stiff, so it can be cut into points, wedges, or any shape that you need to erase a highlight or create detail. The “pen” shape makes it handy for “drawing” into graphite to create textures and small highlight detail.
The Mono Zero is a small pointed stiff eraser, but it doesn’t tear or dig into the paper. It’s much smaller than the Tuff Stuff, and it’s excellent for small detail work. It lasts a long time too.
A cordless electric or battery powered eraser can clean up the edges of the drawing, erase large areas that need to be re-worked, and create fine detail.
The eraser tip rotates and you can sharpen it on sandpaper to a very fine point. I’ve used it to create delicate cat’s whiskers, backlighting for stems and plants, leaf textures, grass patterns, and highlights in metal and glass to name just a few.
This Sakura is lightweight and fits the hand very nicely. It runs on 2-AAA batteries. The batteries will power the eraser for a few days of constant erasing, and for a few weeks of occasional use.
This is also one of the most expensive battery powered erasers, but I’ve had mine for over twenty years and it’s still erasing as well as it ever has. If I ever have to replace it, I’ll by another Sakura.
The Helix Cordless Eraser is low priced but I find it a little hard to hold and maneuver. If you want to see what working with an battery powered eraser is like, it’s a good inexpensive eraser to start with. I keep one of these in my tool box in case something happens to my Sakura.
Warning: Drama Queen Moment:
If something does ever happen to my Sakura, wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel the waves of my weeping.
Photos were kindly provided by Dick Blick.