Choosing an Eraser

Eraser test screenshot

A screenshot of some of the tests Julie Caves performs to see how various erasers perform

If you have ever been dazzled by how many erasers in an art store you will find Choosing a Rubber: Comparing Erasers is a huge comprehensive article. I know many people think that an eraser is big no-no but that is tosh as erasers can be a great tool for subtractive drawing techniques where you lay down a colour or a layer of graphite then pick out highlights with and eraser. There is also nothing wrong with erasing the odd line or two

Some of the questions Julie tests and discovers the answers for are
“I set out to see if testing would help me sort out the differences between erasers: What rubber removes coloured pencil? Do all rubbers work equally well when ‘drawing’ into charcoal with a rubber? What’s the best rubber to remove the graphite sketch from a finished watercolour painting? Why do some rubbers smear and make a mess? Why do some rubbers damage paper? Is there a rubber that will remove a graphite line in a drawing without lightening the ink line on top?”

Julie Caves first looks at the differences between kneadable putty erasers, gum erasers and vinyl/plastic erasers then sets about testing them.

Also there are some very handy tips – for instance did you know that most erasers are less likely to damage the paper if slightly warm? So hold it for a few minutes in your hand then erase.

Anyway, I think people will find the information in Choosing a Rubber: Comparing Erasers useful. I can’t think of anything Julie has not covered. If you keep a studio journal it is worth printing out and keeping it in your journal or as reference somewhere.

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Stefan Baumann classes on YouTube

Stefan Baumann creates videos of many of his classes. They are great online resources that people can view. This one is a gem as he launches into a talk about what is take to become an artist and how to develop your style. The video starts out with a discussion about colour charts and colour wheels then develops from there. Stefan Baumann is very real teacher (although he calls himself a coach) and I always enjoy his forthright manner as he usually hits the nail on the head . Make a cuppa and take some time to watch. It is just over 20 minutes but I am sure you will get up from the computer with more than one nugget of gold.

I hope you enjoy it!

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Cut and paste prints at the Rijks Museum

One of the surprising discoveries I made during my visit to the Rijks Museum is that early 17th century prints were not all for walls or albums. There was a whole industry of prints produced for people to use in craft work as clip art. Apparently cutting out prints and pasting them to form new pictures or using them as decorations in craft work became a rage. Publishers responded by producing books of prints to cut out.

Rijks Museum print This blue collage sheet is from an album decorated with cut-out prints by Hendrick Goltzius, Arent van Bolten. The curators of the exhibit think that the full album contained over 2000 cut-out prints, that had been enthusiastically collected over several years.

Rijks Museum print Even the adult colouring-in craze is not new as this is a complete sheet of printed borders to use as frames. Often these were coloured-in by the crafters.

Rijks Museum print This devotional print has many sections that have been cut away and replaced with blue and white fabric.

I never knew that cut and paste clip art could lay claim to being part of paper arts history. Discovering this tradition alongside the famous Dutch painters delighted me.