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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Some ideas on how to journal

I am often asked how to journal. Journals can be kept in any way you choose. You can write in them, sketch in them, add photos, paint in them, do a collage, paste ephemera in them in other words just about do anything in them! There is no certain “look” or style in journaling. There is no blueprint that must be followed, no right or wrong way to keep a journal. There are no rules because they are a creative space and if you tie up a creative space in too many rules it quickly becomes a non-creative space. In this video I share some of the ways I have kept a journal from the early ‘diary’ years to recent page spreads.

The main thing I want to say is that no matter what you do it’s all OK – if you feel comfortable writing – do so, if you like mucking about with art materials – do so, if you like sketching – do so. Everyone of us is unique and every journal reflects that uniqueness.

In a Minute Ago delivered to your inbox
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