During work, artists apply different erasing techniques and use various types of the best erasers. Rubber and vinyl erasers are commonly known ways to get rid of mistakes, but the experience of using kneaded ones will change your overall understanding of drawing. Newbies may find these objects really strange; however, they are unsurpassed in removing colored pencils, charcoal, chalk, and graphite from paper.
This module will describe how versatile they are and how to handle them.
Is There a Way to Clean Kneaded Eraser?
Usually these soft tools are made of white or gray pliable material, which feels like putty or chewing gum in your hands. They can be formed into various shapes (or funny sculptures) for detailing work.
It is natural that during the working process, a kneaded eraser becomes dirty, so you can see black patches on it. That is a normal part of its use, because these tools absorb graphite and dust. They also absorb other particles from the working surface and leave no residue.
If you don’t know how to clean a kneaded eraser, the answer is simple: it cleans itself. Stretch and knead it or break it into several parts and put them together. Continue doing so until it turns gray, and all the black marks are mixed inside of it.
Such erasers tend to last longer than other varieties and can be used for years. You may notice that instead of erasing, it leaves dirty marks on the paper. If kneading doesn’t result in cleaning anymore, and your eraser is not able to accumulate more graphite, it is time to look for a replacement. A typical sign that shows your eraser is old is that it becomes softer and sticks to the paper. These devices are rather cheap and can be easily found in any art store.
Don’t believe advice that you can clean such erasers by soaking them in water with soap or dishwashing liquid. These tools are made of oils and carbonated rubber, so the soap can dissolve your eraser.
How to Use Kneaded Eraser Properly?
When you buy a kneaded eraser, it comes in a square shape. This form is not maintained after you start using it. You can mold it into various shapes and adjust it depending on how much surface you are going to erase.
This tool removes marks by either pressing and lifting or rubbing it over the paper. For the first usage type, the graphite texture is kept visible.
When you are using such a device, remember that it is harder to raise graphite than charcoal. It takes more effort to lift large areas of graphite. Again, if the graphite lines are too dark and thick, they can be removed only after several attempts.
There is one more storage tip for these erasers. As they are highly sticky, they should be kept in a special cap or container before you put them into a storage box. Otherwise, they will pick up debris from the box, which will obviously affect their shelf-life.
Is It Good for Drawing?
There are two methods commonly used by artists to make a drawing – additive and subtractive techniques, or a combination of both. The first one is built up by adding marks to the paper, while the other takes the marks away.
Kneaded erasers are much more useful in subtractive drawing. This can be illustrated by a simple example. Primarily, you prepare a graphite ground and rub it all over the paper. Then use the kneaded eraser to lift off the graphite to make the lines lighter, and use pencil to make darker lines. By shaping the eraser into a knife or a ball, you can soften the contrast, add more light across the shadow, or use pecking to grade the colors.
These erasers are helpless in cases of dark and deep lines and just make a big mess. They work better with light pencils, where you can easily get rid of unwanted lines.
Can I Highlight Using Putty Eraser?
Outdated erasers include pumice stones, so some paper fibers may break during forceful attempts of yours to erase graphite. The other thing that happens with kneaded tools is that they don’t damage the paper. They eat up graphite gently without leaving a trace behind. Repeat it a couple of times by pressing and lifting the eraser, and the marks are gone.
These erasers are easy to manipulate, as they pick up all marks at the slightest touch, which helps a lot in highlighting. By pinching the eraser and swiping the drawing with light strokes, you can shadow any object on paper. It works the best way when you highlight hair. Keep doing it until you spotlight all features.
Kneaded erasers are a must-have for any artist. Once tried and properly used, they will become your true friends and help you to create real masterpieces. Share your own experience of using these odd kneadable objects with the best results. Leave your comments at WoWPencils.