Drawing lessons often focus on tips for weilding the the artist's pencil. Along with great techniques for pencil drawing, artist Kerry Lemon has a lovely perspective on the beauty and power of the eraser. Fearless Drawing hits stores next month, and we're excited to give you a first look here.
I used to think of the eraser as a miserable partner to the lovely pencil, synonymous with mistakes and corrections, of being stuck and getting grumpy. But no more. I've always favored the line, but in teaching I've watched many, many people respond to and enjoy a more sculptural approach, playing with depth, pushing the page backward and pulling it forward by adding darkness with the pencil and light with the eraser. It's an exciting technique and a great way in for those who struggle to make a start when faced with a blank page.
There are a wealth of different erasers to buy, all shapes, sizes, and textures. Many people prefer kneadable erasers, rectangles of very pliable rubber (much like Plasticine or Blu-Tack) that tend to be boxed and can be molded to a point, sharp tip, or complex shape for precise erasing in tight spots. I always choose a soft one (rather than the really hard plastic ones), but it's good to try a few to see which you like best. For now, use whatever eraser you have on hand; it will serve its purpose, and then in time you can replace old materials with those you prefer for future use.
A painting is never finished - it simply stops in interesting places.
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