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What’s a Kneaded Eraser – Everything You Need To Know

kneaded eraser tutorial

What is a Kneaded Eraser?

A kneaded eraser is a tool used by artists. It is also known as a putty rubber and is made out of a soft, flexible material; usually rubber. It may be said that it resembles chewing gum. It is usually available in shades of grey or white, but it can be found in several other colors such as hot pinks, blue, yellow, green, and many others.

kneaded eraser for sketching
Sheep sketch using pencils and kneaded eraser by @ran_art_blog (Instagram)

Watch this informative video to learn about the history of the kneaded eraser and how it came into existence. It also serves as a useful guide for beginners on how to use a kneaded eraser.

Kneaded Erasers : A Beginners Guide DIY

The kneaded eraser is one of a kind in its field. It functions by ‘picking up’ and absorbing particles of graphite or charcoal without destroying the paper. It can also be used if you are working with colored pencils, carbon, or pastel markers. Additionally, it does not leave any kind of eraser residue behind (we all know how annoying and messy that can be). Therefore, it lasts much longer than other erasers.

Moreover, a fresh straight-out-of-the-pack kneaded eraser can be molded or shaped by hand for more exact erasing; for instance, while creating highlights or adding intricate details to your sketch. It can be compressed or stretched easily to change to the desired form and texture. The precision of this unique eraser makes it commonly used for removing light graphite or charcoal marks for drawings that come under the subtractive technique.

On the flip side, removing large areas does not work well with the kneaded eraser as it may smear or stick to your drawing.

How to make a Kneaded Eraser?

Another quite interesting thing about kneaded erasers is that you can easily make them at home. All you need are some regular erasers. Have a look at this video to learn how to make the perfect kneaded eraser:

How to make a Kneaded Eraser

As mentioned earlier, the kneaded eraser does not wear off as quickly as other erasers tend to; but sometimes they can become saturated, making them unable to absorb particles of charcoal or graphite. If the kneaded eraser reaches this stage, make sure to discard it as it can leave marks on the paper instead of erasing them.

The kneaded eraser is a tool that is simple and easy to clean. It carries exceptional plasticity. Its versatility means it can be shaped into different forms – depending on how you intend to use it – making it an essential erasing as well as a drawing tool.

kneaded eraser for drawing
Sketch on the process w/ pencils and kneaded eraser. Image by @taylahbradford.art (Instagram)

Are you interested in more drawing tips and tutorials? Check our other posts.

Featured Image Credit : @samantha_messias_art (Instagram)

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