Sometimes the sketch pad or paper you are working on will need some support under it. You can buy a drawing board in the art store or make your own out of a piece of Masonite or '/2-inch plywood. If you use plywood, seal it with polyurethane —it will last longer. As you are working with 18"x 24" sheets of paper, your board should be at least one inch larger all around. You will find the surface of your drawing paper more accommodating to your pencil if you slip several sheets of newsprint underneath it.
A drawing board will support your sketch pads or sheets of paper. Pictured at left is a board made of plywood and Masonite; either will do the job for you. You may have to give the board a light sanding before sealing it. Then tape down some undersheets of newsprint.
I am not one to encourage erasing and spoiling a beautiful piece of paper, since sketching outdoors gives you leeway to cover most of your preliminary lines. Several kinds of erasers will serve your purpose. A kneaded eraser can be squeezed and shaped to make a fine line or balled up to pick out highlights or to lighten dark areas. The new plastic erasers do a competent job of removing excess lines and general smudging. The old soap eraser is also good for cleaning large areas.
In selecting your erasers, pick one that will be kind to your paper. Too much scrubbing will have an adverse effect on your paper and can form a resist, preventing your pencil from working properly.
A. The Art Gum or soap eraser is good for cleaning surface dirt from large areas.
B. Pink Pearl is another old-timer that has shaped ends for removing pencil marks.
C. A white plastic eraser will remove pencil marks without much effort.
D. A blue plastic eraser is for more stubborn pencil marks and grit, and it will not harm your paper. Both plastics do an excellent job.
E. The kneaded eraser is a must in anyone's equipment box. This eraser can be squeezed into any shape and is very good for lifting charcoal or pencil out of dark areas that you wish to lighten. Do not scrub with this eraser, as you will just embed the dirt into the paper.
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