Always remember that you need to work within health and safety guidelines when using materials. Scalpels and razor blades should always be used with care, and when they are not in use their blades should not be left exposed. Note too if any of the fluids you use are flammable or toxic. Bleach, for example, is a very handy and cheap method of removing water-based ink, but it is very toxic and must always be handled with care.
particular marks which are determined by its shape.
Ink rubber. Ink marks are very difficult to remove entirely with a rubber. Erasers for removing ink and typewriting come in pencil and circular forms. You can also purchase a combined eraser that works for both pencil and ink, with the pencil part of the rubber at one end of the rubber and the ink part at the other.
Surface removers, such as scalpels, razor blades, pumice stones, steel-wool and sandpaper, to remove the very stubborn marks found in pen and ink drawings. Obviously, before applying this method you must ensure that your paper is of sufficient weight and quality to allow you to scrape away its top layer without leaving a hole.
Surface coverers, such as correction fluid, titanium white or Chinese white. With this approach any offending marks are buried under an opaque layer of white. When the layer is dry, the surface can then be reworked.
Pumice stone is useful for removing very stubborn marks, but it can damage the surface of the paper and so must be used with care.
A razor (or scalpel) blade can scratch away difficult-to-remove marks. It is an instrument of last resort because while removing the marks you don't want you may inadvertently damage other parts of your drawing.
Ways of holding the pencil
Before we go on to discuss techniques in relation to drawing media, I want you to think about your input into a drawing from a psychological and physical point of view. When we start out along the visual creative road, we tend to bring with us a lot of preconceived notions about what a drawing is and how it should be produced. It's vital for your creative development that you shed these preconceived ideas as quickly as possible, otherwise they will continually hold you back.
One of the first projects I put before my students in the studio involves an exploration of our relationship with the drawing implement. We will assume, for our purposes, that this is a pencil. Breaking down preconceptions involves taking risks and trying something a bit different. If we are not careful the familiar can become a straitjacket, and this extends to how we hold the pencil. You might think, 'Well surely, there's only one way of doing that!' Wrong. There are several ways and each of them will tell you something new about the implement you are using and what you are capable of producing with it.
If you try holding your implement in experimental and unorthodox ways you will produce drawings that have a variety of expressive marks and various tensions within those marks. You will widen your approach to mark making, whether with a pencil or any other drawing implement, and also open up your attitude towards drawing techniques.
In the first stage of the project I ask students to make test samples and just see what sort of marks they can make by holding the pencil in a different way to usual. Holding the pencil in a traditional way - this way of holding the pencil for the beginner can be very restricting, as it tends to come with too many preconditions that limits our ability to be more creative. However holding the pencil in this way is very appropriate for more theoretical and technical drawing where you need more control.
Holding the pencil with your fingertips - this action changes the type of control, and it allows you to make marks that are more tentative. The pencil can also slip quite easily in this position, giving marks that are not accounted for, and therefore bring a life to the drawing that is more creative because we are allowing for the mistake or the slip to take a positive part in the drawing.
Holding the pencil like a dagger - this is the opposite effect to holding the pencil in your fingertips. As the mark made from this action is strong, direct and usually aggressive in its expression. The very physical nature of this drawing employs the movement of the whole arm rather than just the wrist and the hand.
Holding the pencil between the toes - I have seen some amazing drawing done by students in this position. Stand on one leg and don't hold on to anything whilst doing the drawing. Then place the board on the floor, put the pencil between the toes and proceed to draw.
Use the figure when doing these drawings. Treat them as experiments, and as fun - you will be surprised at the results.
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