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How to Use Your Eraser to Draw

Learn how to use your eraser to draw from artist Rebecca Schweiger in this Howcast drawing tutorial.


Now we'll talk about how to draw with your eraser, which is one of my all-time favorite techniques. People think that an eraser is used only to get rid of mistakes. On the contrary, using your eraser to draw can create incredible movement and incredible modes of your own self-expression.

Here I have a moon, a full moon in a night sky. I've already prepared a lot of the shading with charcoal. You can see that I've created one side of the moon quite dark, the other side of the moon quite light. I'm just going to add some charcoal to the light section so I can show you step-by-step how to use you use your eraser to actually draw.

My first step is actually going to be to darken the area in the background just behind the lighter area of the moon. This way, once we bring that light area back in, it will have a lot of contrast against a dark background. For the best part; I'm taking a regular eraser from the pencil, you can also use what's called a gum eraser. I love the regular eraser on a pencil because you can really get a lot of definition. I'll show you here. You can draw any line and any movement right into your paper. I'm going to draw and erase certain areas of this moon so that the light really pops out. Then I'm going to allow myself to continue to draw with the eraser, just to create a sense of movement. You can see it's almost like sculpting right into your drawing with the eraser. Now my moon is turning into more of a ball of yarn or some abstract circle with a lot of movement and a lot texture.

When drawing with your eraser, you literally could draw anything. If you're drawing a figure, if you're working on a landscape, if you're drawing something realistic or abstract, drawing with the eraser will give you the ability to create a lot more movement and a lot more expression within your drawing. Here is an example of how much movement, and how much depth and energy is created in a drawing when I'm using my eraser to draw.

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