Artist and illustrator Peter Field explains and demonstrates how different types of rubbers (erasers) can be used to create different effects on drawings. He shows how a putty rubber can be shaped into a point to gently lift off areas of shade to lighten a drawing rather than erase it completely. He demonstrates how soft rubbers erase pencil cleanly and lift it off completely, whereas hard plastic erasers can be used to smudge and blur areas of drawing to create different textures and line quality. Viewers are shown how a rubber can be used to work back into areas of shade, as a creative tool in its own right.
Students could experiment with using different combinations of pencils, pastels and erasers creatively to produce different effects. As a quick exercise, students could fill an area of paper with dark pencil. They could then try and create an image of a simple object or shape using erasers alone, using different mark-making to best represent edges, shade and reflections. Students could then review and critique, explaining what they feel worked, what didn’t and why.