February 6, 2011

This week on Comic Tools: Eraser Showdown 2!

As I've mentioned before, I currently work at New York Central Art Supply in the paper department. Downstairs on the side of the checkout counter alongside all the other impulse buys, they have a bunch of little bins with erasers in them. There were three I'd never seen before, so I decided to buy them and test them out against the current champion, the Tombo Mono eraser.

The new contenders are:

  • Pentel Hi-Polymer
  • Faber-Castell "Dust free"
  • MOO eraser

Unlike in the last test, all of these erasers erased a well dug-in line cleanly and completely. None of these products fails in role as an eraser. That leaves us with the next characteristic, amount and size of dust. This is how each of them fared with each eraser brand-new, using the corner to erase the line:

It seemed like a pretty clear-cut win for the Tombo, with the MOO a close second. My next test was to see how they affected ink, whether they'd lift your drawings off the page. Some erasers can be so aggressive that they remove not only pencil but ink and paper fibers, like an art-destroying tornado. All of these performed roughly the same in that test, but as I used them to erase over the ink with their now ground-down corners, I found that the two really dusty erasers were now producing snakes, as they should. I made new pencil lines and tried again, with these results:

The scale of these photographs is slightly out of whack, as the Tombo's snake of dust was actually smaller than the Faber-Castell's. Nonetheless, with a blunted corner all of them performed adequately, and certainly better than the losers in my previous test. Now a new problem revealed itself, namely that certain erasers were using themselves up far more quickly for the same amount of erasing. The MOO, in particular, crated a hilariously long and thick snake of eraser waste, enough that an earthworm might have tried to mate with it were it any larger. The Tombo won again, with the MOO second in creating less dust, but the Faber-Castell coming in second in not using itself up too quickly. They all erased adequately, and I'd recommend any of them.

Links time!

Sarah Glidden has been regiggering her watercolor process for her comics. Here she is experimenting with different techniques:

She finally settled on one, and the results are beautiful to behold.

Becky Cloonan step-by-step process art? Hell yes please.

Evidently the best perspective book for cartoonists ever made has a sequel now:

Extreme Perspective! For Artists: Learn the Secrets of Curvilinear, Cylindrical, Fisheye, Isometric, and Other Amazing Systems that Will Make Your Drawings Pop Off the Page (Book & DVD)

In this sequel to the classic bestseller Perspective! For the Comic Book Artist, David Chelsea takes perspective to a whole other level—by exploring the most dramatic viewpoints employed by today’s artists. Many of these techniques have been carefully guarded secrets for centuries. But David, and his hollow-headed friend, Mugg, make them accessible to a new generation of artists, cartoonists, illustrators, and animators. In Extreme Perspective! For Artists, you’ll learn how to

• Render complicated multi-sided objects in perfect perspective
• Create accurate shadows and reflections from your own imagination
• Master the most difficult kinds of curvilinear perspective systems
• Draw eye-popping images in fisheye perspective
• Use your computer to create elaborate scenes quicker and more easily
• … And much, much more!

Also included is a comprehensive library of perspective grids on DVD, suitable for printing or using with Photoshop and other applications.



Mickey Quinn said...

How do you always know exactly what I'm looking for? I've been thinking so much about getting/trying out new erasers soon, so thanks for this post!

loroca said...

Those Faber-Castell erasers have been my favorites for YEARS. the art school I'm at right now hands us all the staedler mars erasers and I always throw 'em to the side and grab my FC! haha

though now you have me curious about your favorite eraser too!

And I am SO ELATED to see another awesome Perspective! book. Dave did an amazing job last time, I can't wait to get my hands on this new one!

Amalgamated Biscuit said...

What about putty erasers? I use a soft daler rowney and it's pretty great for dip pen lines, maybe a bit sticky for marker ink. You can shape them and there is no dusty mess.

Comic Tools said...

Putty erasers are great, and the only eraser I usually use, but for people who press hard with their pencil, or on heavily reworked areas, they're inadequate.

Anonymous said...

Just a little hint: The name's not Tombo, it's Tombow. Those two triangles next to Tombo are forming a W.

tara said...

On your advice a while ago I bought a few of the Tombow Mono erasers from jetpens.com. I LOVE them! But then I noticed jetpens stopped carrying the Mono line. I sent them an email to ask why they ditched my new favourite erasers, and I was told that they had stopped selling them due to "restrictions on the material composition by the US government." It turns out Monos are made from pvc plastic, which apparently is bad for the environment. I'd just found an amazing new tool and now I learn it's (possibly) eco-unfriendly! Imagine my frustration. Currently my plans are to use up the pile of Monos I'd originally bought (I expect this will take me a couple years, as I bought big ones), and hope that something equally good will come along in the meantime.

Joe Decie said...

I have a Tombow glue stick which is quite lovely.

Anonymous said...

Tombow is a cool little company in general. I know a guy that just loves their brushpens. That being said, they hate the environment and use oil soaked spotted owls to start brush fires apparently.

So just to clarify, did any of the erasers pick up the ink lines? Or did they all leave the ink intact?

Good post man.