Drawing Materials: Blending Tools

blending tools for drawing
Blending Tools

Touching your art
Sometimes you use smudging as a technique with charcoal or soft graphite drawings to soften focus, spread tones and values, and draw.
Your fingers and palm of your hand are just wonderful for manipulating loose pigment and dust on your paper. If you wish to keep your fingers clean, wrap your finger in tissue, or wad the tissue into shape and blend away.

Stumps (1)
Stumps are dual-pointed sticks of tightly rolled felt-like paper made for spreading and blending charcoal, pastels, and graphite pencil. They are available in a large range of thicknesses.

Chamois (2)
Chamois is soft processed suede leather that you use as a blending or drawing tool. Try wrapping your finger in a small square of chamois and working with some powdered charcoal or graphite on a large piece of paper.

Tortillons (3)
Tortillons are loosely rolled up points of soft paper made for spreading and blending charcoal, pastels, and graphite pencil. Tortillons have a longer single taper that is somewhat flexible like a brush.

Brushes (not pictured)
Soft sable brushes, natural hog bristle, synthetic firm and soft, make up brushes, foam pads,house painting brushes.
HINTS AND TIPS:
  • To avoid smudging a drawing while working on it, lay a clean scrap of paper under the heel of your drawing hand to protect the drawing underneath.
  • As you use your blending tool experiment with your angle of attack. Tortillons have a wider range of stroke widths. Stumps have shorter angled points and a more limited range of width.
  • Once a stump or tortillon is saturated with the media you are using you can draw with it.

Recommended brands:


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