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Erasable Colored Pencils: Good or Bad?

Erasable Colored Pencils: Good or Bad?

Erasable colored pencils are the topic for today, after a reader asked the following question.

I’ve heard of erasable coloured pencils. What is your experience with them?

In short, I have no experience with erasable colored pencils. I’ve never had a need for them.

But Brenda Matsen does use Col-Erase pencils. Col-Erase is an erasable pencil from Prismacolor. Crayola is another company that makes a line of colored pencils that can be easily erased.

Brenda uses them for her line drawing work only, then layers regular colored pencils over them. Here’s what she had to say about them in the September issue of CP Magic:

[Col-Erase pencils] erase well and lift off nicely with a kneaded eraser. I keep them sharp and use light pressure.

I also choose colours that go well with my project, just in case some colour might stay behind.

They aren’t advertised as lightfast but rather as erasable and break resistant. I only use them for line drawing which doesn’t need to last. They keep a good point.

Brenda Matsen

Erasable Colored Pencils: Good or Bad?

As I mentioned above, I’ve never used Col-erase or any other erasable colored pencils. But I can see applications in which they would be useful. Brenda’s method of using them to make line drawings is probably the best one.

You could also use them for the initial layers if you’re not sure of the best colors to use. If you don’t like the first color, erase it, then try another. When you’ve found the best color, then go over it again with regular colored pencils.

Col-Erase and other types of erasable colored pencils are also good for craft applications or adult coloring books. If it’s not important that your artwork last a long time, then there’s nothing wrong with using erasable pencils.

But if you’re doing work for sale or commission work, then use erasable pencils for the line drawing as Brenda does, and use archival, artist quality pencils for shading and rendering.

Do you have a question about colored pencils? Ask Carrie!

2 thoughts on “Erasable Colored Pencils: Good or Bad?

  1. I have bought & tested out Colo-erase Prismacolor pencils before & liked them well enough to buy more to give to a couple grandkids who have an interest in doing artwork. But I tell them that if & when they get better, to only use better quality pencils. For kids, they’re great practice pencils & do erase pretty well.

    1. Rick,

      Thank you for reading and for sharing your experiences with Col-Erase pencils. Thank you also for introducing colored pencils to your grandkids!

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