How to Erase Pastel, Colored Pencil, Ink, and Marker Pens

By Phawnda Moore in Art Tutorials > Drawing Tips

It’s spring in California and flowers are already blooming! So I brought gardening thoughts into my studio and created this “bouquet” of erasers to share some of my favorite kinds with other lettering designers.


If you haven’t updated your eraser collection lately, you’re in for a treat. The pink pearl from school and the grey kneaded models—while still available—have been joined by specialty erasers galore, made with plastic, foam, sand, vinyl, soap, and rubber.

So which brand of eraser is best?

I haven’t noticed any significant differences in brands. . . some of the shapes (oval, for example) are more of a personal preference and, I might add, one not to dismiss.

Note also that many manufacturers include a case around the eraser for stability. I recommend leaving it there for best results.

Using erasers with calligraphy

All artists assign erasers the delicate challenge of removing stray marks without ruining the paper—poof! Just like magic. When designing letters and flourishes in calligraphy, using erasers is a given. The right eraser will remove or fix what’s necessary while leaving our bright ideas untouched; it’s as important as the paper we work on, and will make or break all the effort that goes into our work.

So, after testing many erasers, I drew the tulips below to give you a visual of the best erasers for each medium:


The words in red designate which medium was used, whether pastel, colored pencil, pencil/graphite, ink or marker pen. The words in black note which eraser I used, so you can see which erasers work best for each particular medium.

Here’s a written list of my results, as well:

1. How to erase pastel and colored pencil

Epure Maped (the oval eraser), Factis Black, and Staedtler Mars Plastic all worked well at erasing colored pencils and pastel. The Factis Black may have been the cleanest with pastel, but there was little to no difference when erasing colored pencil.

2. Erasing pencil lead or graphite

Tombow Mono Zero (the long silver eraser), Prismacolor Kneaded, Pilot Foam, and Staedtler Mars Plastic all did the trick with equal success.

3. Does anything erase ink or marker pen? Yes!

Surprise! Both ink and marker erased with the Tombow Mono Sand (the eraser in the turquoise sleeve). The results left the paper a bit rough, but it did take off the color.

I recently saved a nice poster that had a brief ink misadventure with the Mono Sand eraser! It was on the edge of the board, which is just the right place to have to erase with the Sand.

These are some amazing results, yes?! You can find all of these erasers and more on Amazon or Dick Blick. Look for manufacturer’s packages, which include several different types of erasers. And as always, if you buy through the links above, you help support EmptyEasel.

Scott Adams said: “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” That quote offers an excellent perspective, and hopefully helps you look at drawing beautiful letters, flourishes, and flowers in a new way.

Spring blessings!


We'll send you articles & tutorials right as we publish them, so you never miss a post! Unsubscribe here at any time.


This post may contain affiliate links.