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A* Episode 19 
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I've been drawing A* with a pencil for about a year and a half, and for all that time I've been using a Staedtler Mars plastic eraser, as it was the best eraser I found at the local art supply superstore; it was miles better than the old rubber erasers I was used to, so I was pretty pleased with it. But recently I switched from mechanical to wooden pencils, and with all the extra graphite they sling around, things have been getting a bit messy--the Staedtler wasn't quite able to keep up. So I got to wondering if maybe there was something better out there; since the best pencils I'd been able to find were from Japan, I figured I'd see how they are at erasers, and ordered up eleven of the most useful looking items from the block eraser section of import site jetpens.com. Being the finicky person I am, I could not rest until they'd arrived and I'd determined once and for all which was the best.

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The old Eberhard Faber Pink Pearl at the bottom there is just for scale; I did try the Staedtler, to the right of it, against the Japanese erasers, but it didn't last long. Keep in mind that I only tested these erasers with the pencil and paper I use for A*: Tombow Mono Professional Drawing Pencils, grade H, and Canson Artist Series Illustration Paper, a stiff, single-ply 150 lb paper with a little bit of tooth to it and a slight anti-bleed treatment; results with other materials could vary! (For results on Bristol with softer 4B lead, which did indeed yield different results, see round 2.) Happily, all the Japanese erasers are under two dollars a pop, so why not get yourself a few samples and give them a try yourself?

Well, let's get to it, shall we? Only one of these erasers can survive! It's battles of elimination, then, and we'll rub out the worst until only the best is left. With one exception: one very popular eraser was out of stock momentarily, so it got to skip the first batteries of tests--but this darling of the people will arrive just in time to face our surviving gladiator in a winner-take-all deathmatch!

I don't have a photo of the first series of tests I did with all the erasers (except the Pink Pearl, which I allowed to retire with dignity), because it was a fairly casual test over three modest stripes of graphite that quickly proved insufficiently demanding to distinguish the fine differences between most of the Japanese erasers; it was, however, obvious from the first stroke with them that the Staedtler was outclassed: its stiffer material couldn't pick up the graphite from the paper as efficiently as the softer Japanese blocks, and it shredded more easily into lots of little fragments that have to be brushed off the page, inevitably smearing the drawing beneath them. The Staedtler (a "vinyl" and "plastic" eraser, which I can only assume means PVC) was out.

I was able to rule a couple of the Japanese erasers out immediately as well:

10. Tombow Mono NP Non-PVC Eraser
This didn't seem to be erasing as easily as the others, and felt awful, crumbling even faster than the Staedtler into little shavings that got everywhere. A far cry from the fabled Mono eraser of yore; Tombow seems to have a guilty conscience about the supposedly unhealthy chemical composition of their beloved discontinued original eraser, but they're overcompensating here and have made a really sub-par follow-up.

9. Pentel Hi-Polymer Ain Eraser - Black
A PVC eraser, as were all the Pentel erasers I tested--the Japanese erasers neatly identify their composition with a uniform "PVC" printed on their sleeves--the Black Ain just wasn't erasing as well as the three other Ains I tested, so I saw no reason to continue with it.

So much for those. Now it was going to get tougher: I had to find a way to strain these remaining erasers. I tried gouging the pencil tip into the paper really hard, digging deep, graphite-filled troughs in the surface, and even scratching out solid square patches of pure lead covering. Let's see them handle THIS!

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Oh, they handled it--without so much as breathing hard. There still wasn't much difference evident in the cleaning ability of the remaining erasers (and the Staedtler was still in there for some reason, but never mind), but I did rule out two that were maybe not erasing quite as well, and definitely didn't feel as good in action:

8. Uni NanoDia Eraser for Kids
I guess I'd like to see Uni's adult eraser--oh wait, more on that later--and come to think of it I'm not sure how this relatively hard, PVC-laden eraser is particularly good for the children: it shreds into tiny bits and makes a mess, and doesn't even clean up graphite as well as most of the other erasers. Maybe this is for the naughty kids.

7. Pentel Ain Stein Eraser
You finally figure out what the "Ain" name was for when you get to the "Stein" (get it? :P); Pentel Japan's web site touts the unusual strength of this PVC eraser, and it does feel firm, and I like the long form-factor, but it creates a mess much like the NanoDia, besides not erasing as effectively as the most of the others.

Then I squinted a bit harder at the results, noticed that four of the erasers had slightly superior results; that weeded out these reasonably effective erasers:

6. Pentel Hi-Polymer Ain Eraser - Light-Erasing
All of the remaining erasers erase pretty effectively right from the first stroke, so "Light-Erasing" didn't really distinguish this PVC eraser (the Ain in the blue jacket in the photo) from any of the other contestants, and even pressing hard didn't quite get the lead out as well as four of the competitors.

5. Seed Colorful Radar Light 100 Eraser
These pleasantly sherbet-colored erasers come in a nice big size, and their shavings roll together into easily-cleaned bunches pretty readily, but it wasn't quite cutting the mustard compared to a few of the others when it came to actual erasing.

That left me with four remaining erasers. Now I tried really just scratching cubes of...scratches into the paper with really sharp pencil points. Unfortunately, this didn't slow down the erasers a bit. So then I just laid down a big patch of graphite and tried to clear a quarter of it with each one, going in a circle clockwise around that big erased square at the bottom of the following photo, in the same order that you see them listed (in my awful handwriting) vertically, starting with the Pilot Foam at the upper left corner:

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The only thing I could tell from this was that one of the four quadrants wasn't quite as bright white as the others; one eraser was eliminated:

4. Pilot Foam Eraser
It gathered shavings together pretty well, came in a nice big size, and erased pretty well, too--it's just that three other erasers erased slightly better. Not a bad showing for the Foam, though.

Now I had to get serious: I laid down the biggest, heaviest field of graphite I could, and made each of the remaining three erasers clear a big swath of it:

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Gosh dang if they didn't all do an amazing job at that. My arm was getting tired, I was starting to get a little hot and sweaty beneath extra lights at my drawing table with all this scratching and erasing, and worry that I wouldn't be able to pick a winner was starting to gnaw at me. My tired eyes thought maybe, just maybe, one of them had done a slightly better job than the others. But it was such a subtle difference that it could have been a fluke or a trick of the light, so I thought I'd better try again:

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Again, the difference was very, very faint, but I think...I *think*--and this might not even be visible in the probably-not-quite-even lighting of this photograph--that one *was* getting its area just a wee bit cleaner than the others. That meant we had two proud runner-ups:

3. Hinodewashi Matomaru-kun Eraser
If you sort JetPens' eraser section by "Popularity," this long, square-tipped PVC eraser is #2; and #1 has a similar form factor, so maybe other eraser manufacturers should take note when it comes to deciding what shape to make their next erasers. It also just erases really darn well; the Matomaru-kun was by far the softest and tackiest on the paper, and just really seemed to grip the lead right off the surface. That's good, but on the other hand, it does require more effort to drag that soft, adhering eraser head across the paper; it's a long body but you have to grip it right up at the tip to get leverage, and even doing that, I had the tip start to split off, the only one of the bunch to have any kind of fracturing problem like that. So if I was going to go with a Matomaru-kun I might opt for the more traditional, thicker rectangular block-shaped version--maybe the one in the flashy gold sleeve. Even though I prefer to ditch the sleeve anyway rather than having to bother advancing the eraser through it all the time as it wears down--which brings up another possible drawback of this eraser: I'm not sure I would want that super-tacky, super-soft surface rubbing against my fingers all that much. Still, it erases like the dickens.

2. Kokuyo Campus Student Eraser - For 2B Lead
"Students" in Japan get a pretty awesome eraser, I guess! This one definitely impressed with erasing power, came in a relatively hefty size, and I think it was even one of the best ones at rolling its shavings into conveniently discarded long strings, too. And, intriguingly, JetPens has a listing for a "For B/HB Lead" version, which in theory would be better-suited for my H-grade lead (B/HB being closer than 2B to H in the pencil grade scale)--only it's out of stock, and doesn't have their usual "click here to get notified when it gets back in stock," which does not bode well. Still, I can't really imagine one erasing much better than this "2B" version. (Update: it does--see round 3.)

That leaves us with a modestly named but incredibly effective erasing champion:

1. Pentel Hi-Polymer Ain Eraser - Dust-Gathering
This little PVC eraser--the Ain in the red sleeve in the initial photo--won't be gathering dust in my art supply pantry of shame--its supreme erasing power is going right to work on a daily basis! The name *is* a little funny, though; I guess they're just somewhat arbitrary, because the Ain "Light-Erase" model, for instance, probably "gathered" eraser fragments about as well as this thing, but this one erased at least as "lightly," which is to say, right from the first touch to the paper you really feel it going to town on the graphite. It has probably the second-tackiest surface after the Matomaru-kun, so it does take a bit more muscle to move it (maybe that's what the "light-erasing" of the other means by comparison, I suppose), but even the Small model--which really is small, like about the width of a penny--can scour a big piece of paper clear very quickly, it's just that good at erasing. It wasn't the best at "dust gathering" its own shavings out of all these erasers, but it does okay at that--certainly better than, say, the Staedtler, which doesn't do it at all. And it has a curious property of sometimes skipping right off thick graphite deposits, possibly leaving a long smear--but it can always clean these up. It does seem to be the most durable of the erasers, though; I'm not sure how, considering its relative softness and tackiness, but this little workhorse wears down really, really slowly, so even the Small is going to last me though a good many erased-many-times-over full pages--and rather to my surprise, I'm finding I prefer the nimbleness of the small size, so I'll stick with that rather than bumping up to the larger version.

Oops but wait I'm getting ahead of myself: there was the one, most popular eraser that was all sold out when I ordered the others, and thus arrived later:

??. Uni Boxy Eraser

The Boxy has almost twice as many reviews on JetPens as the next-most-reviewed eraser (62 vs the Pilot Foam's 32), is the top of their "Popularity" sorted list, and just seems to garner way more love than any other eraser there; I don't know if it's because of its long, square-tipped shape, the black color, or the silly "the basic concept of boxy always aims at a simple life style" phrase printed on the sides. Maybe people really liked the robot dog of the same name from Battlestar Galactica? Anyhoo, it finally arrived, so it was time to put the JetPens champ up against my testing's champ, the Ain Dust-Gathering:

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Clear victory to the Ain Dust-Gathering: the Boxy didn't clean as well, left small black shreds everywhere, and even created a couple weird black smears that it couldn't clean back off; if the Boxy had been around for my earlier rounds of testing it would have been eliminated at least three rounds back. It's a little long in the tooth now--some of those Boxy reviews go back to 2007--so maybe that explains both its large, devoted following, and definite lack of competitiveness against some of the young guns in the Japanese erasing world.

~~~~~

Well, that wraps it up for now: go go Ain Dust-Gathering! Speaking of older (I think?) erasers like the Boxy, though, I did manage to find a certain shop in Hong Kong that claimed to have some of Tombow's original, discontinued "Mono" erasers in stock, so if the one I ordered actually shows up at my doorstep (in the next couple weeks, maybe?), I'll be able to pit that against the Ain Dust-Gathering, which will rule this roost at least until then.

~~~~~~

Update: For testing of the original Mono eraser, and testing on Bristol paper with softer lead--where I find a different eraser to be the best!--check out Supermassive Eraser Round-up, Round 2!

Update 2: And once I got a Campus B/HB, that just had to be pitted against the Ain Dust-Gathering for the ultimate hard-lead championship! All that and more in round 3.


Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:10 am
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Only one page (kinda for Monday) 'cause I spent too much time playing with art supplies, 'cause on Sunday I decided that the toothy texture on the Canson Artist Series Illustration Paper I've been using since oh somewhere in episode 15, and which worked so well for brush work, is breaking up pencil lines too much for them to scan cleanly, particularly with wider/softer leads; if you look at the large versions of the past dozen or so pages, for instance, which were done with a wooden H pencil, you'll see that the lines are fuzzy rather than crisply solid, and even on the small page size, a sort of crayon-like quality is evident and, I think, rather unattractive.

So I needed a smoother paper, and fortunately I had a dozen or so pages of the old Strathmore 300 Smooth Bristol that I started with when I first made the switch from working digitally back in the middle of episode 14. I scribbled out a bunch of boringly identical sketches on a page of it, using various pencils--my mechanical 0.5mm drafting pencil with H lead, a Tombow Mono H-grade pencil, and Cretacolor Monolith woodless pencils at softer 2B, 4B, 6B, and 8B grades; the heads on the left in this first photo were done with the 0.5mm, for instance, but the one on the right was probably a 6B+:

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I found that the Mono at grade H was kind of scratchy on the Bristol, whereas the H-grade 0.5mm mechanical pencil wasn't; also, with the Cretacolors, I found that I really liked the 4B: went on like butter, and wasn't annoyingly soft and crayon-y like the 6B and 8B. One thing I'd suspected but had never tested with those woodless Cretacolors, though, was difficulty in sharpening them; I finally tried one in my sharpener, and, unlike with wooden pencils, it didn't sharpen to a point and then stop, so I probably ground down about a fourth of the pencil by accident. Pshaw!

Anyway I found that I was also pretty comfortable on the Bristol with my old 0.5mm drafting pencil, even though it draws very lightly with its thin, harder lead, and I thought maybe since its lines would be more solid on the less textured Bristol surface it would scan without the breakup problems I tended to encounter with it when I was trying it on the Canson Illustration paper at the beginning of this episode. So I did today's page with the drafting pencil on the Strathmore 300 Bristol, but found, upon scanning, that the paper was *just* off-white enough to start to register as patches of gray tone; the pencil lines did indeed come through in better shape than on the rougher paper, but I had to boost the overall white value to get rid of the patchy grays from the paper, and that weakened the lines, so the end result isn't nearly as much of an improvement over the old paper as I'd been hoping it would be. Dang. Also, the hard 0.5mm point feels annoyingly spongy on the Bristol's 2-ply surface, which was one of the reasons I'd stopped using it in the first place--and it takes a lot more elbow grease to erase from, too.

This was not, actually, the Bristol I'd wanted to use; Canson, whose Illustration paper I've liked so much, makes a Bristol of their own, which at least one review on the dickblick.com art supply supersite says is smoother than the equivalently priced Strathmore 300. I'm hoping it will also be a tad whiter, but I'll have to wait until the shipment I ordered arrives in a few days to find that out--I had to order some as none of the art supply stores I called around Seattle had any in stock, although the physical Dick Blick store (or "Blick Art Supplies," as they're trying to style themselves now) across town *said* they did, and I drove all the way over there in the morning only to find they actually had the Canson only in the rougher "vellum" surface type. Argh.

So as not to have the trip be a total waste, though, I felt some time comparing the look and feel of the more expensive Strathmore 400 and 500 papers that they had in the shop, but found that the 400 felt a little more pebbly than the 300, and the 3x as expensive all-cotton 500 wasn't perceptively smoother, and was definitely darker--almost verging on a very light brown egg color that I can't think will behave very well at all in the scanner. A helpful store clerk who showed up and admitted to a penchant for paper-groping herself (I admitted to nothing >_>) said that she'd heard the only difference between the 300 and 400 was that one was recycled, but I haven't found any evidence for that. I wondered aloud if the Utrecht store, in the same neighborhood as the Blick store, might have some of the Canson Bristol, but the clerk pointed out that the two stores had merged--but I think it's more a case of Utrecht having been absorbed by Blick, because Utrecht stores and web site now just redirect to Blick. So that option was out. : P Anyway, hope remains for the Canson winging its way to me in the mail.

The only thing I actually bought at the store was a 99-cent grade 4B Tombow Mono, which turned out to be rather delicious on the old Strathmore 300 Bristol. Here's a scanned sketch from that combination, shown at the same relative size as the regular and large A* pages:

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The line is dark enough that it doesn't break up when I have to adjust for the darkness of the paper, and the lead, while much softer than my usual H-grade, is still holding together pretty well on the fairly smooth surface. I think I'll try the next A* page with this combination and see how it goes; I suspect I'll smudge the 4B all over...but we'll see. It would be kind of nice if I could just stick with the 0.5mm mechanical, since I'm most confident with its always-there point--and too lazy to sharpen regular pencils regularly enough--but I think this last page showed that I have difficulty creating contrast between a lot of different surfaces in a complex scene with the narrow and fairly fixed 0.5mm line. Also, the 4B is easily visible to the eye, which would make for nicer originals, and perhaps less eye strain while drawing, too! Anyhoo I'll give it a shot.


Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:50 am
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Drew today's pages with a 4B Tombow Mono pencil on Strathmore 300 Smooth Bristol, and--aside from the pretty nearly complete mechanical failure of an eraser I thought might work better on that surface--it worked a lot better than I thought it would! I'd been afraid that the soft 4B lead would smear--I used to get pretty smeary even with much harder and lighter H lead on my previous paper, Canson Illustration--but it didn't, hardly at all in fact; I guess that's because the old paper was a toothier surface and loose graphite sort of pooled in the pits in the surface, just waiting to be smudged around, whereas with the smooth 300 surface, it's either stuck on there pretty good, or not there at all. On the other hand, that lack of graphite-grabbing hollows does mean that you can't get the lead to come out as dark on this paper as you could on a rougher paper--which is why hardcore photo-realistic type graphite artists use a rougher paper surface--but the 4B is still pretty dark anyway.

One thing that surprised me about the 4B Monos is that the lead is much thicker! Check it out here on the right, compared with an H Mono on the left:

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Boom! That's some power lead right there.

~~~~

I seem to have run out of any idea I had of how to draw Junior in an interesting way. Ugh. Gotta figure his face out.


Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:32 am
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My Canson bristol paper arrived today! And I used it for these two latest pages--I don't know if you noticed, since I tidy things up in Photoshop after scanning anyway, but the lines are smoother and the whole thing is cleaner. Why? For one thing, the Canson bristol (I just realized I don't have to capitalize "bristol" :P, even though it gets its name from the city of Bristol, England for some reason) is much smoother than the "Smooth" version of the Strathmore 300 bristol I used for the previous three pages, as perhaps you can see in this little comparison done with a Tombow Mono 4B pencil:

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The smoother surface means the lines get broken up less by the paper's texture, and consequently come through much more cleanly when scanned into the computer.

Also, although you can't really tell from the photo, Canson's bristol is a brighter white than the Strathmore 300, which actually scanned light gray in some areas rather than pure white--that meant that with the Strathmore, I had to shift light grays to white in Photoshop to clean up the scan, which unavoidably resulted in some loss of detail and line integrity. Canson's bristol, by contrast, scans pure white, so no additional processing of the artwork is necessary.

(Strathmore does have two pricier lines of bristol, the 400 and the all-cotton "archival" 500, but when I felt them up at the art supply store yesterday, the 400 didn't feel any smoother than the 300, and the 500, which *may* have been a smidge smoother than the 300, was a much darker color that would make for an even muddier scan.)

Finally, Canson's bristol doesn't have the oddly squeaky, rubbery surface the Strathmore does, so drawing on it is a much more pleasant experience, and the eraser doesn't stick to it like it does to the Strathmore; in fact, my 4B pencil marks just erase much more easily and cleanly from the Canson paper.

So huzzah! The Canson bristol is everything I'd hoped it would be, and has none of the problems that were bothering me with the Strathmore--and my A* pencil work should look much cleaner from here on out. :)


Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:44 am
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This was a quick test sketch I did today, seeing how it would go if I used a big marker as fill for pencil lines:

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It actually worked better than I expected in terms of how quick it was and how solid the edges of the marker areas were. I'm not sure how well it all holds together, though; then again that may just be because something's off with the drawing of the chin there. : P Anyway this is probably worth experimenting with a bit more, after all I do have a ton of these big markers sitting around from back when I thought I was going to do the strip all on marker, back um in episode 16.


Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:47 am
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A digital doodle with the ol' Lasso Tool (I was frustrated with pencils last night :p):

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~~~~~~

I got an email from my host, pair.com, saying that the A* site is being "moved to a lightning fast, new server running the latest operating system (FreeBSD 8) on the fastest platform (64-bit)" on Monday! Neat! I mean I don't think it runs slow at all now, but apparently it will get even zippier next week, so that's nice. : D They didn't mention there being any down time, so hopefully the switchover will happen in a twinkle.

Or *maybe* the new server will be so fast that time will run in reverse, and the strip will start going backwards--aw, and just when we're nearing 2000 pages! Hm well I guess we'll see what happens come Monday.

~~~~~~

I use Quantcast's statistical service to get information on who is reading A*--well, mostly just so I can see if I'm gaining or losing viewers day by day :o--and I got an email from them yesterday saying they just rolled out a snazzy new real-time display of who's visiting A*! It shows current viewers per city on a global map, which is pretty fascinating (for me :p) to watch. :) Yes you over there in Iceland and you in Myanmar, I can see you, hello! *waves* And YOU can see it too, right here; ooh you can even use the button at top right there to make it full screen in a dark color scheme that makes your monitor look like a control room screen at NASA mission control or something. :oo And if you want the boring old static stats with demographic breakdowns and that kind of thing, you can always find those right here.

~~~~~~

Looking at Quantcast's semi-interactive live map, I noticed a region in South America highlighting when I positioned the mouse over France--it's French Guiana, which is actually part of France (an "overseas region of France," as Wikipedia puts it)! And it is home to France's national spaceport, Guiana Space Center; turns out Guiana is a handy place from which to launch rockets, because (like Cape Canaveral) it's near the equator so you get a bit of an additional boost from the Earth's rotation when you launch eastward, and it has uninhabited territory to the East (aka the Atlantic Ocean), so stuff falling off those eastward-launching rockets probably won't fall on anyone. Guiana Space Center is also the European Space Agency's primary spaceport, because the French were good sports and offered to share it with them; so that's where the ESA launches their supply vehicles to the International Space Station.

And if it sounds familiar, maybe it's because I mentioned it and showed a photo of a space launch from GSC way back in 2011, when we were in the middle of episode 13! Boy how time flies.


Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:39 am
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Such a shameless use of 'dangerous' feminine wiles on a innocent unsuspecting enamored youth! Ha... but hey.. I'd fall for it too..lol!


Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:41 am
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Ohh I'm sure he'll be fine >_>


Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:04 am
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Looks like my host did indeed move the site to the super-fast new server today--this became apparent when my comic uploading script started breaking; apparently the new server arrangement is a bit more restrictive on the ol "rename" Perl command. :P Anyway I've got that worked out now I think and everything should be hunky-dory, but of course if you see something that broke today do let me know and I'll get it taken care of.

If you caught my Supermassive Eraser Round-up from a week or so ago you know I looked at a bunch of Japanese erasers and settled on the best to use as my new eraser for A*. Since then though I've already switched paper and pencil lead grade, and these demanded some new testing--plus, I got a couple different Japanese erasers from a new source. PLUS over the weekend I found a bunch of new erasers to try in my little local art supply store--you may think these couldn't possibly go toe-to-toe with the Japanese super-erasers, and I didn't either, BUT I was very, very wrong. So anyway I have a whole new batch of erasers to present, including these, stripped for temporary anonymity

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and one of those will be the NEW eraser of A*! The one tried with the pages today seems good--I couldn't have done the erased edge of Selenis' hair on page 66 without it, for instance--but a previous incarnation of it fell apart in earlier testing, where I was using it slightly differently, so I'm going to give it at least another day of work tomorrow before I declare it the winner. If that one fails, the new A* eraser will be one that isn't even Japanese! In fact, if you're in the States, it's one you might just find right in your local art supply store--and yeah it's a really great eraser! Anyhoo I will have the run-down on all of these in the not-too-distant future.


Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:28 am
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Tried using a big black marker for the dark area in page 68 and, as with the pencil/marker sketch I tried last week or whatever, I'm not sure it really worked out. Oh well, worth a shot.

I'm glad Junior is out of the picture for a little bit now because like half the time I just don't seem to know what to do with his face; I seem to have these constant urges to do sort of comic relief characters, but when it comes to drawing them I just can't draw them "seriously," I suppose because of how I feel their personality works, and they end up looking like these ridiculous cartoonish scribbles next to the other much more serious scribbles. : P Hum. He's worked out okay a *few* times though so obviously there's some way to do it all right, I just can't seem to do it consistently.

The eraser I was testing out in real drawing for the past couple days to see if it would be my new go-to eraser *did* start to split after two days of heavy erasing--but then, as I was doing some extra eraser testing, my would-be backup go-to eraser split, too! And that one is more smeary than the first candidate, which is actually really amazingly un-smeary, which I've been finding is a huge plus when working with softer graphite grades. So I think I'm just gonna have to go with the first one anyway; I found that if I cut the split end off square with a nice sharp knife, I can go on using the eraser all right; the thing *not* to do is to tear the split end off, because that leaves a jagged surface that just starts to split all over when you try to erase with it, and soon the whole eraser just crumbles to bits--that's what happened with the first one of these.

And in even further eraser developments, the B/HB version of that Campus 2B eraser that came in #2 in my earlier eraser round-up is actually in stock at Jetpens.com now; the 2B version did really well on the H-grade lead I was testing at that point, so in theory the B/HB (B and HB being harder grades of lead than 2B) should do even *better* on H-grade lead--so when I get that one in I'll have to try it against the current H champ, the Pentel Ain Dust-Gathering eraser, to see if it can beat it. And then whichever one of those does best is what I'll keep around for the times I use my mechanical drafting pencil and H leads for layouts meant for inking--and I think I will be doing some of those again, although in a slightly different format, but I'll talk more about that in a day or two probably.

I may only get one page done tomorrow 'cause I've got someone else's birthday to go celebrate. I *might* get back in time to get two pages in but I kind of doubt it.


Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:25 am
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