Colored pencils are beautiful and fun to work with, but they can be hard to erase. Lines from a graphite pencil that would be easy to pick up with a typical eraser suddenly seem permanent when laid down with a colored pencil. But, they don’t have to be. Colored pencils are erasable with the right steps and eraser.
The best erasers for colored pencils are electric erasers because of how powerful they are and how much pigment they can lift. For the best results, it’s a good idea to use tape to initially lift some of your colored pencil pigment prior to using your eraser.
If you don’t have an electric eraser, you’re about to have your art mind blown. It’s amazing how they pick up pigment and pencil lines. To jump right in, let’s talk about why electric erasers are so great and why they’re my top choice for the best erasers for colored pencils.
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My Top Electric Eraser Pick for Colored Pencils
We’ll talk about why electric erasers are so great for colored pencils later, but if you’re here for the quick and dirty eraser recommendation that gets the job done, let’s do an overview of my top choice.
My top choice for electric erasers is one made by AFMAT. I love this electric eraser because you get a lot of value for the price. I also find that it’s so much fun to use! It’s like a little power tool.
I can erase my lines by pushing a button and moving my hand across my paper. No scrubbing or fussing.
If you search for electric pencils on Amazon, you’ll notice that there are cheaper ones, but a lot of them don’t come with the refills and accessories that the AFMAT does.
The AFMAT comes with a LOT eraser refills. They come in two different sizes so that you can choose your level of precision and the thickness of your eraser lines.
Another important consideration with electric pencils is their power supply. Some electric erasers use batteries alone. As more and more of our devices turn to USB and wall charging, it’s hard to remember to keep batteries around. What I love about the AFMAT is that, even though it’s battery powered, the battery is rechargeable.
The battery in the AFMAT electric eraser can be recharged over 600 times. One individual charge can last you months, so a few months x 600 charges is a very long time. When you eventually lose charge, the AFMAT comes with a USB charger you can use to recharge the battery again.
As a note, you might see in the answered questions on Amazon that the manufacturer states that their erasers aren’t meant for colored pencils. You’ll then see others answer the same question saying that they work well for colored pencils. If you keep scrolling, you’ll see pictures of the erasing work that people have done with this electric eraser on colored pencils.
Colored pencils are tricky to erase, so it seems like the manufacturer didn’t want to make any guarantees, but reviewers will testify that they do a good job.
Now that you’ve heard my top choice of electric eraser that can scrub away stubborn colored pencil lines, let’s talk about why they work so well and, most importantly, show you what they can do.
Why Electric Erasers are the Best Erasers for Colored Pencils
Electric erasers put power behind your eraser strokes without you needing to apply a lot of pressure by hand. This makes it easier to get the maximum erasing benefit without doing damage to your paper.
When we’re dealing with stubborn lines, it’s easy to push really hard and run our paper ragged, creating pills and rips. Electric erasers do all of the moving for you. No need to scrub your paper until it falls apart.
Think about the differences between a regular toothbrush and an electric one. It’s really easy to push too hard with a regular toothbrush, yet still leave something to be desired as far as cleanliness is concerned.
Electric erasers are the same way. When it’s doing the work for you, it’s much easier to get a consistent result and have a lighter touch.
As a side note, it’s really hard to break the habit of manually moving your eraser around your paper. I mean, we’ve all used standard erasers since preschool. Switching over to an electric eraser takes some getting used to. Don’t worry if you’re struggling to stop your hand from moving around when you’re first starting out.
The other thing that’s great about electric erasers is that they’re really precise. It’s really nice to be able to have smaller areas that I can target with my eraser, instead of the large swatches that my block eraser can do.
The precision of electric erasers make them great for doing highlights on your work as well. Aside from undoing mistakes, electric erasers can actually be a great way to contribute to your work. That said, one downside is that this thing moves quickly! If you’re doing precision work, it can be tricky to move go slowly.
Lastly, electric erasers tend to leave behind fewer shavings. The erasers are smaller and they aren’t being moved around as much. This can be helpful in general, especially as someone who likes a clean work space. But, it’s especially helpful for colored pencils, which tend to smear when rubbed.
Here’s a before and after using my electric eraser to eraser colored pencil!
While it isn’t perfect, it’s pretty good for dark colored pencil.
Another eraser I often turn to is Staedtler Mars. I love my Staedtler Mars eraser for graphite pencil drawings, but I do find that it smears a bit with colored pencil due to the scrubbing I have to do with it.
How to Tackle Really Stubborn Colored Pencil Marks
Let’s say that you’ve been working with colored pencils and have a really thick layer of pigment. You’re starting to doubt whether your electric eraser can handle it.
If you have deep or thick colored pencil patches, start by laying some artist tape over it. Gently push down and then lift the tape back off. Be extremely careful doing this so that you don’t rip your paper in any way. Artist tape is a great thing to use for this because it’s designed to be gentle and safe with your papers.
Repeat this process a couple of times until you notice that your tape isn’t removing very much pigment anymore. Now try using your electric eraser over the area and see if you get better results.
Why are Colored Pencils Hard to Erase in the First Place?
Colored pencils are notoriously hard to erase in comparison to graphite pencils because they are a mix of wax and pigment, which is harder to erase than graphite. When erased, wax tends to smear and, given the bright colors of the pigments, it can leave a mess.
You may have noticed that you feel more of a “grip” between your paper and your eraser when you’re erasing regular graphite pencil. When erasing colored pencils, it can feel like your eraser is just slipping around.
We often think about colored pencils and graphite pencils being similar, but they’re really not all that similar at all. Colored pencils aren’t just brightly colored graphite pencils. They contain different ingredients and work in different ways as a result.
Colored pencils are really fun to work with, but they can be challenging to manage when you need to erase them and correct mistakes. But, with a roll of artist tape and an electric eraser in hand, you’ll feel more confident about tackling those stubborn colored pencil marks.
Go forth and create great art!
Diana has been an artist for over 26 years and has training in drawing, painting, digital drawing and graphic design. Diana’s latest obsession is digitally drawing with Procreate and creating t-shirt designs with Canva. Diana has experience selling her art across a number of platforms and loves helping other artists learn how to make money from their art as well.