If you are an aspiring artist who is just getting acquainted with the world of art and studying materials for drawing, then you might not have heard of a nag. Behind this funny name is an eraser with interesting properties, reminiscent of plasticine to the touch. Let's see what it is - a nag for drawing, and why an artist needs it. This knowledge will definitely come in handy when creating works in pencil, charcoal and pastel. You can see that this is a drawing nag in the photo below.
Features of the nag
A soft eraser is an indispensable thing for transferring halftones and highlights. Unlike the usual vinyl or rubber ones from school days, it is flexible, easily stretched and compressed. The nag changes shape, like plasticine. Some artists even use it for other purposes and create figurines and entire sculptures that decorate the desktop.
The eraser is also used for fun. If you roll the mass into a ball and throw it onfloor, it will bounce like a ball. Although for a couple of such bounces the nag will collect all the dust and dirt. Therefore, instead of laughing, you will want to do the cleaning. But it is better to understand in advance that a drawing nag is not a toy, but an important tool for the artist. Therefore, it is still desirable to use it for its intended purpose. And for games, choose something else.
How to use a drawing nag
These unusual erasers are used to remove and highlight materials such as graphite, charcoal, pastel and chalk. The main feature of the drawing nag is that it is a plastic eraser. You can give it any shape that is great for detailing the work. If you separate a small piece from the rest of the mass, sharpen its edge like a pencil, and apply a few thin strokes, it is easy to correct a small lack of work without erasing the excess. With conventional rubber erasers, it is problematic to perform such a maneuver without touching most of the drawing.
Another feature of the drawing nag is that this mass does not leave marks on paper. She seems to be eating graphite or pastel, drawing them into herself. When working with a nag, you do not need to constantly brush off pieces of a dirty eraser from your work. It is enough just to press it to the desired area several times - and the extra graphite will disappear.
But this may not work if the pencil marks are too dark and you draw by pressing hard on it. The "push and lift" method is suitable for most nag work. But when drawing a portrait, when it comes to creating hair, it is more suitableoption with a sharp tip. The main thing is to brush off the graphite with light strokes, without pressing too hard on the drawing, otherwise the nag will bend.
How to make a soft eraser yourself
Artists can make such an elastic band on their own. In order to make a nag for drawing with your own hands, you will need ordinary erasers. They need to be placed in a jar of gasoline and left for 2-3 days. After that, the resulting mass is dried on paper towels and boiled in clean water. The result should be a soft eraser that looks like a nag. Only it is unlikely that it will be the same bright and pleasant color as the original.
How to clean the nag after work
The eraser absorbs graphite during use and becomes too dirty over time. In order to clean it, just crush the mass in the palm of your hand, like ordinary plasticine. Then the lead particles will be distributed over the material, and the nag can again be used. Over time, the soft eraser darkens and changes from the original shade to a dirty gray. But even such a nag can still be used if it is well kneaded before work until its color turns light gray. But in the end, it will still become too dirty and unusable, as graphite, coal, dust or other particles accumulate inside the plastic mass. This is a bit of a problem because nags are usually very cheap and can be found in most art supply stores.
When purchasing a new eraser, do notuse the whole mass. First pinch off a small piece, enough for the job. When graphite accumulates inside, the nag will become softer. If you need to soften the eraser urgently, rub the pencil lead on sandpaper and combine with the mass. After that, you just need to knead it well. Now you know it's a drawing nag and you can use it to create great drawings.