I rarely use an eraser nowadays when sketching and drawing. I currently have two: a kneaded eraser that I use to lighten up bold pencil strokes after inking, and the other one is a tiny eraser on my favorite mechanical pen, which I never really erase with.
It wasn’t intentional to stop using erasers a couple of years ago, it just kinda happened. Due to laziness ◠◡◠ And after a while, I actually started to see the benefits with this while sketching. Who knew!
Below are some of the perks I’ve discovered:
You get bolder
Just like with sports and music, or gaming, the more you repeat and practice, the more confident you’ll become! I wish I understood this earlier, especially as a kid.
You’ll end up with more sketches to pick and choose from
This is awesome. If you repeat and redraw your sketch, instead of erasing and correcting an actual one, you can actually compare and pick out the nice parts from each sketch.
Repeating instead of fixing helps you loosen up faster
Try it out next time you’re taking a figure drawing class. For instance, say that the model will hold the same pose for 5 minutes, I often draw two or three sketches of the exact same pose during this time. The last one often turns out to look the most confident.
You start using the same approach when sketching digitally
Yes, definitely. When I moved to digital media, I actually started underestimating making art the traditional way. Photoshop felt limitless. It can be both good an bad though. I actually thought that if I learn to master digital media, I’ll become a better artist. Well, it was very humbling to realize I was wrong. I was forgetting about the fundamentals, and that it applies everywhere. Nowadays I actually prefer trying new ideas by scribbling on paper first, before diving into the digital part.
For me, a physical sketch isn’t really a final product or piece. I treat my sketchbook as a sand box, it doesn’t even have to be pretty! Thinking that way, helps me take away the pressure of creating something perfect on the first attempt, or at all. It allows me to work fast and experiment, knowing that with enough attempts, I increase my chances to end up with a final result that I eventually like!