The Best Eraser for Watercolor Paper

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If you’re new to watercolors, you’re probably wondering about the best eraser for watercolor paper. Learn more about my favorite erasers and methods to sketch before painting with watercolor paint.

You might also like these watercolor tutorials.

erasers and pencils

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The Best Eraser for Watercolor Paper

erasers and pencils on paper

Did you know that once graphite gets wet, it becomes permanent? This means that you need to erase well before you paint with watercolors.

It can also smear when it gets wet, which will muddy your colors.

I have several erasers and methods that I like using when creating art with watercolors.

But you know what eraser I never reach for? The one on the end of my pencil. They don’t do a good job, smear graphite everywhere, and make a mess when you use them to erase.

Here are some better options.

Not Using a Graphite Pencil

This is often my method when I paint with watercolor paint. Instead of erasing pencil lines, I either paint freehand or use other sketching media.

I have a whole post on which pencils to use with watercolor, but basically, you can use pencils that blend or even disappear with watercolor paint.

flower pot painted over lines drawn with pencil in blending color
I used a carmine col-erase pencil for this and it blends enough that the lines disappear.

This is my preferred method because then you don’t have to deal with eraser shavings.

Be sure to pick colors that work well with the paint colors. I find that carmine works well for most of what I draw, but your preferred color might be green or even blue.

Kneaded Eraser

When I do use a pencil, I love my kneaded eraser. Since it’s kneadable, you can roll it up into a tiny point to remove small areas or pencil marks.

It’s also gentle on the paper. And there are no eraser shavings.

To use, simply roll it over the area where you need to remove pencil marks. Need a clean spot? Just roll it up into a ball and find a clean area to use.

using a kneaded eraser

Using the eraser to lighten the pencil marks will still result in pencil marks showing through if you look closely.

flower pot painted over lightly erased lines

This kneaded eraser works best for lightening pencil marks before adding paint. Draw lightly with the pencil for the best results.

kneaded eraser

You can also try adding ink for an outline if you want to hide the pencil lines.

Tombow Eraser

This is my other favorite eraser. I like it because it’s gentle, travels a bit better than a kneaded eraser, and does an excellent job of completely removing dark pencil marks.

erasing lines with tombow eraser

This eraser is harder to use lightly. It’s best for removing lines completely.

red flower pot painted in watercolors

The Tombow mono eraser a pretty basic eraser, but it does a great job. It does create pencil shavings, but they tend to be larger and easier to clean up.

This eraser works best for painting around areas and then completely erasing the marks. This requires better brush control though.

flower painted in watercolor
Before Erasing

Be sure that you let the paint dry completely before erasing.

watercolor flower after erasing pencil marks

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