Are Colored Pencils Erasable?

Are Colored Pencils Erasable
Are Colored Pencils Erasable?

Are colored pencils erasable? Fortunately, they are. While colored pencils aren't as easy to erase as graphite pencils, they can still be erased should the need arise. 

As an artist, it would be nice if you could work without ever making a mistake, wouldn't it? But nobody's perfect, mistakes happen, and when they do, you can either throw out your drawing, or you can find a way to fix the problem. 

If you simply threw out every colored pencil drawing that you made a mistake on, you'd probably never finish anything. That's why learning about different ways to erase color pencils is so essential. 

Erasing colored pencils takes a bit more care and effort than erasing graphite, but it's something that every artist that works with colored pencils needs to learn how to do.

Ways To Erase Color Pencils

Are color pencils erasable? They are if you have the right kind of eraser or some tape. While a standard pink rubber eraser may be able to remove some colored pencils from paper, it won't work as well as other types of erasers. This type of eraser simply wasn't designed to deal with colored pencils, so you'll have to find some better alternatives. What are those alternatives? The best kind of erasers to remove colored pencils are colored pencil erasers, kneaded erasers, and vinyl erasers. If you don't have any of these types of erasers, some tape will work as well.

Using A Color Pencil Eraser

If you want to erase colored pencils, it shouldn't surprise you to learn that the best tool is a colored pencil eraser. Colored pencil erasers were designed for colored pencil artists, and they do a remarkable job of removing colored pencils. 

Will a colored pencil eraser remove every trace of color from a white paper? No, but it will come close enough to work for your purposes. Don't forget that colored pencils have exceptional covering power. 

After erasing your mistake, you can usually easily cover it up with a few more layers of color, and nobody will be the wiser. When using a colored pencil eraser make sure that you work carefully. 

Colored pencil erasers are firmer and rougher than traditional erasers, so if you aren't careful, you can easily tear the paper you are drawing on.

Key Points When Using a Colored Pencil Eraser

  • Colored Pencil Erasers are very effective tools for erasing color pencils.
  • Be careful not to rip the paper when applying pressure with this type of eraser.

Use A Kneaded Eraser To Erase Color Pencil

While a kneaded eraser wasn't specifically designed for colored pencils, it works well enough that it should serve you well in most cases. The most important thing to remember about using kneaded erasers for colored pencils is that they won't remove every trace of color from a paper. Other erasers are more effective at removing color than a kneaded eraser is, so why would you want to use one? 

One reason could be if you need to lighten an area of color instead of removing it outright. For example, let's say that you accidentally oversaturate a part of your drawing with too much color. Attempting to layer more color on top probably won't give you the covering power that you need. With a kneaded eraser, you can remove enough color from a page to significantly lighten up the drawing, giving you the ability to cover it up more easily when you add more color on top of it.

Key Points When Using a Kneaded Eraser

  • Kneaded erasers are not designed for use with color pencils.
  • They don’t remove all traces of color from your drawing.
  • A kneaded eraser is excellent for lightening specific areas of a drawing.

Shaping An Eraser To Remove Color From Selected Parts Of A Drawing

One of the other reasons that kneaded erasers are popular with artists is their ability to be shaped to fit into any area. Kneaded erasers aren't solid, they are made of a putty-like substance that can be molded into just about any shape you can imagine. 

So, if you have a small area on your colored pencil drawing that you need to make corrections on, then you can use a kneaded eraser more precisely than other types of erasers.

Key Points When Using a Shaped Kneaded Eraser

  • A kneaded eraser is excellent for molding into almost any shape.

How To Remove Color From Paper

Removing all traces of color from white paper is virtually impossible. You'll end up tearing your paper before you can return it to the same white that it was before you started drawing

But, there's some good news here. First, you don't have to remove all traces of color when you are working with colored pencils because colored pencils can be layered to cover up mistakes.

If you want to be able to get your paper as close to white as possible when you erase it then you should always sketch as lightly as possible when you are first starting your drawing

This is a good tip when working with any type of pencil since it allows you to work quickly without having to worry about making mistakes. If you sketch lightly and use a colored pencil eraser carefully, you should be able to remove most traces of color from a paper.

Key Points When Removing Color From Paper

  • Be careful not to tear the paper.
  • Always remember to work lightly with the pencil as this will enable the easy removal of color pencils.

How To Use Tape To Erase Color Pencil

Believe it or not, you can actually use tape to remove colored pencil from the paper. 

To do this, you should use masking tape. Using any type of tape that has too much glue will cause it to bond with the paper, making removing it without tearing the paper virtually impossible. 

To use tape to remove colored pencils from your drawing, tear off a small piece of masking tape that is about the same size as the area you want to remove. Next, press it onto your drawing carefully, making sure that it is flat, and there aren't any wrinkles. 

Make sure that you gently press on the tape, and if there are any areas that you need to remove colored pencils from more than others, you can use a mechanical pencil without lead, and press it onto the tape. 

After a few seconds of pressing the tape down, you can remove it, and it should remove a good amount of the colored pencil that you had put down on the paper. 

Make sure that you are very careful when removing the tape, so you don't accidentally tear your drawing. 

It's also a good idea when using this method to test it out on a small inconspicuous area first.

Key Points When Using a Tape to Remove Color Pencil.

  • Using masking tape with less glue is best suited to the removal of color pencils from white paper.
  • Mask tape can be cut into careful shapes for the accurate removal of color pencils.


Ian Walsh is the creator and author of and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

Recent Posts