We all know that when you use a blending stump, the edges become rounded and blunt. As a newbie artist, you might be wondering how to sharpen a blending stump. Well, I’m glad you asked! In this article, I’ll show you how to clean and sharpen a blending stump, so it’s ready for your next drawing project.
Cleaning a blending stump is not very difficult and it doesn’t take much time. However, the stump will get clogged with paint and eventually stop working if you don’t do it regularly.
I’ll share my personal tips on how to clean a blending stump, as well as some things to avoid that could potentially damage your art materials. I will also share some of my personal tips and tricks on how to make the most of your art materials while keeping them in good condition.
What is a Blending Stump?
Before we proceed, let’s first talk about the blending stump. Sometimes called a paper stump, it is an extremely important tool that will help you create smooth transitions when painting or drawing with either charcoal, graphite, pastels, oil paints and more.
Blending stumps are tightly rolled cylinders of paper that come to a point at the end. This allows for easy blending and control when applying drawing or coloring media evenly in certain areas or getting into small corners where brushes can’t reach!
It has a soft texture that can help smooth out your drawing or paint strokes.
The paper is wound tightly and glued together so that it becomes a solid cylinder, which you then cut to length with scissors or an X-acto knife. The texture of the blending stump allows for easy application of paint and other media without lifting your original lines as brushes can do sometimes (although this depends on what type of brush you use). A stiffer variety of these devices are called pencil extenders because they fit over wooden drawing pencils in order to extend them while maintaining their sharp points.
How do I Clean my Blending Stump?
It doesn’t take much time to clean our artist tools between projects but if we don’t maintain them regularly, they could eventually stop performing as intended, and will not last for as long as we need them to. Remember that proper care can preserve its quality and use.
There are several ways to clean our blending stumps, and the method you choose will depend on what’s available, how dirty it is, or if you want to prolong its life.
Here are some general guidelines for this process:
- Remove the outer layer of paper: Using a sharp instrument or fingernail, peel off the top layer of paper from either end.
- Scrape against something abrasive: If you have the sandpaper originally included in blending stump’s package, use that to scrape off any remaining grime. The stump should now be clean.
The most important thing for sharpening a stump is having the right tools. It’s okay if you don’t have sandpaper! You can find boards with 100 grit on one side and 180 grit on the other in pharmacies or supermarkets, if you’re looking to buy it locally. If you can’t find one, Amazon is your best friend.
- Blow and brush away the dust: Blow off any sawdust or crumbs from the surface of your blending stump with a straw, then use a paintbrush to brush it in all directions until no more dust is coming up and the stump is as good as new.
And that’s it! You can start using your blending stump to make your art perfect again.
If you’re looking for a way to make the stump last longer, use it vertically and rotate in clockwise circles so that the edge is always pointing downwards. This will prevent any excess material from drying on top of the surface of the blender and making it too hard to flatten out later when you want to clean or sharpen it. It’s better to be cautious when using your art materials so you can make it last longer.
Use a Kneaded Eraser
Another option to clean a blending stump is to use a kneaded eraser, which is a dark pink or brown eraser that is used for removing graphite, charcoal and other drawing media from paper.
This can be done by applying the kneaded eraser to the dirty area of your paper blending stump in small circles with pressure until it’s clean again. Make sure to rotate and twist the stump inside the kneaded eraser for the latter to completely remove the dirt.
How to sharpen a Blending Stump without Sandpaper?
We’ve discussed how to sharpen a blending stump with sandpaper above, but how do you do it without one? If you’ve lost the sandpaper that came with the stump, or if you blending stump is one you made yourself and buying sandpaper for this purpose can be too much, then what you can do is to scrape.
Scraping with a knife is a good way to sharpen your pencil. It will make it much easier for you to get more pressure on the paper and use less of your arm strength when drawing. The same technique applies to cleaning off dirt from your stump as well!
All you need is something that can scrape, like an old credit card or butter knife. Take this scraping tool and carefully work overall parts where there’s grime; be gentle but thorough.
Final Thoughts on Maintaining Paper Blending Stumps
To avoid having to clean stumps regularly, I suggest using a different stump for different levels of “darkness.” Personally, I have three stumps: one is for light-colored blending, another for mid-tones, and still another for really dark blends. Even with different stumps for different colors and tones, I clean them after every use with a kneaded eraser.
In conclusion, it is important to maintain your blending stumps and brushes with care. Blending can be achieved through a variety of techniques, but it’s best when the artist maintains his or her tools!