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How to sharpen a blending stump?

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#1 Jef De Wit

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 02:23 PM

Hello sketchers

How do you sharpen a blending stump? My first attemp with a pencil-sharpener was a real catastrophe :bangbangbang:

#2 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 03:00 PM

Ugh, brings me back to my first experience with a blending stump & pencil sharpener :tonofbricks:

For minor sharpening or to remove excess graphite/charcoal, hone the blending stump against a sanding block. You can pick one of these up at an art supply store for about a dollar. It's a small hand held paddle with a few sheets of sandpaper stapled to the end. Great for touching up the shape of a pencil tip or blending stump.

For a major re-sharpening on a blending stump, you either need to use a craft knife to whittle it to a point, or just buy a new one if you're inclined. (The sanding block really works great if you use it regularly.)

Hope that helps!

#3 Aaron

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 09:01 PM

Scissors work ok to some extent too

#4 dlapoint

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 03:22 AM

I agree with the sanding block. It works well.

#5 Jef De Wit

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:13 AM

Jeremy, thanks for the advice. I will try a sanding block in the future. Anybody experience with a nail-file?

#6 Carol L

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 06:46 PM

A craft blade works well.. can't recall the name offhand, but "exacto knife" seems to ring a bell. :)

#7 Erix

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 08:10 PM

For minor sharpening or to remove excess graphite/charcoal, hone the blending stump against a sanding block. (The sanding block really works great if you use it regularly.)

Hope that helps!


I'm with Jeremy with regards to the sanding block. ;)

#8 frank5817

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:25 PM

They lose their point? :o I better start using them more.

Frank :)

#9 Carol L

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:15 PM

Sorry Jef, i forgot to mention the nail file.

Yes, i've used them with great success, but it's more economical to get a pack of regular sandpaper at the hardware store and cut the large squares into small pieces. The nail files i've used aren't the metal kind.. they're the sandpaper type. We call them "emery boards" here. One side is rough, and the other side is smoother... is that what you were referring to?

Being sandpaper, the nail files work well to clean the graphite from the stump, but my preference for sharpening the stump is to use the craft knife. It's not actually a knife, it's a small triangular razor-blade which fits into a pencil-like holder. I use them to refresh the tips of my pencils during a sketch, too. :)

#10 WadeVC

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 12:25 AM

To be honest, I pick these up so cheap I don't even bother trying to sharpen them anymore. I just toss a few in my sketch kit whenever I go out for the night, and replace them when worn.

But prior to that, I too always kept either a small piece of sandpaper or a emery board at hand for this exact purpose.

#11 azure1961p

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 10:20 AM


For minor sharpening or to remove excess graphite/charcoal, hone the blending stump against a sanding block.


I second that - the sanding block is the way to go. Oh, I've been told by a couple of people [they must be real artists because they work at an art store :)] that you can unravel it and tear and rewrap it. For get it. Just sand it down.

I will suggest - and I've never seen your work, but when blending, get a nice plate finish paper or illustration board. Avoid grainy or textured papers.

I used to do medical anatomical illustration in graphite with blending stumps. Plate finish illustration board all the way and a variety or stumps.

Pete






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