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Is there a recommended medium to use for the penciling stage on canvas?

Hi all,

I've noticed that when sketching out my compositions on canvas, even my lightest strokes are enough to stain the canvas, making erasing very, very difficult. Is there something else i should be using on a canvas, rather than pencil? Sorry for this, i'm predominantly a digital artist and have no experience with traditional mediums :Z

Thanks all, 



  • JDraws

    Graphite smudges leftover from erasure get covered up with paint. The smudges are absorbed into the chalky gesso surface and further ingrained by the eraser.

    Try a small brush and some gesso for erasure.

    If this remains a problem then use an acrylic tone / stain with a matt finish and a slight tooth (Art Spectrum Colourfix). Draw with a pastel pencil or a conte crayon. (I can use the garden hose to erase these drawings, but I also use YUPO or Smart Paper supports as these are water proof polypropylene products). Small erasures can be done with a moist Qtip.


  • For years, now, an argument has gone on about using graphite on canvas for underdrawing, especially with oil paint.  The argument is that eventually, the graphite will strike through and become visible.  I quit using pencil for underdrawing a long time ago.  I use a fairly hard charcoal pencil for the drawing.  I attempt to erase it before I paint, but it leaves a very visible "ghost" image.  I strengthen this with a drawing in oil paint.  Depending on whether I intend to correct this part of the drawing, I'll start with a rather light mix of yellow ocher and raw umber and a slightly broad bristle brush.  Corrections are made with a darker version of this painting mix using a smaller brush, if corrections are necessary.  If I'm not in a big rush, I'll let this underdrawing dry overnight.
  • JDraws

    Have a look at the videos I posted on Dec 13 on this thread for easy erasure:


  • Has anyone tried one of the ink pens you can buy with acrylic ink instead?

  • WOW, that look nice... I didn't know about this... I alswys have a problem with the signature... thanks!
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