I've just started to learn to draw comics.

The fine arts shop recommend me a Blue Faber Castell Polychromos pencil for sketch (the lines and geometrics figures that we start first before we can draw the face or the body). But I can not erase it with the rubber.

I want a blue pencil for sketch, and I want to erase it.

What do you recommend me for sketching?

It seems that I have to mention: "I'm not asking about brands".

  • For future reference, it's okay to ask for recommendations of types of products, even if it means the answers cite specific brands/shops. I think there was some confusion here regarding "erasable colored pencils", which is not a product type that's common knowledge (despite the marketing attempts of the product makers ;) ). I'm cleaning up this comment thread because everything has been clarified in replies that have been seen, or the answers below.
    – user24
    Jul 18, 2019 at 18:06
  • The earlier conversation has been moved to chat.
    – user24
    Jul 18, 2019 at 18:06

3 Answers 3


There are certain companies that market "erasable" colored pencils, but I have seen plenty artists use them that find that they still don't erase perfectly or that they still smudge slightly while erasing. There's no perfect solution, due to the nature of pigments.

An alternative is looking at why you need to have a blue pencil for sketching.

Why blue?

Historically, certain shades of "non-photo blue" were used because photocopiers wouldn't pick them up, so as you'd layer your final lines and lineart on top of the blue undersketch, the blue wouldn't show up in your copy. This has led to what is, in my opinion, a bit of an obsolete tradition of using blue for undersketches.

Why obsolete? Because every modern scanner I've used in the past 15 years has had no problems picking up the non-photo blue pigments. The color you use is irrelevant, because Photoshop and GIMP can easily remove whatever color you use. You can even use multiple colors, ending with your grey/black final lines.

Why erasable?

As you're practicing, you're going to want to erase a lot if you're making large mistakes, but needing to have a highly-erasable undersketch might indicate that you could improve your workflow.

For instance, many artists will do their initial messy sketches as thumbnails or smaller-scale pictures, in order to figure out proportions, layout and composition. Using simple graphite pencils, it's easy to erase and experiment. Alternatively, if your thumbnails are small enough, mistakes can be "discarded" by simply starting a new thumbnail next to it.

After the design and layout is decided, you would then pull out the pencil, colored or otherwise, that you'd use for the undersketch. Since you're generally just up-scaling your thumbnails, there's less mistakes in positioning lines and thus a lower need to erase them.

Okay, use one anyway!

All that said, (non-photo) blue pencils still work great for many artists! There's nothing wrong with it. But if the "erasable" types, like Prismacolor's Col-Erase line, are still too difficult to work with, there are two more things to try.

  1. Practice line control. You could be making your lines darker than necessary. This is both a physical and mental issue. The physical part is gaining the fine motor control to make light enough lines. The mental part is being okay with not having dark, clear lines. Both require practice and training to overcome.
  2. Try a different type of eraser (link). Some types of erasers simply don't work well for certain media.
  • Thanks. Sorry, I'm not English and I don't know how you call it, but I'm trying to find a pencil that let me distinguish between the first line I draw (i.e. the circles and lines that help me draw a face) and the final steps. It's a mess!! A lot of lines of the same colour. This is why I'm looking for a blue pencil.
    – VansFannel
    Jul 19, 2019 at 13:48
  • @VansFannel Yup, that's called the undersketch, under-drawing, sketch layer, or any number of things. I refer to it as the undersketch in my answer. My main point is that I think you can get by without one if you need to, but if you can't.. Try the erasables (I honestly haven't heard of anyone having luck with anything but Col-Erase) and switch up the erasers you use.
    – user24
    Jul 21, 2019 at 2:08
  • 1
    Nice answer. I think what the OP misses is that the blue lines are never expected to be erased... the photo-reproduction process takes care of that. Another thing missing throughout the post is that the under drawing (in blue or light pencil) is typically worked over in ink to create the finished work. If you are sketching, then sketch in whatever color you like to whatever degree of polish you like, its a sketch, not a "finished" work of art.
    – rebusB
    Jul 23, 2019 at 22:10
  • @rebusB Good point about inking. I suppose that also depends on the process, and it slipped my mind. If you're going digital, you don't need to ink, either, the darker graphite is fine.
    – user24
    Jul 24, 2019 at 14:46

I have found that colour pencils are not erasable. There are ones that are erasable, and you can find them searching on Google.

The main thing here is "colour pencils are not erasable".

About using colour pencils on sketching, it is something that people do to avoid the lines being detected by photocopiers.

  • 1
    I made those two edits because the second-to-last sentence is repeating something from earlier in your post, and the last sentence is completely beside the point of both your question and your answer.
    – Joachim
    Jul 17, 2019 at 11:15
  • 1
    @VansFannel It's not appropriate to tell others not to use the site as it's intended to be. Editing answers, including others', is a core and fundamental part of the Stack Exchange premise of curating quality content.
    – user24
    Jul 18, 2019 at 17:31

You might try Frixion erasable pens - they're not perfect; you can't easily draw on an area you previously erased, and the colors aren't usually as vivid as with other kinds of inks, but it's the best blend of color and erasability I've found.

E.g.: https://www.amazon.com/Pilot-Retractable-Erasable-Assorted-Disappear/dp/B009QYH644/

  • The question here is asking about pencils, not pens/ink.
    – Allison C
    Jul 22, 2019 at 19:27
  • 1
    @AllisonC Well, yes, but conceivably that's because pencils are the medium known for their erasability. It seems relevant to me that there ALSO exist highly-erasable pens. Were I asking this question, I would likely be interested in knowing about the existence of these pens.
    – Erhannis
    Jul 23, 2019 at 20:30

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