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How To Clean and Sharpen A Blending Stump?


Are you a type of artist who is using or planning to use a blending stump to make adjustments in the colors and lines in your artworks? If yes, it is highly recommended for you to learn how to clean &sharpen a blending stump.The main reason why it is necessary to keep a blending stump neat and tough is to maintain its efficiency in doing its job. The quality of the tip of this tool will somehow affect the overall appearance of an artwork.If you are clueless yet about the best ways to keep a blending stump in its perfect shape, this article will give some tips so just keep reading.

Know more about a blending stump

Some people may be unfamiliar with what a blending stump is. Hence, let us discuss first what this art material is and its importance. Basically, a blending stump is also known as a paper stump or tortillon.

It looks like a stick made of rolled compact paper. Both ends of a paper stump usually have pointy edges, but there are also stumps that have only one pointed end. Like a pencil regularly being sharpened to keep its output vibrant, a blending stump point is also being cut prior to next use. The papers around the stump are tightly wrapped, so it will not collapse every time it needs cleaning or sharpening.

A blending stump is an important tool for art savvy because its performance creates a great impact in a portrait or painting. The main reason why blending is being done to an artwork is to make it look more realistic. Using a blending stump helps the artist to smudge, blend and adjust the shade of an artwork made of pencil drawing, pastel, charcoal and other various mediums.

The function of a blending stump is more on the finishing or polishing aspect of an art process. Hence, it is necessary that both ends are clean from all the colors that are attached in it after use. Without proper maintenance of this tool, it may stain a portrait instead of flattering it.

A lot of videos and reading materials can teach you some hacks to clean a blending stump, but if you want a quick source of tips, keep on reading below.

Techniques on How to Clean and Sharpen a Blending Stump

Doing yourself the process of cleaning and sharpening a blending stump can take a little of your time and effort but it is more practical. Unfortunately, there are no shops yet that offer services for these odd tasks. Also, throwing away dirty blending stump is not cost effective and eco-friendly. But no worries, here are the simple ways to bring back the beauty and efficiency of a Blending stump.

1. Use a Sandpaper to Clean and Sharpen a Blunt Blending Stump

Sandpaper is a type of paper made of abrasive material which is usually being used in smoothing wood surfaces. This one is a good cleaning medium to take away the stains and dirt of a blending stump. Here are the steps on how to easily use it.

  1. Prepare all the materials such as the right size of sandpaper and the dirty blending stumps. You may simply use a sheet of sandpaper. Or for more ease of doing the stump cleaning, you may compile small sheets of sandpaper into a hard cardboard or wood. It may look like a book with sandpaper pages.
  2. Grab the dull Blending stump and point the edges to a piece of sandpaper. Slowly scrape the pointed part of the art tool on the surface of the sandpaper. You will see that all the inks, Graphite and pastel attached in the stump are transferred to the sandpaper.
  3. Repeat the process until the blending stump is neat and ready for the next art session.

By the way, you may buy sandpaper from school supply shops or convenience stores. Usually, sandpaper is part of the package when you buy a blending stump.

2. Use a Kneaded Eraser to Renew a Blending stump

One of the common ways to bring back the effectiveness of a blending stump is by using a kneaded eraser. This one is a gummy and elastic tool that can conform to the shape of other matters. Hence, you can hone or insert it into small spaces. A lot of artists are dependent on kneaded eraser when it comes to adjustment of artwork in terms of shade and texture. Here are the steps on how it can help your blending stump to be cleaned.

  1. Get a portion of the kneaded eraser which depends on the size of the blending stump that you intend to clean. Flatten the soft eraser and surround it to the dirty edges of the paper stump.
  2. Slowly but firmly rotate the blending stump into the kneaded eraser like as if you are using a sharpener into a pencil.
  3. Keep on doing the same process until you achieve the goal of removing all the unwanted paints and pencil residue from the blending stump.

Kneaded erasers are available in nearby school supplies stores and even online shops which come at a very affordable cost.

3. Use a sharp instrument or knife to Sharpen blending stump

In case you run-out of sandpaper and kneaded eraser to remove the dirt of your sharpenedblending stump, don’t worry because you can use hard materials as alternatives. Some of these materials are knives, deactivated credit cards or flat metals.All you have to do is hold the blending stump firmly through your hand, so it won’t slip once you start scraping the dirt. Do this motion until the it is clean and sharp again.

Final Thoughts

Maintenance of art materials such as the blending stump may cause a little hassle, but it is part of the process that can lead to fantastic results. Several ways on how to clean & sharpen a blending stump can be used to keep the efficiency of your drawing tool, and it is now up to you which is available and the easiest method for you.

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