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ACCESSORIES - Those odds and ends of ‘Stuff’ that you can’t do without Well actually I can do without some of it ! Looking at the contents of my travelling box ( an old plastic ADDIS sandwich box with a lid that can be held in place with two strong elastic bands ) I decided that some of it was due for a clean out, and the result - shown below - is a much reduced collection of clutter. when I come to justify it, some can be removed and rest explained. HERE GOES BEFORE I START  I must also say that I have a battery powered sharpener ( a Dahl 00230 ) and a plastic pot containing a large blob of blue tac adhesive mixed with white tac. Items shown above   A   A piece of card coloured one side with black felt tip marker and a hole cut into it This enables me to get a quick fix on tonal balance by comparing an area of a reference picture with the same area of worked picture. If I need to, I can turn it over and use the white side of the card as a comparison.  I often find that looking at a small area against a known constant, gives you a clear indication that the colour or tone is not nearly strong enough. B  A Linux Typist correction shield This shields an area when correcting with the powered eraser ( L ) C  A Kum Brand hand sharpener Convenient and inexpensive, this comes with spare blades and enables you to get a longer point on a hand sharpened Coloured Pencil D  A small two hole hand sharpener by Staedtler E  A Lyra Pencil Extender To be able to use small stub ends of pencils F  A pair of dividers ( for measuring small distances ( and poking stuff out of holes ) And a bone used for pressing card folds - for transferring image lines from tracing paper G  A collection of implements for indenting lines The Right hand end one is simply an old bristle brush with the back end sharpened. H  An assortment of old brushes and Colour shapers Some watercolour and some bristle brushes.   The Colour shapers are all silicone ended and have varying hardness and shape to the tips.   They are used for shaping and blending pastel pencil material on the paper I  Traditional pencils ( graphite ) and Auto feed pencils for detail There is also another extender that has wandered from it’s correct place ! J   A collection of white pencils from a range of makes K   Blenders and Burnishers Lyra Splender Blender and Derwent Blender and burnisher L  A Battery Powered eraser Inexpensive one from Jakar with a set of tips M  A Plastic eraser from Staedtler N A handy pair of pliers You wouldn’t believe how often these get used - and borrowed O  A Biro and a collection of odd coloured pencils Too many pencils finish up here, they should be in their correct boxes ! P  a fine tipped black marker pen Q  Some pieces of thick white felt  To rub in colour for skies etc R   A safety paper cutter S  Two sharp knives and a small pair of scissors LET US NOW THINK ABOUT SHARPENERS Absolutely vital to keep the point sharp so that you know exactly what you are doing and how firmly and where the mark is going. You can sharpen by hand with a knife,  with a manual sharpener that has a blade You can use a desk top machine that works with a handle You can use a battery driven machine, You can use a mains powered version, Or you can use a pad of sandpaper. There are a host of different types of machine and there is now a section of the site here ( November 2010 ) dedicated to keeping your pencil sharp AND NOW WE LOOK AT ERASERS The traditional rubber and plastic erasers tend to smear Coloured Pencil pigment so it is often better to lift the colour from the paper.  The one exception seems to be the little battery powered erasers which the SAA sell for under £5 and which come with a small stock of the eraser tips.  These are branded by Jakar and other outlets sell them.  I find them easier to hold and use than the rather bulky Derwent eraser. I find that White Tac is invaluable, both as a medium for holding paper to the drawing board, and as a material to lift layers of colour from the paper.  A block of this will last for ages if it is regularly folded in to keep the outer surface clean.  I was first told of its use when I was painting with soft pastel where it not only lifts colour from the paper, but also keeps your hands dust free if you keep a ball of it in your palm.  White Tac can be difficult to find, so if you see it in a stationers, get a packet.   Over the internet it can cost you up to £1.75 a pack but I have bought it in a stationers at 80p. Sellotape or low tack tape can also be used for lifting colour.  Lay a piece tacky side down over the area to be treated and press down with a pencil point. Lift the tape and with luck and a fair wind, the pressed area will have had a layer of colour removed with the tape.   ALSO IN MY TRAVEL BAG A soft cosmetic type brush to remove ‘bits’ from the working surface ( much better than using the back of your hand with the risk of smearing the artwork )   Some people swear by using a large feather which can certainly be cheaper !. Some ZEST-IT pencil solvent and a small cheap nylon brush to apply it A folder with some ‘decent’ watercolour brushes A roll of kitchen paper A small water pot And some spare batteries