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Tutorials and artistic advices

Drawing: Creating rubbing effects

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A kitchen grater, the sole of a shoe, a doily… Those everyday objects don't look all that important. But they can add a touch of originality to your drawings! Give your creativity a boost with the rubbing technique, it's as easy as child's play. 


What you need to know

Generally, in a drawing, it's the finer or rougher grain of the paper that produces material effects. To take things further, create a broad palette of textures by rubbing your pencil lead over a sheet of paper placed on top of various materials.



1. Selecting a material


Your immediate surroundings offer a multitude of possibilities: any material can be used. Vary the effects by modifying the pencil pressure on the sheet of paper. Here are a some suggestions for rubbing materials:

  • a wall with a granular surface, to represent an expanse of sand
  • a doily, for true to life lace
  • a piece of raw wood, to suggest the raised pattern on a tree trunk
  • a kitchen grater, for honeycomb patterns

… etc. ! A piece of advice: give your imagination free rein!


That little extra: continue putting together a collection of rubbing effects by saving samples created on scratch paper, and don't forget to keep a list of the materials used.


2. Réaliser des frottages

Le matériel :

- Choisissez un papier pas trop épais : par exemple un papier à dessin (de 60 à 120g/m2), ou du papier calque, comme le papier.

- Un crayon HB.


  • Placez votre feuille de papier sur une surface rugueuse de votre choix.
  • Frottez la zone du dessin concernée avec votre crayon.
  • Recourez à cette technique avec modération : multiplier les effets de frottages surcharge votre composition. Associez plutôt frottages et dessins à main levée !
  • Si vous utilisez la technique du frottage pour représenter l’objet frotté (un napperon sur une table), assurez-vous qu’il soit à l’échelle.

Suggested products

Canson® Crob'Art®

See also

Drawing: Working shadows and light
Travailler l’ombre et la lumière
Going from shadow to light is easy! Learn to liven up your drawings with just a few pencil strokes.