Use an Eraser Shield to Draw Sharp Corners

 An eraser shield is a simple metal or plastic plate, about 2 1/4 x 3 1/3 inches, with different sizes and shapes of openings. These different shapes and sizes allow precise masking of small areas. This allows you to erase without smearing or the accidental erasure of surrounding areas of a drawing. An eraser shield is useful when correcting and editing a drawing.

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What is an Eraser Shield?

a metal eraser shield
S. Tschantz

Any piece of paper or plastic can act as a shield or mask when drawing, but this little specially designed metal plate is ideal.

Eraser shields are lightweight and strong and easily added to your pencil case to carry with you. They can also be slipped into a small slit or pocket taped to the back of a drawing pad.

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Drawing Sharp Corners

S. Tschantz

The different openings in the shield allow for exact erasure of difficult angles. Typically, drafters used this device to draw sharp corners and even dimension extension lines.

To get a sharp corner, draw bisecting lines with a small extension with a straight edge. Position eraser shield at the intersection of these lines, so that the extensions of the lines are exposed, but the shield protects the corners.

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Finishing Your Corners

S. Tschantz

When the corner is completed, line the eraser shield up carefully over its point. Then erase the extended lines to create a crisp, sharp corner with no overruns. Carefully brush away the eraser crumbs with a drafting brush.

This technique can be used for creating a crisp edge to a section of hatching or other linework. You can also use it for erasing a precise highlight through an area of line or tone, such as a highlight on an eye.