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Question: This may seem like a silly question, sir, but how do you keep your drawings clean, especially when you work in such messy media as carbon pencils and charcoal?

Answer: Some prefer to work their drawings on an angle on a drafting table or other table. All crumbs and pencil "dirt" fall on the drawing and must be carefully swept aside. To prevent hands and elbows from touching the drawing, some use a stick with a cloth ball at the end, others fashion "homemade" solutions. I prefer to work my drawings upright, especially the large drawings. I fasten the drawings on a drawing board and set them upright on a painting easel. Throughout the course of the drawing I protect it with carefully taped-on pieces of paper to prevent my hands and arms from touching the drawing. It works great and all the dirt falls straight down seldom touching my drawing. However, choose a method that suits you and feels most comfortable. Working upright also prevents "paralax" in a drawing. Paralax is a sneaky way in which a drawing goes wrong especially when you work on an angle such as on a drafting table. As you draw further away from the bottom edge of your table and paper, your eye compensates for the distortion and in the end you draw an even more distorted drawing. Upright keeps your eyes an even distance from the entire drawing and the eye/hand combination need not compromise.
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