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Old 12-17-2008, 11:07 PM
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atelier_m atelier_m is offline
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Blending Stumps/Tortillions Question?

I have a question about blending stumps and tortillions. Well, maybe more about the stumps. Is there a way to clean them? I read that they can be sharpened. Does anyone know how to do this?

Also, are they used for different purposes or are they just different sizes of the same thing.

Thanks for any information. Maybe they are used more for pastels than with drawing, but I thought I would ask you guys first.

Thanks,
Mary
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:56 AM
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PaulaIA PaulaIA is offline
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Re: Blending Stumps/Tortillions Question?

This is not exactly what you asked about but I thing it will be helpful.

How To Make A
Tortillion

A tortillion is nothing more than a piece of rolled paper used as a blending tool. The softness or hardness of the tortillion is controlled by the type of paper you choose to make it out of. I have never liked to use a finger or a blending stump on a drawing because it always looks like a big smudge when you are finished. I started using a tortillion a few years ago when I was trying a new drawing technique. I looked all over to purchase them and they were hard to find and expensive. I took a few apart and figured out how to make them. When I have students who want to blend with their fingers I show them how to make a tortillion. Remember it is tortillion and not tortilla. I always have students who ask me to show them how to make a tortilla. I tell them we are drawing and not making Mexican food. Finally, a use for all your scrap paper.


These are the measurements I use.

Use different types of paper


Start with a small fold in the corner. Keep it at an angle and fold at least two times before you start rolling it. It takes awhile to get the hang of the fold but when you do its pretty easy.


Once you get the rolling going keep it at an angle. This angle is what keeps the point small. If the angle is not steep enough you will not get a point on the end.


Here is one that's almost finished. Note that this tortillion has a nice point on the end. It works better as a blending tool if its pointed.


The finished tortillion is held together with a small piece of masking tape. If you want it to look professional looking just fold the top extra material back into the hole that's left on the top.

Here are three tortillions using different types of paper. Try different types of material and see which you like the best.

Here is a small example of tortillion blending. Top with just pencil blending and bottom with pencil and tortillion blending. When your tortillion gets dirty clean it with a rubber eraser.

The photos did not copy so here is the website I found this on

http://share3.esd105.wednet.edu/sotelops/tortillion.htm

Hope this helps!
Paula
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:16 AM
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atelier_m atelier_m is offline
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Re: Blending Stumps/Tortillions Question?

Paula, this is very interesting! Thank you for the link. Now, I am going to have to try making some.

Mary
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:28 AM
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Re: Blending Stumps/Tortillions Question?

I have some purchased tortillons, which I "clean" by rubbing on a fine sandpaper. This seems to work well enough, so that I don't have to keep on buying more. Be careful though, because you can create fine particles of paper, which will ball up like an eraser.

I have tried sharpening them, but it only wrecks the sharpener, and the result is not so good.

I also tried to pare them away with a sharp knife, as you would for a pencil, but try as I might, I made little ridges which gave unfortunate lines when blending.

So, hence, the sandpaper which happened to be on my desk at the time.

Thanks for the link, because I might have a go at making my own next time, as well.
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:38 AM
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Rob Mcilwain Rob Mcilwain is offline
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Re: Blending Stumps/Tortillions Question?

Slightly off topic I know but I used to use both Blending Stumps and Tortillions and although good for very small areas I didn't really get on with them that well. Personally I like to use cotton buds (I think their called cue tips across the pond). I find that you can get much smoother results and much better tones with these. It also allowes you to work on slightly bigger areas as well, plus they are dirt cheap!
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:21 AM
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Re: Blending Stumps/Tortillions Question?

Yep, I can only agree with that. I use cotton buds quite often, and they do work very well in large areas. And after the little ridges episode, the smoothness of blend is quite fun.
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:33 AM
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Josef Sy Josef Sy is offline
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Re: Blending Stumps/Tortillions Question?

Hi Kaye,

As someone already answered, you can sharpen it with a sandpaper pad. Art stores usually carries them. I use the biggest size stump. The small ones are very difficult to work with. Here is a trick when the stump: hit the part you use with a hammer. What this does is it softens and gives the stump a bit of bounce to it. (works best with the large size stump)

Cheers
josef
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Old 12-18-2008, 05:18 AM
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Re: Blending Stumps/Tortillions Question?

I use stumps and tortillons quite a bit- both to blend and to apply graphite. You can 'clean' them by rubbing them on a scrap piece of paper. I sharpen my stumps with a pencil sharpener- But then finish them off with sandpaper.

-Andrew
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:23 AM
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Re: Blending Stumps/Tortillions Question?

What Kaye says, that's what I do:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintNCurly
I have some purchased tortillons, which I "clean" by rubbing on a fine sandpaper. This seems to work well enough, so that I don't have to keep on buying more. Be careful though, because you can create fine particles of paper, which will ball up like an eraser.

I have tried sharpening them, but it only wrecks the sharpener, and the result is not so good.

I also tried to pare them away with a sharp knife, as you would for a pencil, but try as I might, I made little ridges which gave unfortunate lines when blending.

So, hence, the sandpaper which happened to be on my desk at the time.

Thanks for the link, because I might have a go at making my own next time, as well.
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:21 PM
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Re: Blending Stumps/Tortillions Question?

To sharpen them you roll it along some sandpaper. NEVER use a sharpener, it just ruins them.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:44 PM
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Re: Blending Stumps/Tortillions Question?

The really loaded ones can be used as "pencils" for shading, especially in landscapes and clouds. I don't use them on portraits at all--like to blend with the pencil itself.
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