How to Make a Tortillon Stick

Artists use rolled tubes of paper or tortillons in order to smudge the drawings. It is a very great technique as it gives something extra to your drawing and is used all over the world by many artists. If you are an aspiring artist, you must learn this skill as it will in future, help you make some really great pictures that could even one day, find their way to the Louvre.

Tortillons come in all shapes and sizes and are not expensive at all. And, if you don’t want to spend money on them, you can make your own tortillons.


  • 1

    In order to make a workable tortillon stick, take out a regular piece of drawing paper. You can also use notebook papers but it is better to have printer paper or drawing paper. However, it is advised to use drawing paper as it is thicker and more durable. Now, draw a line which is about three inches from one side. However, if you want to make a much bigger tortillon, just adjust those three inches anywhere near two or four inches.

  • 2

    Once you have done this, make an inverted line with a distance of three inches from the side of the paper.

  • 3

    Once you are done with the lining, start at the pointed end and roll it in the form of a tube.

  • 4

    Now on one side of the rolled tube, push a wire coat hanger or a similar coned object into the middle of the tube. This will see the other end of the tube into a point.

  • 5

    When you are done with this step, wrap a layer of tape around your tube and make sure it stays in one place firmly.

  • 6

    Although it might require a lot of practise in order to make workable tortillons, the more you try the more you will realise that it is not that hard and in a matter of days, you will be able to make some really good tortillons. Furthermore, it is a very good exercise as it will also be counted as a good skill if you aspire to be your region’s Picasso.

  • 7

    And, your drawings are bound to improve dramatically once you start smudging.

  • 8

    If you want to make a realist sort of drawing, it is better to add graphite in your tortillons as they will give a realistic impression to your work.

  • 9

    If you are planning on some delicate work however, make sure that your tortillons are clean.

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