Charcoal Basics and Techniques

Drawing with Charcoal

Why I love charcoal?

Charcoal is a wide counterpart of pencil and is very similar to it; it can be used for drawing, shading, blending etc. But if we compare charcoal and pencil then I must say that charcoal medium is more expressive and gives an artist some more room to work larger, without getting struck with details.

Charcoal drawing

Charcoal is a versatile medium. It gives the drawing a more realistic and larger touch. Charcoal comes in different forms:

1) A soft charcoal, which can easily be used for smudging. But precaution must be taken as this kind of charcoal will spread all over your hands, drawing figures, paper and face etc.
2) Vine or Willow charcoal comes with a willow stick. It is very soft and produces a velvety touch and texture.  It’s very smudgy and comes in a cylindrical shape.
3) A stick, hard kind of shape. This is comparatively thick, produces gray shade and is deep black.
4) In the form of pencil also called pressed charcoal. Used for general drawing, shading and is easiest to use among all.

Charcoal Pencil

Techniques for using Charcoal:

   1)     Charcoal can be used as a pencil for drawing, shading and is best to use for hatching.
   2)    It gives wider appeal to the drawing without getting struck with details.
   3)    Charcoal can be used for drawing on canvas as a base for painting.
   4)     Use a big pad of Cartridge paper for getting best out of charcoal drawing.
   5)   Drawing portraits and gesture drawing is best for charcoal. Charcoal can be used for larger and wider   strokes that gives gesture and portraits drawings a more realistic view.
   6) Charcoal can be used with various painting mediums e.g. oil colors, acrylic colors, ink etc  to give your paintings and drawings a more versatile and innovative look.


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