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Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Combining different charcoal products in your art

I love working in charcoal and find it a very responsive medium. Yet, charcoal is more than just sticks of burned wood. It has evolved into a comprehensive range of products. Each product brings its own unique features to the task and today I will introduce you to the possibilities that exist in these.

I am going to start with a negative drawing which I will fill in with charcoal. Foreseeing that the embossing tools could penetrate to the pages underneath the one I'm working on in the paper pad, I slide a piece of cardboard under the page to protect the ones below it.

I often use embossing tools when drawing and the set is permanently in my drawing case. It is very handy when drawing grasses or hair to create natural highlights when the color doesn't 'take' on the indented lines.

I draw the picture with an embossing tool into the paper. The design was originally done by Fabiola Fung and I am adapting it here for instructional purposes.

I use a sepia pastel pencil to add color to the body.

The hair is colored with a very dark brown pastel bar by Marie's.

I use a thick charcoal stick to color the dress. I broke a small piece off and turned it on its side to achieve broader strokes. Keep working in the direction of the flow of the fabric.

I use a charcoal pencil by Marie's to add shadow to the deeper creases of the dress, since this pencil gives a very dark black that is more easily achieved than with layer upon layer of charcoal.

I use the darkest shade of Derwent's Charcoal bar on its edge and on the side to draw a straight line effortlessly. This will give the figure a setting when I add some columns.

I use a lighter shade of Derwent's Charcoal bar to fill in the columns.

I smear the area below the figure and columns very lightly with the charcoal stick to create the impression of shadows.

I use a dry brush to blend the charcoal for the shadow a little.

Can you see how each product contributed to the final picture?

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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