Can you think of something as great as charcoal drawing when it comes to creating a black and white art? You can let loose with charcoal that is so unique with its gestural marks. But to create an excellent piece you first need to have the right or the best supplies:
- Vine Charcoal
It is important to know the difference between the vine and compressed charcoal. Vine charcoal is practically weightless and it is available in several varieties (soft and dark). It is mostly used for drawings where you simply want to blend or for gesture drawings because it does not give a deep dark. It moves very easily on the page.
- Compressed Charcoal
Compressed charcoal makes your charcoal drawing or painting experience less messy. It is of the best use when you want to add very fine details to your drawing or if you wish to have a rich shadow. Remember that this is very hard to erase and blend. It works best for highlights.
- Pencil Sharpener
The charcoal pencils are mostly wider than the normal pencils. So make sure that you find a sharpener that has wider holes.
- Paper Stumps
These work great for blending, balancing and softening your charcoal drawing.
- Kneaded Eraser
This eraser can be easily shaped with the fingers but it is not as strong as a regular eraser. Erasing lines with this is very easy. But it does not take up the charcoal from the entire page.
To lighten areas of charcoal that has become too dark, chamois works great. It is a soft leather square that can also soften the value fields.
With all the accessories ready, it is now time to get your hands dirty with charcoal drawing. If you are a beginner, you sure have come to the right place as we have the five basic and important tips for charcoal drawing:
- Work Vertically
Working vertically lets all the charcoal dust fall off while you are drawing. It takes care that you do not have to face any distortions which may occur when you work on a flat surface. Use a drawing board with clips such that your sketchpad is secured and still.
- Use Vine Charcoal As A Base
Smoothen the paper with vine charcoal with your fingers as it works as a great base for your drawing. You can even layer more charcoal on it and erase it.
- Use Compressed Charcoal For Line Drawing
To achieve rich shades of black, minute details and fine lines use the compressed charcoal. Do keep in mind that compressed charcoal does not work if you have to move your hands very fast as it is tightly packed. Consider every line when you use this charcoal as this is very hard to erase.
- Kneaded Eraser For Drawing
After you have created a base with the vine charcoal it is now time to use your kneaded eraser to create an image with negative space and remove some pigments.
- Combining All The Techniques
On the vine blended base, use a white compressed charcoal for special effects. Vine and compressed charcoals combined with kneaded eraser give magnificent results and a great control over the subject of your charcoal painting. The basic tips to remember here are:
- Base with vine charcoal
- Drawing with a kneaded eraser
- Compressed charcoal to finish off the composition with fine lines and accent color.
Charcoal painting is one of the best forms of painting. The best quality of such a painting is that it leaves you some room where the drawing maybe unrefined in some areas. You have the liberty of choosing which areas you wish to give more finished look to!