By: Roger Chapman
Using pencils may well be one of the oldest art forms. From what I have heard, ancient cave men have been drawing charcoal sketches since well before the dawn of civilization. Obviously, the originals did not have the sophistication of modern charcoal pencil drawings. They would use crude charcoal sticks pulled from the bottom of fire pits, rubbing them onto the cave walls to make simplistic designs. Although charcoal sketches can take simple forms like this, it is only possible to see charcoal's full potential when you are tackling the more complex art project.
As a matter of fact, the charcoal pencil is one of the most versatile and sophisticated tools in a portrait artist's repertoire. Shading is a notoriously difficult problem for artists. Creating the sensation of depth and shadow is something that takes many people years to develop. I won't say that the charcoal pencil makes it easy, but it certainly makes it easier. Charcoal pencils, you see, lend themselves naturally to shading. By using the edge of the pencil, you can easily create varying degrees of darkness. You can then blend them together by using your finger or some other tool to rub the charcoal. When you really know how to use your charcoal pencils right, the effect is dazzling. The charcoal sketches are almost as realistic as a photo, and much richer.
Of course, when you are first using charcoal pencils they are very difficult to get the hang of. I remember my first charcoal drawing art class and how hard it was. I had been used to drawing with normal graphite pencils, so when I picked up the charcoal pencils, I was in for a shock. I needed to develop a very light touch or else I would break the tip. I needed to be aware of not only where the tip of the pencil was, but where the side of it was as well. I needed to give up my normal habits of crosshatching for shading, and use blended charcoal shading instead. Most of all, I had to give up the mechanical pencils I had been using for years. When creating charcoal sketches the drawing pencils were a much different, and more temperamental implement.
Nonetheless, I'm glad that I gave all that stuff up for the class. Nowadays, I can use pencil or charcoal with ease. They both have their uses, so it is good to have both in my toolbox. After all, it is always good to have more tools available and some of the charcoal sketches I have created are stunning - in my opinion!
About the Author:
Charcoal Sketches is a resource site for those wishing to learn how to create charcoal sketches and also for those wishing to enhance existing skills. The resource center can be found at Charcoal Sketches [The original website is no longer online].
SELF PORTRAIT - Charcoal Sketches -Nguy?n Tr?ng Khôi
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Charcoal for drawing is one of the best mediums to hone and refine your artistic skills. This article suggests some useful tips to help make it even more enjoyable.
When you hold a piece of charcoal between your fingers you are doing exactly the same as the mysterious people, or even person, who created the works of art in Chauvet's cave, southern France.
When you see the level of detail that can be achieved in a charcoal art drawing, it is no big surprise to feel the pull and desire to try and create something of your own.
Sketching is a lot of fun, while drawings can be demanding. Yet, both can benefit from the deep blacks produced by charcoal.
Charcoal drawing has come a long way from its primitive beginnings and is a layered and elegant way to express yourself.
With the "torch" in one hand and the burnt stick in the other, you walk into the cave. As you do, you drag the burnt stick over a rock.
The charcoal pencil is one of the most versatile and sophisticated tools in a portrait artist's repertoire. Add it to yours.
Drawing charcoal is available in three different grades. But the medium version is a good overall alternative for your kit.
You can get a lot of shading variation with charcoal. You can almost get a paint-like quality if you work the charcoal real good.
Every artist attempts to draw the figure at some point in their life, be it in a class at school or in their spare time.
Reverse drawing is unique to the charcoal medium. It is similar to the process of woodcuts or block prints where you carve out highlights for
Charcoal comes in a variety of forms, from raw sticks to compressed charcoal, from powder to pencils.
Charcoal has to be older than humanity. No wonder it was one of the first art tools. Keep a few charcoal pencils in your pencil pouch for quick sketching.
I was just thinking about the book, The Zen of Drawing, where it discusses countour drawing as a zen experience. An excellent comparison.