Drawing With Charcoal - A Few Pointers

By: Preyank Jain

Drawing With Charcoal - A Few Pointers

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.

Charcoal art is easy to recognize. Masterful use of this medium often creates dramatic pieces with deep blacks in the shadows and lighter shading for subtle turns of light. It is the range of dark to light that makes this medium intriguing.

For the past 500 years, since the Renaissance, serious art student's first lessons were sight-size cast drawings done in charcoal. The masters knew that this method of drawing with charcoal would teach students the fundamentals that would help them later in their professional careers.

If you are about to try using charcoal for drawing for the first time, you may be a little nervous of how to use it. It is understandable to feel slightly overwhelmed when you are faced with nothing but charcoal to put your drawings together with.

This is where a few useful tips will come in very handy for you:

Top grade charcoal is the preferred charcoal of Professional Artists, Art Academies and Ateliers. The use of high quality art materials allows me to focus on my artistic expression rather than the tools themselves".

Drawing charcoals comes in 3 degrees of hardness which is measured much like pencils - H for Hard, HB is Medium and B is soft.

Drawing with charcoal is as much about applying the medium as it is about removing it. Therefore, you will also need a chamois (buy a new one as opposed to using the one you dried the car with) to erase large areas of charcoal and a kneaded eraser for retouching the details. This is known as the subtractive technique, so called because you are literally subtracting the charcoal from the paper to help create the finished picture.

You will also need a sharpening block. This can be as simple as a piece of wood with fine or extra fine sandpaper glued to it. Hone your charcoal to a fine point. Many artists will sharpen a dozen or so charcoal batons before beginning to draw. Remember, you use charcoal with a fine point and not a rounded edge.

But perhaps the best tip of all to remember when using charcoal for drawing is that you must persevere and practice to get the best possible results. To begin with you may benefit from simply using and experimenting with all the three different charcoal batons. Get a single sheet of paper and mentally divide it into three sections. Then use a B, an HB and an H baton in turn and see how you can work with them to create different effects. You will be surprised at how versatile each one is. Over time, as you gain more confidence and mastery of each type of charcoal, you can blend and mix them together to create realistic effects.

But regardless of what types of charcoal batons you use, you will find it easier and more enjoyable to create your artwork when you keep in mind these few handy tips.

About the Author:
Nitram Fusains - The finest Drawing Charcoal in the World. We ship our charcoal for drawing to all over the world. Nitram Fusains Academy line comes in H, HB and B hardness. This allows the artist to create a broad range of tones. Nitram is now becoming available around the world in stores that sell high quality artists materials.


4 Tips on Drawing with Charcoal | Drawing Tutorials



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