Exploring charcoal

I’ve played with charcoal once or twice in the past, never really got to grips with it but interested all the same.  So I joined a short 3 hour introductory class.

Some fun exercises to get used to the different types of charcoal – willow, compressed and pencil – as well as kneadable and Mars erasers.  I’ve always been a big fan of tortillons/blending stumps when drawing, so that item instantly became my best friend.

Standing, using willow charcoal, we rotated from the shoulder allowing a more flowing swinging action, before rubbing back with erasers, paper towel, fingers and blending stumps.

Now you see why we practiced circles.  I allowed myself 15 minutes to portray a sphere with a light source, so it’s not really finished and the shadow isn’t great.  Smudging was inevitable as we were unable to use any fixative.

Still life – Seed pod

The brief given was to create a mid-tone background, fill the whole A4 page, indicate a light source and complete the shadow.
I stuck to my ‘One & Twenty’ constraints to avoid agonising over details and not getting an overall view of the subject completed (one minute to examine the piece and twenty minutes drawing it).  I’ve found this to be an excellent system which works for me.


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
This entry was posted in My Creative Pieces, My drawing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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