45+ Amazing Charcoal Drawings! How to Get Started Drawing with Charcoal!
Soft black coal sticks are often staples in introductory courses. The smooth, brittle material is both forgiving and stimulating, making it ideal for drawing. They are made in different densities – from charcoal for quick and light shots to compressed charcoal for thick and intense tracks -. Charcoal is suitable for exploring light and contrast, allowing artists to develop rich tonal values. At first, however, it can be difficult to use the equipment. Here are tips from experienced art teachers to help you master the medium.
Although artists like to use charcoal for rich lines and shades, it can be difficult to cope with the darkness. Beginners using charcoal often apply too much pressure when applied to paper and inadvertently leave marks that are not easily softened or gummed.
To help her students develop a more sensitive hand, Brooklyn-based drawing artist and teacher Allison Maletz begins her drawing lessons with a grayscale exercise. Students should use charcoal to draw a scale indicating gradations from black to gray to white. Instead of creating the scale in the right order, she advises her students to first go into the darkest black, then jump in the middle of the scale to create a medium or medium gray. Then students can work slowly from the center to black and white. If you work in this order, students are less likely to create an unbalanced scale submerged by darker values and to take control of clearer scores. The same concept can be applied to the approach of a drawing.
Vine charcoal (also known as willow) can also be very useful if you learn to master the material. Mariana Zanina, a private drawing teacher and teacher at the Art Students League in New York, recommends doing your first sketches or sketches with grapevine and slowly creating value with other forms of charcoal. Charcoal is not very dense, so it is also useful for beginners because you can easily erase mistakes with your finger or a paper towel.