How to paint with charcoal

Charcoal art is not just for beginners. There are a number of accomplished artists who pain with charcoal. It’s a simple medium to use, and plentiful.

Next time you have an artistic idea, think about using charcoal.

This is an excerpt from Craftsy where you can read more about charcoal painting.


How to paint with charcoal

Many artists begin their creative journey by drawing in charcoal. It’s a quick, versatile medium that lets artists learn the ins and outs of drawing at high speed and at a very low cost. Still, there’s a lot many don’t know about drawing with charcoal, which is why we’re reviewing the common charcoal techniques that’ll come in handy whenever you use this medium.

Types of charcoal and their use

There are two types of charcoal: the vine and the compressed one. Usually both types are needed to create a well-rounded drawing, and you can see how they look and interact in the sketches above.

1. Vine charcoal

The vine charcoal is comes in stick form, it’s soft and it blends and breaks easily. It’s mainly used to cover large areas quickly, such as backgrounds or to module the soft transitions of the skin or glass. When blended, a lot of it comes off and usually requires a subsequent layering. Compressed charcoal can be layered over the vine charcoal, but not in reverse.

2. Compressed charcoal

The compressed charcoal comes in stick and pencil forms. It can be black and white. It’s a lot harder to break and to blend, and it has several degrees of softness, usually written on pencils (like soft, extra soft, medium, etc.). The compressed charcoal is great to create the darkest passages, to outline the details and to draw high-contrast images.

3. White charcoal

White charcoal is often used to make the highlights and light tones when drawing on toned or colored paper. Don’t layer white charcoal over black, as the color looks dirty and smudged. Rather, place the lights on completely clean areas and blend selectively.

Read more at Craftsy



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