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Charcoal

Charcoal

Charcoal has been used since earliest times for a broad range of purposes including art, medicine, and fuel.

Charcoal is used in art for drawing, sketching and making preliminary outlines for paintings. Here at Spotlight, you can find artists quality compressed charcoal, which has excellent pigmentation, is easy to blend and has the ability to create depth and add tone to any sketch.

For suitable paper for charcoal drawings and sketches, browse our Arts Supplies and paper Craft ranges for a selection of note pads and sketch pads, presentation books and more to bring your charcoal creations to life.

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Starting with Charcoal Drawing? Discover Some Artist Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Art Project!

Customers currently visiting our charcoal section are undoubtedly thinking of creating their own charcoal art. To ensure you get the most out of your project, we have created an overview with artist tips on charcoal drawing, so you can start your project on the right foot. Read on to find out more.

What Is the First Artist Tip for Charcoal Drawings?

One of the most important things when it comes down to working with charcoal is retaining the essence of your artwork. Since charcoal is not the easiest material to put something on paper with, it is vital to ensure your message comes through on the artwork immediately.

What Is the Second Artist Tip for Charcoal Drawings?

Even though you may have heard this tip a lot if you are a charcoal artist, but the second tip might be the most important one for you, more specifically paying attention to values. When artist speak about values, they are talking about the transition from white to black.

Since you are only working with one colour (technically speaking), values become extremely important for your art. For example; if white on the page counts as one, black will be ten. Of course, there are some shades in between, so a number five would be grey. These values are obtained by using variable pressure on the charcoal.

To ensure you work the values, it is always a good idea to start in the middle. Keep your lights on the three to four values, and your darkest on a six or a seven. Then, you can always choose to lay some accents between light and dark (one to three, or seven to ten).

What Is the Third Artist Tip for Charcoal Drawings?

Even though this might sound a little weird, but squinting could certainly help to capture the essence of your subject. Vision and interpretation mean everything for an artist, but it works a little differently with charcoal.

When you squint to look at your subject, you basically simplify the values you will be using for your artwork. If you look at the subject normally, it is harder to see the essence and the values. Instead, squint to see the simple shapes and translate those to paper.

What Is the Fourth Artist Tip for Charcoal Drawings?

The lines you use for charcoal drawings are critical too, especially if you want to create something spectacular. If you keep working with the same lines and same thickness, the charcoal drawing will come out plain. However, if you start using a mix of thick and thin, and some variations in between, you will notice that your artwork comes to life.

What Is the Fifth Artist Tip for Charcoal Drawings?

When you draw with charcoal, it is quite a good idea to get a good eraser. Erasers are not just used to remove mistakes, but also to control your drawing. For the charcoal artist, a good eraser could help to move the charcoal on the paper, and create some amazing effects in the process.

Another good way to use an eraser for charcoal artwork is highlights. For example, when you are creating a charcoal portrait, you can use the eraser to remove charcoal from where the light hits your subject. Of course, this technique can be applied to other types of artwork too.

What Is the Last Artist Tip for Charcoal Drawings?

Our last tip is to get some additional tools; this may include an eraser pen for more precision, wipes, and other things that could help you get your charcoal artwork just the way you envision it.

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