Charcoal drawing

June 30, 2020

Different types of charcoal

Jane tells us of the different types of charcoal that are available. This image shows the most readily available.

Left; Willow Charcoal Sticks

  • Thin £3.40 per box
  • Medium £4.80 per box

Right; Compressed Charcoal

  • £4.99 per box

Bottom; Charcoal Pencil

  • £3.70 each
different types of charcoal

Step-by-step in charcoal

Jane volunteered to do a quick project using all of the above products and also a white charcoal (not shown) for the highlights.

Let’s see how she gets on…

The starting sketch

First of all take a charcoal pencil and sketch your idea. Jane used a sketch book with brown paper.

Are you getting the hint, from many of Jane’s projects, that picking the right paper can make big difference? It can add to the ease of completing the project and can have a big impact on the final result.

If you are not sure what paper would be best for a particular project then please feel free to ask the Gadsby’s team for advice!

charcoal sketched skull - the starting point for the project

Charcoal dust

Next Jane uses a stick of willow charcoal and with a knife scrapes along the charcoal stick to create dust over your pencil sketch.

Then, with a paper tissue, gently rubs the dust into the surface.

using charcoal dust to give body to the image

White charcoal…

Next using white charcoal draw in all the highlights.

Smudge in to the surface in places and add more white for stronger highlights.

using white charcoal to create highlights

Willow charcoal

Now Jane is starting to add the darker areas and shadows using willow charcoal for the grey and build the darker eye sockets with a compressed charcoal.

adding the darker areas to the drawing

Using contrast…

Now is the time to add the darkest shades and Jane used a stick of compressed charcoal. The background also needs shading to add contrast.

Last of all she used the white charcoal to really pick out the highlights.

the finished drawing - a charcoal skull

Fixing the charcoal

That completed drawing then can be fixed with fixative to prevent the drawing from smudging.

Winsor & Newton Fixative

  • £8.00 per can
A can of Winsor & Newton fixative

Gadsby’s sell all of the art & craft materials and supplies necessary for creating pieces of art like those created by Jane.

You have to supply the artistic talent and dedication to make the pieces you love. It is hard work, but it is amazing fun too.

Jane is a member of the Gadsby’s team. She has a wide knowledge of the arts & crafts products and materials sold by Gadsby’s both from the perspective of an advisor in the shop and, for many of the products, from personal use too.

Please note that this is not a service that Gadsbys offer to clients – just an example of the private work done by one of the highly skilled and knowledgable Gadsby’s team shown for your interest.


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