The Joy of Drawing with Charcoal

Charcoal Pumpkin

Charcoal Pumpkin

This little pumpkin was drawn with charcoal pencils, a stump and erasers. It was a pleasure to draw. The charcoal was extremely responsive to my touch. First I drew a “weighted” line drawing of the pumpkin. Next I used a stump to pull the charcoal into the shadow areas. Then I adjusted … added … subtracted value … until it looked right.

A weighted line drawing is a simple outline drawing but the charcoal (or whatever medium you are using) is applied in a darker line where there is a shadow and in a lighter line where there is a lighter value.

Charcoal is extremely easy to maneuver with a stump. You just run the stump over your lines and it “smears” in an almost painterly way. A kneaded eraser can be used to gently lighten areas and a stick eraser can be used to erase it in a sharper way.

Drawing with charcoal is deeply pleasurable experience! The range of expression that is possible with it is limitless. It lays down quickly, smudges easily, and any value can be created beautifully.

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About Carol

I'm an artist, author, and teaching artist. I've been writing about drawing on this website since 1999 and drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I love teaching others how to draw too.
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