Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Quick Tips: On Charcoal Art

Mystique, eerie, dreamy !!!!

                   “Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. 
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.” 
― Walt WhitmanLeaves of Grass

For Beginners What is this Charcoal Art? What are the different types of Charcoal used?
Here I will give you a brief insight about types of charcoal and how to use it to create a charcoal sketch.
 There are various types of Charcoal used for drawing, making rough sketches in painting. Mostly people/artist use the below mentioned types of Charcoal to draw. 
Vine CharcoalIt is created by burning wood (usually willow wood) and is turned into soft, medium and hard consistencies.
Powdered Charcoal - It is often used to "tone" or cover large section of drawing surface. Drawing over toned areas darken it further and to lighten the tone it can be erased.
Compressed Charcoal - Charcoal powder mixed with gum binder is compressed into square or round sticks The amount of binder determines the hardness of the stick. These compressed charcoal is used in charcoal pencils.

Kneaded eraser - is usually made of grey or white pliable material and resemble putty or gum. It functions by adsorbing and picking up graphite and charcoal particles. It does not wear away or leave behind eraser residue and lasts longer than other erasers. Kneaded erasers can be shaped by hand for precision erasing, creating highlights or performing detailing work. However they are ill-suited for completely erasing larger areas and my stick if too warm. 
Fixative - It is a liquid similar to varnish which is usually sprayed over a fixed piece of artwok, to better preserve it and prevent smudging. Artwork media requiring fixative include drawings done in pencil, charcoal and pastels. An artist will often fix layers of a work in progress, in order to easily add further layers, such a technique requires a workable fixative. Fixatives comes in liquid form that can be used from the bottle via a manual spray diffuser.

I got this Daler Rowney Perfix Colourless Fixative from flipkart.com

Price- Rs 450/- for 150ml

Now I will just tell you how I used these to create my very own Charcoal sketch.
The things I have used to draw:

1. Drawing Sheet 
2. Camlin Charcoal Pencils (Soft, Medium, Hard)
3. Compressed Charcoal Block
4. Cretacolor Kneaded Eraser (bought from filpkart.com) or use can use any normal eraser
5. Daler Rowney Perfix Colourless Fixative

Basically I have used Compressed Charcoal to create the background for the sky and the ocean. To detail the ship I have used the Charcoal Pencils (Soft, Medium, Hard), different types to give the shade and depth to the drawing. I have also used the Charcoal Pencils to create the waves. Using the kneaded (or normal eraser can also be used) to create the highlighted waves. After completing the Charcoal sketch I have sprayed the fixative to prevent further smudging of charcoal.

Hope you find this informative and do tell me all about your charcoal art and stuff in the comments below.


  1. Hey Nithi very good work :) you know there is an art called paper quilling. you can create many different forms of art using that method.. i have seen many doing it.. mayb you can try that out too.. as u are interested in all creative stuff :)

    1. Thanks Kavya for ur suggestion. I will check it out and try it.. Do give ur suggestion to me it will be helpful and keep visiting :)