Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I haven't drawn with charcoal for ages, so pulled some out last night along with a piece of newsprint and played around with a study for a portrait. Charcoal is so versatile and goes from loose to tight with ease, depending on how you use it and what type it is.
I'm one of those people who like getting dirty and prefer vine or willow charcoal, but also use charcoal pencils to add detail. I don't often use charcoal powder but sometimes tone the paper by putting down a layer of charcoal then blending it lightly with some kitchen towel or a tissue. I use tortillons for blending small areas if I need to, such as eyes or lips where I want smooth transitions of shadows.
I'm still not 100% happy with the likeness I have for this study so will tweak it some more - another reason I like charcoal - its so easy to manipulate with a kneaded eraser or to add more charcoal to deepen shadows.