Charcoal Painting

Charcoal  is a black residue produced as a result of slow pyrolysis with the  heating of sugar, bone char, wood and other substances due to lack of  oxygen. Charcoal is used in art to outline rough sketches in painting. There are three different types of charcoal commonly used by the  painters.  Vine charcoal is a natural charcoal made from straight  beech or willow twigs.

Created by burning sticks of wood, Vine and  willow charcoal sticks offer soft blacks to medium gray for the  sketches. The sticks are usually long and thin. The vine produces dark  gray while willow charcoal is black. Willow charcoal available in  several widths and therefore, it can be categorized as thin, medium,  thick and jumbo. Painters used vine charcoal as it is erasable and  blends very well with other material.

Another form commonly used  by the painters is compressed charcoal. Sold in sticks, it is made by  condensing powdered charcoal with a binder into a large stick. It is  sharpened to a point and sold in varieties such as hard, soft and  medium.  The powdered charcoal is also used as a drawing medium  as it works well for subtractive methods.

Subtractive method is a  technique where the image is produced by erasing the light areas. This  charcoal is applied for pattern work as well as transferring pattern  which is known as pouncing. Among other frequently used charcoals are  charcoal pencils. Compressed charcoal comes in the form of pencil. The  pencils are found in H, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, and 6B.  Painters  opt for charcoal in drawings due to its ability to be blended.

Charcoal  can be blended with tortillion, chamois, finger or erased with a  technical eraser. Tortillion comes in a roll of soft paper while chamois  is a soft cloth used for blending purposes. Smooth drawing will appear  as the tones blend well with it. More charcoal can be added for  different effect.


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