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Drawing With Charcoal and Crayon

Charcoal and crayon are 2 drawing media ideal for beginners.

This section will discuss each in turn.


Charcoal is a material that can be used with striking effect and on a large scale.

It is also adapted to the most careful work, where a high degree of finish is required.

It is especially valuable as a medium, for the reason that it can be so easily erased.

It is used in the main art schools of the world for drawing from the cast and from the human figure.

It is well adapted to sketching from nature. By its use, the most charming landscapes and marine effects may be obtained. For monochrome, moonlight effects, it is second to none.

Two Methods of Drawing in Charcoal

One way to draw with charcoal is by using the point alone, the shading being put in with lines which are not blended, without the use of the stump or rubbing of any kind.

A second way is that in which the charcoal is blended with the stump or a soft rag, no lines being visible in the modeling.

This manner of drawing is most popular in schools because it is susceptible of higher finish than the first method.

Charcoal and crayon portraits are drawn using this method.

Paper for Charcoal and Crayon Drawing

For general purposes, the rough charcoal paper, made specially for the purpose is best.


Black crayon comes in several numbers or degrees of hardness, and it comes in to forms: First, the wooden pencils, and also in the shape of short sticks.

The latter should be fastened in a crayon holder while using.

For most purposes, crayon No. 2 is good enough to start with.

Additionally, there is a fine, black, powdered crayon, called "sauce crayon", which comes handy when large masses of dark are necessary and is rubbed on with a stump.

Stumps are made of leather, chamois skin and paper. For school purposes, paper stumps will be all that you need to use.

The stumps come in 2 forms: one made in various sizes of rough paper, measuring from 1/4 to 1 inch or more in diameter. The other is made of strips of paper rolled to a point, like spills. This is called a "tortillon" , and it is used in detail work, where the other form of stump would be too coarse.

Articles on Drawing with Charcoal and Crayon:

Rokeby Venus, by Velazquez


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