+$Charcoal drawing is addictive. Maybe it’s because charcoal drawings are so fast and immediate, or maybe because the final look is often so impressive, but people love  charcoals. Even the great Michelangelo created a number of charcoal drawings.

+$Whatever the reasons for its popularity as a medium, there are certain charcoal drawing techniques you should know before you create your first charcoal masterpiece. In this article we'll run through some key charcoal drawing tips and tricks to help you get started. Check out the video below, then follow the steps to success.

+$For more help with your creations, see our tutorials on如何绘制+$, Or Investigate Various艺术技巧

您可以使用任何类型的木炭来尝试这些技术。只需在您当地的艺术商店询问,他们就会引导您(请参阅第09页有关不同类型的信息)。如果这有助于你进一步教育自己,为什么不去接受Schoolism.com+$to discover courses, workshops and more.

+$01. Find The Essence

这张图片是关于保罗的 - 其他一切都支持这个主要想法

+$The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Artistically speaking, the main thing is called the essence. It's as important in charcoal drawing as it is in any other medium. When creating a piece, the need to establish what the image is about, and what you want to say with it. Once you settle on the 'main idea' or the essence, everything you do from that point on, every move and every detail you put in or leave out, should work to strengthen that aspect of the piece.



+$The word 'value' gets thrown around a lot in art, and can seem confusing. What we mean by 'value' is simply a walk from white to black (light to dark), on a range of one to 10. One is the white of the page and 10 is black, so a five, 50 per cent or 'halftone' is a medium grey, halfway between white and black. Every image is composed of values (darks or lights), regardless of colour.




two images based on photograph with different values

+$You can control the eye using value


在上图中,基于Josiah Bice拍摄的照片,最黑暗的值用于主题。注意他脸颊上最轻的值和为他的身体质量保留的最黑暗的值。



two images of a dog, one more basic than the other



+$Squinting our eyes just a bit (or maybe taking your glasses off) will blur the image's values and help us see a more simplified version of what we are looking at overall. Squinting also helps us see simple shapes very clearly. Nailing those simple shapes helps with the overall essence of the piece.


picture of dog



+$So how do you use this technique, and what do you need to know? The rule of thumb is that lines on top of things are thinner since light is hitting them and lines underneath objects can be thicker since there are usually shadows sitting there. That’s it. Simple, right? Check out the various dancing lines and thickness on the dog drawing above. Now you know.


hand using eraser to rub out hair from a painting of a man's face


+$The cool thing about charcoal is that it’s easy to control. You can move it around easily. Once you apply charcoal you can remove it or erase it where it's not needed. In the picture above, the erased part marks out where the light is hitting the model's head.


three images with three different types of eraser


+$Traditional artists have plenty of tools of the trade to choose from, and the tools for creating charcoal drawings are particularly cool. The image above shows some great ones: a really small+$fine-line Eraser, 一个+$kneaded Eraser+$that you can bend and squash, and a+$hardcore Eraser Pen+$for those tough, heavy lifting erasing jobs.

+$Using charcoal or pastels requires us to 'move' or apply the medium, and there are many ways to accomplish this. Your finger is the most obvious, yet can be streaky or too small. A+$Webril Wipe+$is a great tool for making a large mass of charcoal in one stroke.


image demonstrating why you should use a glove




three charcoal pencils


+$Charcoals come in many forms, from pencils to thick sticks to chunks, and the specific medium you decide to use is up to you. In the above photo are three good examples of charcoal pencils. Know that they can be messy, so after using them, it's worth spraying your charcoal drawing with a+$workable Fixative+$to Control Them.


painting of birds

你可以飞 - 只是继续努力

+$Remember that drawing is difficult and at times frustrating. Stick at it. Creating art is extremely hard to pull off and it can take time to feel happy about your progress.