Elody
Drawing: Charcoal Pencils On Toned Paper
27 STEPS
3 (hard, medium, and soft)
Charcoal Pencils
1 or more
White Charcoal Pencil
1
Eraser
2 sheets
Toned Drawing Paper
3 (hard, medium, and soft)
Charcoal Pencils
1 or more
White Charcoal Pencil
1
Eraser
2 sheets
Toned Drawing Paper
1
Tortillian or Blending Stump (optional)
Let’s get to know our materials.
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1: eraser 2: toned paper 3: hard, medium, soft and white charcoal pencils 4: optional blending stump
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Charcoal pencil test: first hard, then medium, then soft. They get darker and easier to smudge.
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Did you notice that none of them erased very well? Dark charcoal marks don’t erase fully.
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Let’s try our white pencil. Mine doesn’t smudge much and erases pretty well.
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Let’s try some shading, blending, hatching and cross-hatching.
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Now practice shading, blending, hatching and cross-hatching with your medium charcoal pencil.
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Try adding in your hard pencil for midtones and your white pencil for lights to get a full gradient.
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Did you catch how I layered shading and blending with my stump? You can also blend with your finger.
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Here is a graph of the properties of each of our tools.
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Let’s do a quick practice drawing. I’ll draw this tiny porcelain cat with a bright light on it.
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I’ll start by sketching the outlines lightly with my hard charcoal pencil.
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Now I’ll use the white pencil to do the highlights and the bright white ground, avoiding my shadows.
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Now I’ll switch to my medium charcoal pencil to add more to the shadows.
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Despite being a quick sketch, it’s very dimensional.
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Let’s start our drawing. I do a first pass of my drawing very lightly with my hard charcoal pencil.
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Now I do my highlights with my white pencil. The blank paper under my right hand prevents smearing.
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Now I do my darks with medium and soft pencils. I’m just shading and hatching, no stump blending.
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All done! You can add blending for a smoother look, but I like the look of the lines.
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Here are a few more examples. You can be much looser with your hatching and still have cool result.
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Strong direction in your hatching can create an active composition.
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This drawing combines white charcoal with a regular pencil.
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Here is white charcoal with pen. It’s fun to have a dramatic light effect to capture with the white.
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Doing only white, no blacks at all, gives a delicate effect.
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The color of your paper can give a portrait life if it matches the skin tone of the subject.
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Making your background black can really make the light pop in a drawing.
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One last example of one of my charcoal drawings on toned paper. Good luck with your drawings!
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