How to Draw with Charcoal
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How to Draw with Charcoal

Drawing with charcoal is a great past time. Learning how to do it can be frustrating and yet full of so much pleasure.

CCharcoalis an interesting medium. It is unique, special and renders an artists drawing as different from others. Charcoal can be hard to tame if your trying it out for the first time, so don't be discouraged if your drawings don't come out as you expected at first. It's important to remember that while you have the artistic vision, charcoal has a mind of it's own, and you two will have to learn to work together if you intend of bringing forth a truly artistic master piece.

STEP 1. First things first. Decide what you would like to draw. Even if it's just a shape at first, you'll want to start with your outline. This is probably one of the most difficult parts of the process with charcoal drawing. You'll want to attempt to keep your hand from touching to much of the paper while you are drawing the outline, so that you don't smear it around. If this is your first time using charcoal, you might want to start out with a picture of something, so that you have something to work from. It will help you build skill before you take on the detailings of your imagination.

STEP 2. If your drawing is of a dark object, such as a black cat or horse, you can lay your charcoal's side and pull down gently with it until you have filled in the darker areas of your drawing. If your drawing is of something that is lighter in base, you can either still use the charcoal in this manner, but with less pressure, or you can just leave the main drawing white in the middle. If you have a lighter object and you decide to use the charcoal on it's side, you can use your finger to smear the charcoal, pulling away from the center, which will give it a faded gray hue.

STEP 3. If you are working from a picture, take a look at all the details of the photo. If you are working from your imagination, think about all the little details that should go onto your picture. If your drawing has a face, you may want to work on the finer details of eyes, expression and little features like wrinkles or whiskers. Be careful not to smear anything that you don't want smeared.

STEP 4. Charcoal is very good for accentuating shadows and highlighting certain areas of your drawing. Take a look at your picture, or work from your imagination to consider where the shadows lie in the drawing. A good shadow can truly make a drawing a masterpiece. You can either use the charcoal tip to give your shadow some directional lines, or you can place your charcoal on it's charcoal pull down with dark or light lines. Then you have a choice of smearing it a bit, which can be used to make a shadow larger or faded in certain areas.

charcoal you have a set of different sizes of charcoal sticks, you can now use smaller sticks to add more accents to certain areas, such as under the eye shadows, or you can use larger sticks to give it bolder lines in certain areas.

STEP 6. Wash your hands. When your done with your charcoal drawing, you will notice you probably have a few fingers covered in charcoal, and if you're anything like me, your lower palm will be covered in it too.

One of the best and worst parts about charcoal is the mistakes. You will find there will be points when you might accidentally smear an area, or you might make a line too charcoal that this is part of what makes charcoal drawings so unique. Try not to give up on a drawing unless you absolutely have too. Sometimes if you work with it more, smear it some here and there, or draw over a smear, you can make it even better with the mistakes involved.

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