Part 1c Mark-making with charcoal

Gosh charcoal is messy! But lovely to get some huge big sweeps across the page.  There is something about using charcoal that makes you feel like a proper artist (whatever one of those is).










Lines and dots

In this square I used various sizes of willow charcoal from very thin to large fat pieces.  The lines on the left had part of the box were drawn holding the charcoal as you would a pencil.  The dots in the top right were achieved by twisting a medium stick on its end, while the bottom right mark was done by dragging a snapped piece across on its side.



Rough charcoal

Again the charcoal was dragged on its side here, but using different pressures and overlaying in places.  This exercise was done on cartridge paper, so something like watercolour paper would yield a much rougher result.  This could provide a fairly uniform coverage too if needed; good for brickwork, or bark etc.




Twists and turns

I love the shapes and marks that you get when you twist the charcoal as its drawn across the page.  there are times when the line is almost as thin as a pencil line as it twists back into a huge swathe across the paper.







This is an interesting result.  It almost looks like raindrops in a pounding rainstorm.  The charcoal piece is used on its side and ‘bounced’ off the page with a slight dragging motion in the direction of the line.






Swirls and sweeps

I could not resist sweeping outside of the box and so incorporated two of the boxes – now as I reflect on it I see that its almost in a positive/negative type way.  I also used a putty rubber in the right-hand box to lift areas out; while in the left-hand box I used my finger and a blender to blend some of the marks.


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