Imagine that you would like to draw something that pleases you the most. In that time, you realized you don’t have advanced painting materials except for a charcoal pencil.
But, its proper usage is unknown to you. Fear not, I will give you instructions on how to use charcoal pencil.
You can draw pretty much everything with the most fundamental of materials. Charcoal pencil is a great material if you can use it properly.
Though sometimes drawing gets messy but using a charcoal pencil is so much enjoyable that you’ll hardly notice their shadiness.
Read the whole article to know all the information about sketching with a charcoal pencil.
What is Charcoal Pencil?
Charcoal, a form of carbon in solid states used as pencil that is widely known as charcoal pencil. Graphite pencils are generally used in common purpose, but charcoal pencils are mostly used in drawing for its light to darker shades.
From the beginning of the Stone Age, a huge number of images are seen made by caveman with the help of charcoal, sharp stone and others.
In this modern era, use of charcoal pencil is often seen. Though the canvas gets messy, it’s pretty much fun to draw with it.
In general, pencils are made of wood. Inside of the wood there is the charcoal or graphite nib. Besides that, paper wrapped pencil is also available. Some pencils contain an eraser at the end.
Different manufacturers produce different kinds of pencils depending on customer preferences. Black nibs are mostly used but white charcoal pencils are also seen; the different shapes are round, triangle, hexagon are regular sizes and red, yellow, green, black and so on.
Some artists prefer charcoal pencils because they don’t leave behind any marks when erased. Others like soft pencils cause of their several shades.
Why Should Use a Charcoal Pencil
A pencil is required for drawing lines, light-dark effects, or any other type of drawing. There goes a quote, “Pencils are the best medium of art.”
Some famous artists would prefer to use traditional pencils. But charcoal pencils have a unique composition that traditional pencils cannot perform.
Different sorts of pencils are needed if different shades are required when using a standard pencil. For example, there are hard (H) and black (B), with 9H being the hardest. 9B being the softest.
And fine (F) and middle range (HB), GB, are also available. Furthermore, charcoal pencils present a slightly different scenario.
However, charcoal pencils can be useful for creating various shades by applying pressure on the pencil. Ordinary press will get a lighter tone and a tad of press will get much hazier tone.
Normal press will get a lighter tone and a little bit of press will get a much darker tone and up to the necessary tone depend on the client.
Requirements for Drawing with Charcoal Pencil
In addition to pencils, some other tools are similarly required for making sketches. Because it is very difficult to make a masterpiece without combining everything. Performing work using charcoal pencils requires some materials that are described below.
Depends on charcoal hardness, there is a different number of paper available in the market. Plain charcoal paper, Bristol paper, Sketching paper, Toned paper, White paper, and Pastel paper. In below, I have described their characteristics,
- Charcoal paper is a unique paper with pure cotton finished. It is usually known as a laid paper that means you can take over exact control over your medium for the purpose of shading.
- Bristol paper is cotton fibre made. It is durable and versatile.
- Toned paper comes in shades and drawing gets a different look. Use of charcoal paper and toned paper is common because of their thickness and lines on pages.
- Plain white paper is regular paper. It’s a thin layer of paper sheet.
2. Proper Drawing Surface
In general, cardboard or plywood are used for drawing most of the time. Keep in mind that the length is good enough and a smoother surface so that the entire paper area covered up.
3. Paper Support
Paper needs to be stuck on its position. Paper weight is effective for land surface. If you are trying to do it vertically then a paper clip is the best solution.
4. Quality Pencil Sharpener
Pencil sharpener is the most essential tool. A Wooden pencil nib will fade, make sure to sharpen the pencil to get a nice fine point.
Charcoal pencil nibs are broader than graphite pencil, so use a wider sharpener to sharpen it from time to time. Nowadays, an anti-cutter is becoming more popular.
5. Erasers and Blending Stumps
Eraser is also a must component to create highlighting and shadows in the drawing paper for better drawing. Blending stumps, cotton buds, soft tissue paper or soft clothes make the smoother effect.
Make use of a variety of erasers depend on their shapes and types. For examples, rubber erasers, vinyl erasers, kneaded erasers, gum erasers etc. In drawing, a gum eraser is used to highlight certain areas.
You should use gloves to avoid messiness on the drawing sheets. If you use your bare hand sometimes you get blackness on your hand or sometimes get sweaty and oily.
To prevent this, use a clean soft cloth to wipe it out before your white paper sheet gets darker.
Process Of How To Use Charcoal Pencil
In this section, I will assist you in creating the perfect one from the ground up using a charcoal pencil. You will learn the most basic instructions to the advanced form step by step.
First, use proper paper as you are comfortable working with and charcoal pencil and follow the proper instructions below.
- It is better to wear hand gloves first.
- Make a structure of what you think to draw, like make a structure known as ‘the backbone of drawing.’ Something that you feel in your mind gradually starts working on it.
- Different lines can be obtained by holding the pencil in various positions. It can be used in two ways. One way to create sharp edges is to hold it like a pencil. Make sure the pencil nib touches the paper directly. A thin, darker line can be drawn in this manner.Another option is by holding the pencil on its side with your thumb and forefinger up and the rest of your fingers down. This allows you to draw considerably wider lines without touching the page.In drawing, you can do whatever you want. Sketching, shedding, portrait, design, and illustration as per your desire.
- Different holding techniques will help you to get different lines and shedding. If it’s not getting up to the mark don’t worry it will get better gradually. Shedding makes the drawing more realistic. With the help of a soft charcoal pencil.
- You never want to get your entire black charcoal take over the whole white canvas. If it gets messy, erase the unwanted black portion. Also, you will observe some dark areas which need more dark shade, so start doing that. You will see the drawing is coming alive gradually.
- Shedding your drawing with the help of a blending stumps, cotton buds, soft tissue paper or fresh soft cloth. After shedding it became more and more realistic. Feel free to decorate accordingly.
- If highlight requires, use erasers as per required. Clear the unused area without damaging the final one.
- Once completing the drawing, give a fresh coat of fixative and finish the work for long lasting.
Advantage and Disadvantage of Charcoal Pencils
Everything has its benefits and drawbacks, and so does the use of charcoal pencils. Below are some of the points I have written that you should know.
- Charcoal pencil are ideal for delicate detail work, because they can be sharpened to a fine point.
- Charcoal pencils have a unique feature in that they come in a variety of soft, medium, and hard kinds. Any of these variations can have a variety of shades depending on the user’s perspective.Even ordinary pencils are incapable of accomplishing this. That many shades can be achieved with just one charcoal pencil. Above all, it is simple to use and more effective due to its large nib and varied shades.
- The biggest disadvantage is that charcoal pencils release much more charcoal dust than regular pencils. Paper sheets get a little bit of blackish. But that’s not a major problem. Just clean those messy surfaces and you are good to go. Often hand also gets dirty. Otherwise, it’s fine to work with it.
There are no better alternatives to a charcoal pencil for artwork, whether for a short or lengthy purpose. Even if you’re a beginner, you should start with a charcoal pencil to improve your drawing skills.
However, it is a free material to utilize due to its excellent features, textures, shading, and blending. While utilizing your work, you have complete control over your freedoms.
In this article, I have described how to use charcoal pencil and it’s essential information. If you read it properly, then you have already able to draw quick sketches. Besides, with the help of charcoal pencils, you may transform your imagination into a portrait.
So take one and work on your idea with the help of a Charcoal Pencil.