Understanding The Different Types Of Charcoals Used In Charcoal Paintings

By Genevieve Petty

Doing charcoal paintings require several tools in order to achieve different results. From the charcoal itself to paper, chamois and stumps, it is good to understand exactly what you want. Your options could differ, but it is always best to know just what you want. Knowing the different charcoals in the market is important since they are the primary tool.

Pencils are described by artists as able to give more control than the compressed types. However, you always have to sharpen these, which can get depressing. All pencils are all labeled, so finding them is easy. At the center of the range is the HB pencil, with H up to 9H on one side of the spectrum and B to 9B on the other.

As you go towards higher values of H, the lead in the pencil gets harder. The harder the lead, the lighter the drawing gets. Eventually you arrive at a level where it is very faint. The opposite is true for the B series. The higher the B value the darker the shade.

Vine is also commonly used, particularly for foundation drawing before you get to the more complicated and advanced drawing stages. Its preferred by many an artist because it is much simpler to remove from paper by erasing it.

Unlike Vine, which has loosely packed particles, Compressed has much tighter particles. This makes it very good for the final parts of your drawings as you apply your finishing touches. Be careful, however, when using it as its very brittle and dropping it causes it to break very easily.

It is recommended to use a kneaded eraser any time you want to remove something from your drawing. Its easy to clean and very easy to reshape. Reshaping is important when it comes to complicated and intricate drawings, where you might want to remove just small parts.

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