Easy Charcoal Pencil Sketches

October 2, 2018 1:32 am by theundertown
Easy animals sketches charcoal google search
42 easy charcoal drawing techniques and ideas to try
Easy Charcoal Pencil Sketches

You can smudge compressed charcoal, it just doesn’t spread as easily as the vine charcoal. 

Next, highlights and lighter values are erased out using a vinyl eraser. Breaks of light are added in and around the trees.

As I am making marks, I am looking at the skull and I am looking at areas where the skull gets darker and I am mapping out those values.  At the same time, I am looking at the shapes that are made and I am drawing those shapes very loosely. I am expecting the image of the skull to begin to pop out. 

Fixative comes in a spray can and is applied by spraying it onto the artwork.  The best way to do this is in a well-ventilated area with the spray can held about a foot away from the artwork.  Hairspray can be used in place of fixative but it can darken the surface so it is not recommended.  

The above image is the finished result from a Recorded “Live Lesson”. You can watch this demonstration here. (Requires membership.) Surfaces and Papers

  Some artists prefer to work on toned papers.  Typically, when toned papers are used, both white and black charcoal are used in the drawing. Since the paper is toned, the whites are absent and must be applied in charcoal form. 

The following video outlines the process of creating a landscape sketch with charcoal pencils.

Next, powdered charcoal is spread over the drawing and worked into the surface with a mop brush and a paper towel. Darker areas are strengthened with the charcoal pencil.

1. Sketch out the composition 2. Apply powdered charcoal 3. Draw the details 4. Erase out the highlights

Charcoal Drawing Techniques- How to Draw with Charcoal (Skull Drawing)

The traditional drawing medium of charcoal is a favorite for many artists.  Charcoal produces rich tones and high contrast.   It is easily blended and erased allowing the artist to produce a variety of effects in an artwork.

Highlights are continued throughout the drawing. Texture can be created by changing the stroke made by the pencil.

When charcoal drawings are finished, the artist may chose to “fix” the charcoal in place.  Because charcoal drawings are often very dusty, this is a common practice.  There are different types of fixative.  There is workable fixative which allows for some work to done on the artwork after it has been “fixed”.  There is also final fixative, which is used when the drawing is finished.  Most artists, like myself, chose to only use workable fixative, since you may chose to go back to drawing and work on it at a later time. 

The completed drawing can be “fixed” using fixative to prevent unwanted smudging.

The background value is just as important as the foreground value.  The skull in my drawing is sitting on a white surface, so I will add white around the skull to create a contrasting value.

In the video, the drawing is approached using a four step process.

Next, I’m going to switch to the vine charcoal.  Charcoal is actually burnt wood.  Vine charcoal is great for spreading the medium around the surface with your fingers.  In this demonstration, I’ll be doing a lot of that.  It’s also very easy to erase. 

It’s okay to let some of the charcoal mix. Especially when you are applying the white over the top of the dark charcoal. 

Next, I’ll begin to create the illusion of a light source and I’ll go in and add the white compressed charcoal in areas where the light source is the strongest.  Compressed charcoal is compacted so it will go onto the surface a little stronger than the vine charcoal.  It’s also a little harder to erase.  But it does give you those strong marks that you need when you are completing a charcoal drawing. 

Charcoal Pencils Powdered Charcoal Drawing Paper Eraser Pencil

Remember that this demonstration is just a sketch.  Sketches are usually done quickly.  I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time getting the details perfect.  I’m going to simply keep this drawing loose. Some students get obsessed with all of the little details that they see.  It’s best to learn what’s important and focus on putting the areas that are the  most important in your drawing. Drawing should be a fun and relaxing activity.  It should not be stressful. 

Also keep in mind that you can control the amount of charcoal that is applied to the surface simply by varying the amount of pressure put on the material. 

Well technically speaking, charcoal is burnt organic material.  Usually the material is wood.  There are a few types of charcoal used by artists to create a drawing.  These types of charcoal include “vine” and “compressed”. 

Vine charcoal usually consists of burnt willow wood. Vine charcoal is easily spread on a surface and is very easy to erase.  As a consequence it is generally makes a lighter mark when you draw than compressed charcoal and easily smudges. (Which may be a benefit.)

Paper wrapped charcoal pencils should not be sharpened using a traditional pencil sharpener.  These pencils have a small string encased with the wrapping.  To sharpen, pull the string down a couple of centimeters, and peel the paper.

Cast shadows are created underneath the skull and “pulled out” using a blending stump.

Vine charcoal and compressed sticks should be held differently in your hand than a drawing pencil. It will vary from artist to artist, but my suggestion is to hold the charcoal with your thumb and forefinger with your palm facing the surface of the paper.

Drawing is very similar to working with clay.  When you are working with clay, you may have a big mass of nothingness, but the more you work it, the more it starts to become something.  The same thing is true with a drawing.  It may start as nothing, but the more you work it,  the more the image develops. 

You can draw with charcoal pencils just like you would with a graphite drawing pencil.  However, you may want to experiment with different drawing grips. A variety of marks can be made by just changing the way that you hold the pencil. 

For detailed marks, a charcoal pencil can be used and held just like a traditional pencil. More on grips for holding a pencil can be found here.

When using charcoal to draw, a few tools will need to be at your disposal. First, you may need a variety of different types of charcoal- vine, compressed, pencil form.  You will also want to have a kneaded eraser. 

The following video comes deep from the archives of TheVirtualInstructor.com, but you may still find it to be helpful…

While the traditional forms of charcoal are great for most applications, some artists prefer the control that you can get from using a pencil.  Using traditional sticks of vine and compressed charcoal make it a bit more difficult to develop the details that some subjects will require. In these situations, the best solution may be to use a charcoal pencil.

Learning how to draw with charcoal is just like learning how to draw with any medium.  It takes practice.  So don’t be discouraged at first.  Charcoal drawing is different than drawing with a pencil.  Most people are already used to drawing with a pencil, so it may take some time to become accustomed to charcoal.  But don’t worry, you will get better with time.

Kneaded Eraser – A kneaded eraser is a special type of eraser that is designed to lift the material off of the surface.  Kneaded erasers work especially well with charcoal. 

With the initial sketch completed, a layer of powdered charcoal is applied to create a base tone for pushing dark and light values. This application will also help to create a “smoky” look to the drawing.

Blending Stumps – You may also want to have a blending stump.  A blending stump will allow you to have full control over the blending and smearing of the charcoal.  You can create a blending stump by tightly rolling up drawing paper to a point. 

The paper will unravel to reveal the shaft of compressed charcoal inside.

Charcoal is manufactured in a variety of forms as well. Vine charcoal produces softer marks that are easily removed and blended, while compressed charcoal produces darker tones.  

Compressed charcoal is held together by a gum binder and is darker than vine charcoal.  As a result, it is harder to erase, harder to smudge, but makes a darker mark.  Compressed charcoal may come as a round stick, a square stick, or in a pencil. (Vine charcoal is almost always a round stick.)  Some compressed charcoal is pigmented.  This is the case with white compressed charcoal.

To sharpen the pencil to a nice sharp tip, you can use a sandpaper sharpening pad.  Simply rub the tip of the charcoal pencil over the sandpaper, rotating it as go. 

The background is then erased with a kneaded eraser to create texture and additional interest.

Lastly, the charcoal pencil is used to develop the last bit of details.

Charcoal drawings can be loose or they can be rendered to a high degree of realism.  Charcoal drawing is actually closely related to painting.  Because of it’s characteristics, charcoal can easily be spread, blended, and erased.  This allows the artist to use the charcoal in a variety of ways.  One way of creating unique marks is by using the eraser to remove the lighter values (tints).  This method is called “Highlight Rendering”

Many oil and acrylic painters choose to draw out compositions on canvas with the softer vine charcoal prior to applying paint because of it’s softness. Compressed charcoal is best suited for pushing darker values in a work, but is harder to erase or influence with smudging.

A white charcoal pencil is used to draw precise highlights. Gradations in value can be made as the white charcoal mixes with the black charcoal on the surface.

The finished sketch can be fixed using a fixative to prevent the drawing from smudging.

We’re going to start the drawing of a skull by drawing loosely with the compressed charcoal in the charcoal pencil.  You’ll notice the way I am holding the pencil.  I am holding it very loosely at the end of my two finger tips.  This allows me to be loose with the charcoal.  Charcoal is a very loose medium.  Charcoal is actually closely related to painting.  So, we’re going to be very loose, like we would be if we were painting. 

A charcoal pencil is simply compressed charcoal material encased within a wooden or paper wrapped pencil. 

First, the image is sketched out loosely and lightly.  The basic shapes of the subjects are drawn organizing the composition.

If you are drawing on a flat surface, it’s also a good idea to have a paper towel handy.  You can lay the paper towel between your hand and the surface of the drawing, so that your hand doesn’t smear your work. 

Today, we are going to be working on gray paper. Gray paper has a nice medium tone.

Video Transcription (Edited) Today we’re going to be dealing with charcoal and we’ll be doing a drawing of a skull. We are going to be using a charcoal pencil with compressed charcoal in it. We will be using vine charcoal. We are also going to be using compressed charcoal that is not in a pencil form. We’ll also be using white compressed charcoal.

This course is for beginner and intermediate artists and features over 300 minutes of HD video instruction and 178 pages of eBooks covering the true essence of drawing including the elements and principles of art, and a variety of drawing media and techniques.

  (28 Modules)

The above image is the finished result from “The Secrets to Drawing” Video Course, Module 15.Most of the time, white paper is used. Like with watercolor painting, the white of the paper acts to “mix” grays and create highlights. You can read more about drawing papers here.

This allows you to make marks using your shoulder and elbow instead of with just your wrist.

Wood encased charcoal pencils can be sharpened as a traditional pencil using a pencil sharpener. For pencils too large to sharpen with a traditional sharpener, a knife is a good substitute. If a knife is used, be sure to carve away from your body.

I see a lot of students make the mistake of trying to draw everything with lines.  And everything isn’t linear.  We see things because of value.  That’s why it is important to understand value and have the ability to draw the values that we see.  In drawing, you should try to create a full range of value in your drawing.  I’ll focus on trying to create shadows, highlights, and mid tones.  In the early stages of this drawing, I’m focusing on getting the shadows and the mid tones. 

In the following drawing video lesson, I show you how to draw a skull using compressed black charcoal, and compressed white charcoal on gray drawing paper.

Keep in mind that charcoal pencils have compressed charcoal inside of them.  Compressed charcoal is much harder to erase than vine charcoal, so marks should be light during the early stages of a drawing.  As you become more confident with your composition, you can apply more pressure on the pencil to produce darker marks.

With the powdered charcoal worked into the surface, the details can be added. Small circular strokes of varied intensities are made to create the textural illusion of leaves.

It is important to consider looking at some type of subject matter when you are drawing.  In my case, I have a physical skull that I am looking at.  It is missing the bottom half of the jaw, so I’ll only be drawing the top half of the skull. 

Charcoal can be applied to just about any surface that will accept the mark.  The most common surfaces or papers have a course tooth, or texture.  These papers include charcoal paper, pastel papers, and watercolor papers.  Smooth surfaces are also acceptable and include newsprint, bristol board, and illustration board.

The drawing begins with a loose contour line sketch using a charcoal pencil.  Areas of high contrast are noted with a line.

If so, please join over 36,000 people who receive tutorials and articles. PLUS get 3 FREE COURSE VIDEOS and EBOOKS!  Just click on the button below to add your name!Yes, I’m In

Related Images of Easy Charcoal Pencil Sketches
One of my original drawings like my facebook page art
Joker dark knight drawing and charcoal pencils youtube
Compelling and creative charcoal drawings to capture your eye
How to draw a charcoal mountain range drawing art youtube
Tiger charcoal pencil
Pencil drawing art is a great way of time killing fun but easy charcoal drawing techniques and ideas are bold and dramatic so you can have high time fun
Easy graphite drawings artists toolbox pencil graphite charcoal jane beata on ideas
Charcoal sketches for beginners charcoal art for beginners art pinterest sketches ideas
Hair pencil drawing
Charcoal pencil drawings trees
Charcoal drawing sketchbook gita
Charcoal eye tutorial step 7
Charcoal drawing
Charcoal drawing flowers drawing art gallery
1024x576 charcoal and pencil drawing how to draw using charcoal pencils
Easy charcoal sketches for beginners download by sizesmartphone
Charcoal drawings of people pencil and charcoal drawing with the red umbrella painted in oil 18 x
Easy charcoal cat
Sad Boy Pencil Drawings
Sad Boy Pencil Drawings

Sad Boy Pencil DrawingsSad Boy Pencil Drawings 1234×1600 Sad Boy And Girl Pencil Sketch Very Lovely Love Pic Sketch Sad […]

Anime Naruto 3D Pencil
Anime Naruto 3D Pencil

Anime Naruto 3D PencilAnime Naruto 3D Pencil Anime Naruto Drawing Naruto Pencil Drawing Manuel Sama On Deviantart – Anime Naruto […]

Pencil Shading Tutorial Pdf
Pencil Shading Tutorial Pdf

Pencil Shading Tutorial PdfPencil Shading Tutorial Pdf Pencil Shading Tutorial PdfRelated Images of Pencil Shading Tutorial Pdf

Anime Couple Hug Pencil Draw
Anime Couple Hug Pencil Draw

Anime Couple Hug Pencil DrawAnime Couple Hug Pencil Draw 500×646 I love it when the boys just smoosh the girls […]

How To Draw Cartoon Hands
How To Draw Cartoon Hands

How To Draw Cartoon HandsHow To Draw Cartoon Hands Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help […]

Pencil Sketches Of A Couple
Pencil Sketches Of A Couple

Pencil Sketches Of A CouplePencil Sketches Of A Couple Pencil Sketches Of A CoupleRelated Images of Pencil Sketches Of A […]