1. Home

What can I draw with charcoal?


Question: What can I draw with charcoal?
Answer: Anything! Its true. Because the most common type of charcoal is square or round sticks of compressed charcoal, which have blunt ends, and it is so soft and crumbly, we tend to think of charcoal as a rough sketching medium for really big drawings. Certainly it is a wonderful medium for large, bold, expressive works. However, you can also obtain very subtle greys and fine lines with charcoal.

Create your own drawing tool using a tortillon or q-tip, rubbed on a scribbled patch of charcoal. Gentle hatching or erasing and re-shading can create subtle layers, or you can brush on powdered charcoal. Sticks of charcoal can be sharpened with a blade, rubbing on sandpaper or even scrap paper, or with a pencil sharpener for fine lines or crisp edges. Using a soft, toothy paper and and carefully preserving your highlights will allow you to get a full range of tone from dark to white.

Check out some of these ideas for charcoal drawing:
Skull Study by Alberoni
Portrait Drawing by Alberoni
Self Portrait by Grace Calinisan
Portrait of My Brother by R Dennis
Portrait of 2-Pac Shakur By J Egan
Seascape - Beauty at Dawn by J Vishnoi

  1. About.com
  2. Home
  3. Drawing / Sketching
  4. Techniques and Mediums
  5. Charcoal and Conte Drawing
  6. Charcoal Drawing - What can I draw with charcoal?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.