Charcoal Drawing Exercise - Soft Volume
By Helen South, About.com Guide
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Drawing with Charcoal - Getting Started
Sketching materials and subject ready to go.
H South, licensed to About.com, Inc.
For this exercise you will need a subject - I chose an old jug - and a light source, such as a window or lamp. Light coming from one direction will give you good shadows to work with. Any charcoal will do, though different types will give slightly different results. I chose to keep it simple with a basic charcoal pencil. You'll need a kneadable eraser, a piece of rag for blending, and a paper stump if you have one (or just twist the corner of the rag into a point). I used the Fabriano 'Academia' paper shown, not an ideal charcoal paper as the surface really grabs on to the charcoal, making it hard to blend, but it has quite a strong surface and stood up to quite a lot of repeated erasing and blending.
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