Greetings from the fascinating world of charcoal! Charcoal is a fantastic medium with which to both begin and master the art of drawing, whether your goal is to increase your creativity or sharpen your technical drawing abilities. This article will teach you how to draw with charcoal, show you new approaches to working with various mediums, and provide you with additional advice for original charcoal drawing ideas.

Charcoal: What Is It?

Technically speaking, charcoal is burned or charred organic debris. Typically, wood that has been compressed serves as the charcoal in our drawing supplies. It is a very granular substance that is simple to smear. Because of this, charcoal is offered in a range of shapes and degrees of hardness. Hard charcoal, powdered charcoal, and soft charcoal are all included in this.

Drawing With Charcoal Is Exceptionally Versatile

Charcoal drawing is compared by artists who practise it frequently to certain painting methods. Drawings in charcoal can be loose and loose-fisted or quite realistic. It is comparable to painting in that it may be spread, mixed, and readily removed. Beginners can also utilise this technique to do simple charcoal drawings, albeit it does take some practise to perfect. In technical drawing classes, knowing how to draw with charcoal is frequently the first skill that students practise.

Supplies and Equipment Required for Charcoal Drawing

For charcoal drawing, having a wide range of supplies and tools is always advised. The more area you have to play around with various charcoal drawing approaches, the more you have to work with. This means that you can use various media to make a variety of charcoal sketches with distinct lines, marks, textures, and tonalities.

Various Forms of Charcoal

You can experiment with several types of charcoal to develop control over your charcoal drawing techniques. Willow or vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, and powdered charcoal are the three primary types of charcoal used by artists.

1.Willow Charcoal

Also, known as vine charcoal, is considered to be one of the softest form of charcoals. This kind is used during the first  few stages of charcoal paintings- adding layer to the charcoal paintings. Sticks of willow charcoal are sold in their natural, bare state. With this kind of charcoal, you may create intriguing blending and smearing techniques, and it can be easily erased and removed. You can use them to practise your charcoal drawing techniques at first, and you can definitely benefit from smearing and blending the charcoal.

2. Compressed Charcoal 

The hardest and darkest sort of charcoal is compressed. It generates crisp, dark lines, textures, and tones and uses gum as a binder to keep everything together. Compressed charcoal is difficult to erase, remove, or smudge because of this. This kind of charcoal is also available in white, and it is packaged as pencils or rounded coated sticks. When defining lines, shapes, and forms in your charcoal drawing, compressed charcoal is typically utilised after you've laid down the fundamental composition of your charcoal drawing.

3. Powdered Charcoal 

The name "powdered charcoal" accurately describes what it is. It is broken-up charcoal that was once used as a raw material. Powdered charcoal works well for the subtle layering of charcoal sketches if you want to produce soft or light layers. With the intention of removing, lifting, or erasing layers to define highlights, it is frequently employed to cover bigger regions. Powdered charcoal is sold in tubs and is generally extremely expensive.

Different Paper Materials

It's nice that charcoal can be used with nearly any kind of paper, but that doesn't imply you should start working on your masterpiece using cartridge paper or basic printer paper. Charcoal painters advise finding plain white paper that has texture, charcoal paper, or toned paper.

1. Toned Paper

Working with toned paper is a lot of fun. With toned paper, you can choose practically any hue; however, to produce the entire value between shadows and highlights, you must use white and black charcoal pencils. Working with skin-toned paper is an example of a charcoal drawing concept you could develop with this kind of paper. The skin tone in a portrait can be made using the paper's background colour.

2. Plain WHite Textured Paper 

The stark tones of the black charcoal complement the white paper wonderfully. If you don't have one of them, you can buy bristol paper, illustration board, newsprint, or plain cartridge paper.

3. Charcoal Paper 

The texture or teeth of charcoal paper is finely ribbed and it is quite dense. Similar paper products, like pastel and watercolour paper, are available for purchase. The better, the heavier the paper weight.

Equipment and Tools

Variety is important when learning how to draw with charcoal, as was previously said. This is crucial since it will demonstrate the wide range of methods and marks you are capable of using. A kneaded eraser, a blending stump, white chalk, and paper towels are the supplies you'll need to draw with charcoal pencils.

Blended Stump & Brushes 

These tools are used in order to create an interesting and subtle blend. They are also used to assist in the smudging effect for the charcoal painting. They are able to produce and distribute evocative, gentle shadows. The blending stump's sharp point helps in the creation of intricate shadows and textures.

Kneaded Eraser

Charcoal is erased with a kneaded eraser. It may be shaped like putty or clay to create various forms that, when used to make fascinating patterns, lines, and shapes on paper, provide those effects. Warm water can also be used to clean kneaded erasers, but make sure it works correctly first to avoid damaging your artwork.

Paper Towels

Paper towels are a necessary item. This is a terrific advice for people who want to keep things reasonably tidy because you might not realise it if you're a beginner learning how to draw with charcoal. The surface you are working on can be protected by a paper towel placed between your hand and it.

White Chalk

Towards the end of your charcoal drawing, use white chalk to give the finishing touches to your highlights. To create contrasting tones between shadows and highlights, use white chalk and a blending stump.

How to hold a Charcoal Pencil?

It is possible to start by holding your charcoal pencils in the same way you would normally hold a pen or pencil, but there are a variety of other ways you may use charcoal to produce intriguing lines and textures on the page. Practice makes perfect when trying to grasp how to make these various marks.

Hold the charcoal like a pencil in the first step.

Holding your charcoal like a pencil, start outlining your piece using simply lines. This position will make it easier to draw precise, well-defined lines. Apply more and less pressure as you go to see how you might start building the foundational levels of your composition.

Step 2: Angle the charcoal in your hand.

Your hand will automatically adjust if you tilt the charcoal pencil such that the point is touching the surface of the paper. Try placing your fingertip on the pencil's nib while holding the lead with your thumb placed further back and below. You should loosely support the pencil end with the rest of your fingers.

Step 3: Lead your strokes with your elbow and shoulders

Keep your wrist steady or fixed in place as you start to lead trial and error strokes by moving your elbow and shoulder. You will discover that working in this manner is a terrific method to prevent smudging and produce lovely marks and textures on the paper surface once you have established a comfortable rhythm.


What can be used to draw with charcoal?

For charcoal drawings, any paper with a discernible texture works well. To create charcoal sketches, you will also require charcoal pencils, a variety of tools, and materials. It is advised to start with charcoal paper or watercolour paper while learning how to draw with charcoal and progress to toned paper materials.

Is Hairspray Acceptable as a Fixative for Charcoal paintings?

Technically, you could correct or permanently fix your charcoal drawings using hairspray. Although hairspray will dry and seal the charcoal sketches, you should be mindful that there is a good potential your drawing will finish darker than you planned. It is advised to buy a functional or final fixative to

Where can we buy Paintings online?

There are various online platforms and online art galleries where you buy   paintings online. Such websites hold great collection for your home and office decore. You can buy  paintings online at affordable prices at the comfort of your home!