Drawing Charcoal

Here at Pegasus Art we have a fantastic selection of drawing charcoal that includes a variety of sizes and types to suit your drawing needs. Find willow charcoal, charcoal pencils, compressed charcoal and even coloured charcoal sets.

What is Drawing Charcoal?

Charcoal is an organic material that consists of mainly carbon and ash and is made by burning the material, such as wood, under high temperatures with low oxygen levels. This creates a dark colour, lightweight, dry substance that normally comes as sticks or blocks for drawing purposes. Although charcoal has been made for 100's of years, for many uses such as fuel and even filtration, it has and still is very popular for mark making and drawing in the creative world.

Artist charcoal is generally a black to grey drawing material that can be used on its own, with other pastels or chalks and also used in mixed media artwork. Charcoal has a rich and expressive texture that is favoured by many artists for drawing and mark making. In general if you use charcoal sticks or blocks with more pressure you will get a heavier / bolder marks and if your use it gently you will get lighter marks; this makes it a great material for gestural drawing.

Willow charcoal is made from willow branches that have been turned into charcoal sticks and are still in a natural form. Willow is good for lighter powdery marks and smudging, and it is easy to erase. The sticks tend to have a slightly irregular shape due to the natural origins and can add to your mark making, as well as being a very useful material for preliminary outlines before painting or simply for sketching.

Compressed charcoal is made from charcoal powder and mixed with a binder to form blocks or sticks. This compacted charcoal comes in a variety of softness options and colours, and can be sharpened to get particular shapes. It is more resistant to smudging and also less easy to erase.

Working with Charcoal

Our range of drawing charcoal also features charcoal pencils which are fabulous for fine detail and keeping artists’ fingers clean. Charcoal pencils are a handy essential to keep with you in the studio or a more practical option if you are out and about.

Working with a selection of charcoal can give you a range of textures and lines to build a image with more variety in your sketches. You can also adjust the marks charcoal makes on the surface by holding the charcoal flat to get broad softer textures for larger areas or hold it on its point or edge for more focused lines. You can work the charcoal into wedges or shapes on a separate piece of paper or with a sharpening tool if needed.

What Else Might You Need in Your Drawing Kit?

Some key things that you might want to include in your charcoal drawing kit are putty or kneadable erasers for clearing up mistakes or removing areas of charcoal for highlights, sharpeners, kitchen roll or paper towels to clean up your fingers or equipment, blending tool also known as a tortillion, baton holder or foil to wrap around the ends of the charcoal and also a fixative.

So whether you are just beginning to discover the delights of working in charcoal or are honing your expertise we have a wonderful collection of charcoal supplies for you.

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