Pr1-Ex4: Using Charcoal


I used a thin willow charcoal stick and compressed charcoal stick with a putty rubber in places. I experimented with marks, smudging and rubbing. Dragging a large filbert paint brush through charcoal on the page to the still whit paper left thin wispy marks of varying value.

Charcoal is a quick medium. As is if you were trying to get down what’s in front of you quickly you have thin and thick lines available with on swoosh of the charcoal. Large spaces are quickly filled with smudging. Once on the page I find it very stark against the white back ground. It gives a depressing gloomy mood.

I was interested by the strange smudgy shapes that loom out of the blackness like distant lights on a foggy dark night. These are left after some charcoal is removed with a putty rubber.

I’d like to explore this further by filling a large page in the black soot of charcoal and cut back into it to reveal a scene using the putty rubber. Perhaps a watery night time seen. Nice way to create light reflection on the water.

I also liked the result of printing the thick black marks left by charcoal on to another piece of paper by laying the image face down and pressing the papers together. The second image is much lighter, shows the paper tooth and varies in shade. The image starts to fade and degrade. The different pressures used to stamp the charcoal on to the new paper adds texture.


About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter

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