Charcoal can produce lines that are very light or intensely black, while being hard to remove completely. The dry medium can be applied to almost any surface from smooth to very coarse. Fixatives are often used with charcoal drawings to solidify the position to prevent erasing or rubbing off of charcoal dusts but since we are layering it with acrylics we won’t need to worry about its impermanence too much.
One neat feature with charcoal is that you can turn the sticks around to get many different styles and line widths, so the pencils are totally optional and many artists prefer sticks. Softer charcoal is easier to work with because it spreads and blends easily, giving you nice, smooth coverage much like oil paint.
Charcoal is great for drawing, sketching, or smudging, a charcoal pencil offers a familiar feel and provides you with a lot of control over your marks. Even in this more structured form, it can be manipulated to create an array of rich and dark tones, as well as thin lines and bold ones
Types of charcoal
Vine charcoal is a long and thin charcoal stick that is the result of burning grape vines in a kiln without air.
Willow charcoal is a long and thin charcoal stick that is the result of burning willow sticks in a kiln without air. It is darker in color than vine charcoal.
Peel & Sketch Charcoal Pencils really good option for people who do not like the dirty feel of charcoal on their fingers.
General Pencil's Jumbo Compressed Charcoal this is what you will see me using. I have a heavy hand and these are a bit sturdier.
Liquid Charcoal is the consistency of oil paint and allows you to achieve values from very light, to a rich, deep black.
Soho Urban Artist Jumbo Kids Sidewalk Chalk
Art Graf Tailors chalk
Acrylic Paint: This is such a personal preference. There are no bad colors so I want you to start by choosing 3-5 of your most favorite colors + white. You are driving this fuckery train so you can change your mind or add as many new colors into the mix anytime you want, however choosing just a couple to start always makes the creative process easier at the beginning.nFor reference I am sharing the colors I chose to use in my pieces.
Titanium White heavy body
Nickel Azo Yellow heavy body
Light Phthalo Green heavy body
Holbein Luminous Violet heavy body
What is acrylic ink? It is a coloring medium that is water-resistant and dries quickly. It comes in different colors and shades - iridescent, metallic, and fluorescent. The three different formulas of acrylic inks are transparent, opaque, and semi-opaque. They are usually runny and very different from acrylic paint, which is opaque and thick. Acrylic ink doesn’t smudge, bleed, or fade, and it dries quickly.
Walnut ink: Walnut ink is an ink made from the green husk surrounding the nut of walnuts.
Ranger Wendy Vecchi Designer Series Archival Ink Pad, Watering Can
CRETACOLOR MegaColor Colored Pencils Cretacolor Mega Colored Pencils have extra-thick 6.4 mm cores for making broad strokes. The cores have a slightly waxy formulation that feels soft when applied and lays down rich color— excellent for blending and layering. These are the most exciting new-to-me products I have found in a long time!
Any and all colored pencil brands are welcome!
Collage, ephemera, stickers, etc:
Come one and come all! This is where your personal flair and style SHINES!
I like using a range of brushes as I work. Use what you have. Do not buy anything. That said, I suggest a couple bigger brushes, like 1-1.5” and some medium brushes. I switched between flat and round brushes as I worked.
Spray varnish (Optional)