Tuesday 6 May 2014

Weekly Faces

So this week I was challenged to use charcoal... just so you know, I really dislike charcoal.. INTENSLEY. I just cannot stand the feel of it, for the same really I don't like chalk pastels.. that dryness on my hands, the dust all over the desk.. ugh!!!

So you can imagine, this one was a tough one for me. 

I took an A4 piece of cartridge paper and cut it in half. I then sorted out my charcoal. The stuff in the paper towel is well over 10yrs old, that is probably the last time i touched it. Then there are the Derwent charcoal pencils... I bought those because I couldn't bear t touch the other stuff. 

I gritted my teeth and covered one half of the paper with the charcoal stick, blending all the gaps with a finger till I had a solid sheet of black. Then I picked up the dust from the table on my fingers and rubbed it into the 2nd sheet. I then brushed this second sheet with a damp brush. This 'sets' the dust somewhat, and create a toned paper. 

I put aside the toned one to dry, and worked on the solid black one. I started to draw using my Derwent battery operated eraser

and this is what I got, it was awful to do.... really,really awful. I was covered in dust, it was making me shudder. i spent no more that 15mins on it and most of that was cringing. 

I don't like the end result one little bit, so why am I showing you? well where is the fun in just showing stuff that looks great, we learn more from the rubbish stuff. and this is rubbish hahaha

All I used on this one was the battery eraser and my finger, nothing else. 

so what did I learn? well the battery eraser works great...and I still dislike stick charcoal. 

So then i went back to the toned paper that i had created. This time I used the Derwent charcoal pencils. Immediately they felt a little better, for one thing you are't touching the charcoalie bit.. I felt I had more control as they are a pencil. 

I started with the light pencil

then added some of the medium pencil

and finished with the dark and some of the white { the pencils come in a set of 4, light,med,dark and white} i then blended VERY LIGHTLY with an old scrubby brush. I didnt want long bristle that were going to brush the drawing away, and this one is now so short it acted like a blending stump. 

I am much happier with this one, but I would never say this is my favourite medium to work with.   But it is all about having a go, and I did that. 

Darcy x


  1. You did a good job with something you dislike so much

  2. Teeth on edge just reading your post, you convey well your distaste for this medium.

    Applauding you for producing two fab images out of dust. Both are amazing! :-) x

  3. Both images are fabulous Darcy and I can't stand the feel of it either.Although it produces quick results.

  4. I loved reading your post Darcy. It really is about just having a go with materials and tools.
    Back teeth no longer on auto-grind.☺☺
    Thanks for posting about this.


  5. Know just what you mean about charcoal, & I get in such a mess when I use it, it gets everywhere! Lol!
    I have to say that one piece of art that I'm most proud of, was a face I did from a black & white photocopy, using white conte on black card.
    You have produced two fab faces, in spite of all the odds!
    Alison xxx

  6. Never used charcoal, but I can see that it is very messy - love the first one, especially! Well done

  7. I much prefer charcoal pencils too. Both images are great, I love the skull.

  8. Hey, I'm quite impressed with the skull and the speed, although you were probably motivated by finishing so you could release the cringy charcoal. Little shudder. It rates up there with talcum powder, cornflour and that horrible fake felt Never seen an electric eraser before. You did great considering your dislike of the medium.