Im­prove your char­coal art

Pa­trick J Jones shares his per­sonal tech­niques and thought pro­cesses on squeez­ing the ul­ti­mate artis­tic ex­pres­sion out of char­coal and blenders

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Fantasy -

When cave peo­ple first dragged a stick of char­coal across a cave wall the artist was born. To­day that same prim­i­tive tool is un­matched for cre­at­ing in­stant, ex­pres­sive marks. In this work­shop I’ll share my favourite char­coal tips, and demon­strate how to ma­nip­u­late that black, magic pow­der once it’s laid down on pa­per.

Char­coal tech­niques are of­ten dis­carded by stu­dents once art school has ended and they move on to the se­ri­ous busi­ness of art, but as a work­ing artist I can at­test to the im­por­tance of char­coal in the pro­fes­sional world of art. With all the won­der­ful dig­i­tal and tra­di­tional paint­ing tools at my dis­posal, my first port of call is still char­coal and pa­per.

Why has my love of char­coal draw­ing en­dured? The an­swer is sim­ple, and a lit­tle bit ro­man­tic. No mat­ter where you are in the world, ev­ery tool you need to cre­ate great art can be car­ried in a small satchel. To il­lus­trate that idea I’m look­ing for­ward to run­ning a char­coal draw­ing work­shop in Fiji next sum­mer. No elec­tric­ity or satel­lite is re­quired to sit down on a moun­tain­top or un­der a shady tree, smudge some char­coal across a blank space, and ex­pe­ri­ence the same kind of magic our an­ces­tors felt.

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