View Full Version : Charcoal question...

06-30-2006, 12:57 PM
Is there anything that handles like charcoal but is white? Chalk? The white charcoal pencils don't get white enough.

I'm tempted to just use some white acrylic, but don't know how that will turn out. I'm in an experimental mode in case you couldnt tell!

Thanks for any thoughts.

06-30-2006, 01:17 PM
uh, it depends. Have you tried conte crayons?

How art tool marks are perceived is all based on whats around it. If the white doesnt look bright enough make its surroundings darker. Then the white gets brighter. CONTRAST!

06-30-2006, 01:27 PM
chalk pastels can give u a pretty strong white

Ingrid K. V. Hardy
06-30-2006, 01:48 PM
Maybe I can offer a suggestion... I've done many, many portraits in pastel and charcoal. Like Dano says - Contrast is important. And I don't suggest using acrylics with pastel unless you start with the acrylics. They don't go on top of pastel or charcoal. IMO, soft sticks work better than pencils, and until you get a feel for it, it's best to go from light to dark, because the light don't cover the darks as well as the darks cover lights. Planning your light/dark attack is a good idea. I hope I made sense.... and hope it helps. :) (note: pastel dust is not good if your asthmatic)

Scott Story
06-30-2006, 03:10 PM
White oil pastels are pretty white, and pretty thick

06-30-2006, 03:10 PM
Thank you all for the suggestions. I'm basically forgoing ink in my work in favor of charcoal, I seem to have a better control over it and it more easily does what I want. Most of the time planing works best but every once in a while I either want to cut loose and just go whereever the spirit wills or my planning sucks. For example, I might want to add light into a window previously dark because my planning sucks!

Here's an example of charcoal working: http://asylumink.net/aux/moser/werewolves.jpg

I don't have an example of where it didn't, but suffice it to say, I'd like to be able to add white back in and not with a whiteout pen!

Ok, so what brand or name do I need to look up for the best results to do this? Is soft sticks the name I would look for on a package? Thanks!

Ingrid K. V. Hardy
06-30-2006, 03:26 PM
Very nice sample! Just from my experience, everyone is different of course, but one way to go is (if your drawing will be all charcoal) to do it with no absolute whites at all - trust me here - do everything mid-tone and then work in your darkest darks. When you're happy with that, take a good, trusty eraser (the kind that leaves no crumbs is best, and use a big paint brush to remove what crumbs there are) and start picking out your white areas. Be frugal, too much white and it loses it punch. At last, when your happy, take some white pastel and paint it in without too much smudging so the charcoal doesn't corrupt it. But you can just erase and do it again if it does. Working this way might give the freedom your looking for. BTW, any fine art supply should carry soft pastels - Rembrandt brand works for me. Hope it helps... :)

06-30-2006, 03:50 PM
^ agree^

06-30-2006, 05:06 PM
Awesome, thanks!