Using graphite is somewhat risky. I've seen that when I use graphite it ends up very shiny, am I doing anything wrong? If im correct, the process is: apply the charcoal then the graphite, but how can you "dim" the shine of the graphite without using said products? Can you add x layer to make it more like a "matte grayish" tone? (if that makes sense?)

  • 1
    Possible duplicate, but at least a very similar question: How to stop or reduce graphite from reflecting light?
    – Joachim
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 7:11
  • That solved the shiny part, but i also dont know the process required to be mixed with charcoal
    – Isaac750
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 22:06
  • Can you edit the post so it only focuses on that question, and maybe add what you have tried, and what effect you're looking for?
    – Joachim
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 6:22
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    What process are you talking about, mixing charcoal and graphite? What is the goal? I have never encountered a "formal" method of mixing the two drawing mediums. Isn't that more a matter of taste, style, and/or composition?
    – rebusB
    Commented Apr 5, 2021 at 15:30
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    Graphite gonna be graphite. The nature of it is to be shiny. I suspect the real answer is to use something other than graphite if you don't want it to look like graphite. Is there charcoal media (maybe with more clay content), that is harder and grayer?
    – fixer1234
    Commented Apr 5, 2021 at 22:32

2 Answers 2


Depending on the paper and pressure you apply to your pencil, when you use graphite over charcoal, you will just scratch away most of the charcoal powder. Fixating the charcoal first won't help much, since the charcoal particles are much larger, and this process will just mess up the drawing more.
On the other hand, using charcoal over graphite won't work well either, since the charcoal might not get a sufficient grip on the graphite wherever it has been applied heavily: using pencils applies pressure that flattens the paper, while the remaining texture will be filled up with graphite - the glossier the pencil marks, the harder it will be to apply charcoal over it.

  • You can combine both techniques, but will have to do some planning in advance so the two won't mix as much.
  • Instead of using regular pencils, you can use grey or coloured pencils, which will have a much more matte effect.
  • If you're using pencils because of the reversibility, and using mediums is out of the question, the only real option you have is to only draw very lightly, preferably with softer pencils (e.g. 9B).
  • oh, i never thought about a grey colored pencil
    – Isaac750
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 14:23

you can buy what is known as workable fixative to apply to your work as the tooth in the paper lessens. it actually restores some tooth so you can continue to draw on top of the fixative.

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