I'm currently drawing Wonder Woman with charcoal. While drawing I noticed that the armor has scratches:

enter image description here
Artwork by Shierly Lin. Click for larger version

Since it's a charcoal drawing, I'm having difficulties, because when you use it, you blend it (I think, as it works for me), but the armor has a weird texture like if they drew it with pencils, not charcoal, I don't know if I'm being clear, I don't know how to draw that texture.

I'm using 2-6B charcoal pencils and hard, medium, and soft charcoal sticks and graphite to make it smoother.

How can I properly draw those details (scratches on the armor)?

  • 2
    Welcome to Arts & Crafts, please take the tour, it only takes a minute. From your question it's not entirely clear what your goal is. Did you draw the linked image and want the armor to have a smooth texture? Or is the linked image your reference and you don't know how to create the scratchy texture? And please keep in mind that you must concentrate on one single question per post here. You can post additional questions in new posts. Asking "What materials do you use?" is very subjective, so better ask "I have this problem, how could I solve this?"
    – Elmy
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 6:12
  • Isaac, as you can see I edited your post. I added the artist of the artwork, and I changed the title so that it focuses on the one specific problem you're having. Are these changes okay for you? You can of course always ask additional questions in new threads (like you did with the question on drawing skin).
    – Joachim
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 19:41
  • oh, wait, no no no, I was asking about the armor's details, as you can see, the armor has a lot of scratches, I'm using a "utility knife" because the lines are thick, I'm actually asking about 1) materials to get this done and 2) technique. sorry for the mistakes I made there hehe
    – Isaac750
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 23:04
  • In as far as the materials you're asking for are specific to drawing detailed textures, I'm sure they will come up in the answers. I think asking after the right technique to add those scratches in particular is a good, focused question. No need for that slightly off-track additional question, I think :)
    – Joachim
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 8:10

1 Answer 1


Damage to the leather is just like any other detail. It is created by relief (changes in height) in the surface, so it is rendered the same. Just like the embossed areas of the leather, one side of the impression will capture light and the other will cast shadow.

So to draw scratches etc., you would use light edges and dark edges along the contour of the scratch.

As far as specifically using charcoal versus pencil that is a stylistic choice. If the charcoal medium does not deliver the look you want, then you would probably want to stick with pencil.

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