15 votes
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How can I draw single hairs on a black background with charcoal or graphite?

The flocculent beauty of the work you show is not that the artists drew a single hair (that would never achieve the effect) the beauty came from the artists layering one drawn hair "over" another and ...
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  • 2,936
10 votes
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How can I protect my pencil & charcoal drawings once complete?

If the pieces are likely to be handled and/or displayed then using fixative sprays is probably the best option. There are two purposely manufactured types: Workable Final Workable Fixative As the ...
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  • 1,328
7 votes

How to stop or reduce graphite from reflecting light?

Spray fixative should make the drawing more matte as well as protecting it. You could also try a layer of acrylic matte medium, sprayed or brushed, but that would be a little more involved and ...
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  • 2,840
7 votes
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What can I expect from a fixative?

Yes, it is absolutely possible to completely fixate the pigment on its support, but there is a lot of difference in quality between brands and purposes. So, yes, you probably have a low-quality or ...
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  • 9,094
7 votes
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Is it possible to combine charcoal and graphite in one image?

Yes, you can mix media. But you need to preserve some of the tooth of your paper's surface to successfully transition from working with graphite to charcoal. The tooth of your paper determines how ...
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7 votes
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Pros and cons of using charcoal on a canvas

It depends on what you want to draw, and in what style. Working with charcoal on canvas will really emphasize the texture of the canvas, creating a rough impression. It will be hard to draw details - ...
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  • 9,094
6 votes
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How can I safely transport a charcoal drawing?

PROFESSIONAL VERSION Put on a pair of clean white cotton gloves. Mount the drawing on an acid-free sheet of museum board with archival mounting tape. Prepare a beveled matt with an interior size 1-2 ...
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6 votes
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How do hard, soft, and medium charcoal pencils compare against their counterparts in graphite?

I have used both charcoal and graphite for art projects. I have personally never combined the two in a single project. Charcoal Charcoal is generally much darker, bolder and messier. It's easy to ...
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  • 1,082
6 votes
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Drawing with white charcoal

No, you don't really need that white charcoal :) However, it can be a very useful and fun to work with. White charcoal can be used to create highlights in drawings, and is particularly effective in ...
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  • 9,094
6 votes
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Paper's preservation (fixative not working)

Paper will yellow over time because of lignin in the pulped wood. Choosing an archival, acid-free fixative means that the fixative itself should not yellow over time. Unfortunately, the primary ...
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  • 4,266
5 votes

Is coconut shell good to produce charcoal for drawing?

Is coconut shell good to produce charcoal for drawing? I am sure that will work just fine. It does depend on the type of shape you want, as the structure of coconut shell is not optimal: it is ...
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  • 9,094
5 votes

When to use a fixative in a drawing with charcoal and pencil?

Workable Fixative is meant to "freeze" what work has been completed already. By spraying when the charcoal layer is finished, before beginning the pencil layer, you "fix" the charcoal layer to ...
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  • 3,316
5 votes
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What are the types of charcoal pencils and how do they differ from each other?

These charcoal pencils are just a demonstration of the styles of pencil you might encounter. Wooden Coated Charcoal The first pencil, labeled "soft" is a softer charcoal pencil, coated in wood. ...
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  • 1,082
5 votes
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Charcoal and Pastel Drawing Storage

I would lean toward using acid-free tissue paper. It comes in all sizes and you can cut out sheets large enough to separate your drawings. I think this is similar to what my sisters use. Of course ...
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  • 1,133
5 votes

Charcoal hatching

You can use the sharp edge of your charcoal for finer line work: on a break in the piece or along the edge of the flat area created during shading, or sanded down for this purpose. Renew the edge you ...
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  • 2,840
5 votes
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Is there any eraser that can erase charcoal?

Kneaded erasers are usually perfect for erasing charcoal. However, when it comes to erasing charcoal, the success of kneaded erasers depends on a few factors: The type of paper I've experienced ...
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  • 9,094
5 votes
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How do I identify good quality paper for charcoal drawing?

I have done a lot of charcoal drawings, and I mostly used paper by Canson (XL, Academy) and Fabriano (large sheets or rolls of the Accademia variety). They create several ranges of papers, and both ...
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  • 9,094
5 votes
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Vine charcoal and Willow charcoal

You won't notice a lot of differences between using vine and willow charcoal. Vine (of the grape) tends to be slightly darker in tone, is physically a little harder than willow, and I believe it has a ...
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  • 9,094
5 votes
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How can I make charcoal?

Charcoal is organic matter (usually wood) that has been partially burned in a low-oxygen environment. To make it, you take wood, exclude air, and apply heat. How to make charcoal with a fire and a ...
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  • 1,681
4 votes

Is coconut shell good to produce charcoal for drawing?

I tried my hands on making charcoal with coconut shells. I used the technique shared by most of the youtubers where they use a perforated can to cook the raw material(in this case broken pieces of ...
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  • 81
4 votes

Is coconut shell good to produce charcoal for drawing?

Drawing charcoal is made in two general ways. One is to start with wood that is naturally in stick form and turn it into charcoal by burning it in a kiln without air. Grape vines and willow sticks ...
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  • 10.3k
4 votes

How do I blend charcoal enough to make it look like a skin surface?

You will probably need medium and soft charcoal for creating smoothly blended surfaces (like her skin), and some hard charcoals or perhaps even a carbon pencil (which contains a mixture of charcoal ...
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  • 641
4 votes

How do I identify good quality paper for charcoal drawing?

Joachim's answer provides very good info focused on the archival aspect to what makes a "good paper" in your question. But he just touches upon the two most critical aspects of what makes a ...
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  • 2,840
3 votes

How to stop or reduce graphite from reflecting light?

If you use graphite, then you have the properties of graphite: it conducts electricity and it shines. To make it less shiny after using it, you most likely need to apply a layer of something which ...
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  • 1,300
3 votes

How to stop or reduce graphite from reflecting light?

There is a type of spray that is often used by film production teams called “dulling spray”. It is a spray that kills reflections on anything, because in movies you DO NOT WANT HIGHLIGHTS. The spray ...
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3 votes

How can I protect my pencil & charcoal drawings once complete?

Using a fixative, as described in previous answers here, is a standard way of protecting one's own work. On an acquired piece, you're free to do whatever you want with your own property. However, it ...
3 votes

How do I keep from breaking charcoal pencil leads when I sharpen them with a knife?

Sandpaper. Really, imho the best way to sharpen charcoal pencils is by using sandpaper (100 grit). Works really, really well and the result is perfect.
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