Thursday, April 01, 2010

Expressive Charcoal Drawings

copyright 2010, Jan Blencowe, Charcoal & Pastel on Stonehenge Paper
Untitled no.1

I'm not really sure if I should call these drawings or paintings. Well, no they're probably drawings, except that I do use a brush, and my fingers, but they definitiely start out as charcoal drawings.

I'm using several kinds of charcoal. Vine charcoal in various hardness, some soft compressed charcoal, and in the piece above a little soft pastel to pop the lights.

copyright 2010, Jan Blencowe, Charcoal, on Stonehenge Paper
Untitled no.2

I start these by drawing with a soft vine charcoal, then do a bit of rubbing and blending with my fingers. After that I use a brush and water which really adds to the expressive nature of these. Finally I go back in with a very soft, dark charcoal and repeat the process to push the values and create drama. A kneaded eraser is also used to pull back the darks and re-establish some areas of mid-tone. If it's necessary I'll use some pastels in very light tints to add highlights.

Copyright 2010, Jan Blencowe, Charcoal on Stonehenge paper

Untitled no.3

I just love the expressive nature of charcoal, it's dramatic, bold, and yet you can create very subtle, soft and atmospheric effects.

I will be fasting from blogging, tweeting, facebooking etc. tomorrow on Good Friday and also on Saturday. Here is a link to a moving Good Friday meditation using powerful woodcut prints.

Have a blessed Easter Weekend!

1 comment:

AutumnLeaves said...

I love seeing what others do with charcoal. I just do not like working with it, not just because it is so messy. It has a feel and a sound much like fingernails on a chalkboard to me! But this is one gorgeous painting, Jan.