Their Favorite Story
If you’re asking yourself if this artwork is a drawing or a painting, the answer is both! This is a little known technique called charcoal wash, and the way it’s created is with both wet and dry applications of charcoal to a surface. Using a brush dipped in charcoal powder and water, I begin by painting in simple tones creating beautiful brush strokes. One awesome benefit is that it’s much faster to cover large areas with a brush as opposed to a pencil point. After the first application of wet charcoal dries, I decide whether I need to paint darker anywhere or if I want to switch over to conventional charcoal sticks. The charcoal sticks come in handy to draw the fine details, and I switch back and forth between drawing and painting until I’m satisfied. So, the finished piece is a painting and drawing combination and looks more artful than a regular drawing.
Why paint in black and white when you can paint in color? You’d be surprised at the moods you can capture when you’re focusing on value patterns and edges alone. These pieces can really teach artists the importance of having well-developed value patterns.
The other interesting thing that charcoal wash illustrates is how an artist overcomes the physical limitations of our materials to create beautiful effects. This charcoal wash doesn't have a full range of values from brightest white to darkest black, but it’s still interesting because I’ve created a beautiful pattern within a limited value scheme.