Compressed Charcoal

Compressed charcoal is made from finely pulverised high-grade hard charcoal. It is compressed into round sticks and held together with vegetable glue. The soft brittle consistency of the compressed charcoal enables you to create very dense black velvet tones. The tonal value of the charcoal can also feel harsher when applied to the surface of the paper compared to the quality of the tone made with the natural charcoal, which appears much softer and airy.

1/ A broad mark made by dragging the charcoal across the surface of the paper and applying different pressures.

2/ A dense tonal gradation from light to dark. You will notice how much stronger the black of the compressed charcoal is compared to the black of the natural charcoal.

3/ A tonal area created by horizontal and vertical lines. These marks are made by using the side edge of the material.

Compressed Charcoal Techniques

4/ A series of random marks that move from darker more intense to lighter more open.

5/ A sphere created by placing the side of the charcoal on the paper then drawing a circle with it putting more pressure on one side of the circle to give the impression of the form through the illusion of light and dark.

6/ Using the side of the compressed charcoal make a dark square, lay beside it a similar light square. This gives you the illusion of a box.

7/ Closed vertical lines creating tone.

8/ Vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines creating a crosshatch tone.

9/ Open vertical lines giving a visual striped impression.

10/ Diminishing right angles fading in tone from front to back giving the illusion of space.

Charcoal Drawing TechniquesMake Compressed Charcoal
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Responses

  • maximilian
    How is compressed charcoal made?
    6 years ago
  • iolo sandheaver
    How to make compressed charcoal?
    6 years ago
  • Helen
    How to tone a surface with compressed charcoal?
    6 months ago

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