Willow Charcoal

Willow charcoal or vine charcoal is a very fluid drawing medium and is much freer and more open in its application than pencil. It also lends itself to larger, broader drawing than the type of graphic drawings one associates with pencil. Examples of marks made by the willow charcoal are as follows.

1/ A diagonal line that moves from light to dark. Charcoal is very useful for making tonal changes very quickly.

2/ A tonal recession from light to dark that has been smoothed out by smudging the charcoal with the finger. Then lightly rubbed with an eraser.

3/ Here the side of the charcoal has been dragged across the surface of the paper to create a textural tonal gradation.

4/ Here we have a heavy strong line produced by placing a lot of pressure on the charcoal whilst making the line.

5/ Is the opposite of 4. This is a very fine line produced using very light pressure.

6/ Here we have a heavy dark thick line moving to a lighter thin line produced by changing the pressure whilst in the process of making the line.

7/ A tight cutting type of line produced by dragging the side of the charcoal across the paper.

8/ An open zigzagging line is produced in the same way as number 7, but this time one uses a pushing and pulling motion to create the line.

9/ Here we have a similar zigzagging line as number 8 - made in the same way but it's a more compressed zigzag.

Charcoal Drawing TechniquesCharcoal Drawing Mark Making

Controlled mark making with charcoal.

Charcoal Drawing TricksCharcoal Drawing Techniques
Expressive and fluid marks with charcoal.
Charcoal Techniques

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  • Joonas
    How to make tonal gradation with charcoal?
    8 years ago
  • lea
    How is willow charcoal made?
    7 years ago

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