Another charcoal horse portrait

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Another charcoal horse portrait

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    10-10-2009, 06:33 AM
Another charcoal horse portrait

And another one....Irish Draught X TB mare. The photo didn't come out great, the paper is really white. Charcoal, A3. Hope you like it!

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    10-10-2009, 07:31 AM
Green Broke
Wow this is great! Got the mane spot on :)
    10-10-2009, 06:43 PM
Ok, that's it, I need to try charcoal next. I have always been afraid of charcoals.
Just out of curiosity, do you use charcoal pencils or charocal sticks or both? I bought a pencil set a while ago that has 2B, 4B and 6B charcoal penicls as well as 2 charcoal sticks and something called a 6B "sketch stick" which was with the charcoal pencils. I have used that on one occasion which made for a neat rough looking sketch.

I was actually thining about doing a big 18 x 24 drawing so I can be free and big with my strokes as I get used to the material. What do you think about this, or would a smaller piece be better to start with?

Any advice would be much appreciated before I tackle the charcoals.

Btw, I love your work!!!!
    10-10-2009, 07:46 PM
Thanks guys!
@Liz Norris: I would start with a smaller 'fun' piece so that you can experiment a bit and not get frustrated. However, if you feel that a bigger piece can give you the 'freedom' you want, go for it! I use charcoal sticks on larger areas only so it's mostly pencils for me. I have not heard of a 'B' range referring to charcoal...only to graphite. The pencils I use are either 'hard', 'medium' or 'soft'. I tend to use 'hard' for the fine detail and 'soft' for the rest. The realistic effect(s) can be achieved by blending/smudging with cotton buds, bits of tissue and tortillons (never fingers!). Hope this helps!
    10-11-2009, 01:55 AM
Thank you so much for the more question if you don't mind...

Can charcoal pencils be sharpened with a standard pencil sharpener or do I have to get a special charcoal pencil sharpener? I use an electric sharpener for my graphites.
    10-11-2009, 02:36 AM
OMG that is so awesome!
    10-11-2009, 04:49 AM
Just stunning again!!!! As Liz said, I am also extremely keen to give charcoal another shot, if you can get results like this I definitely want to have a go!!!!! How do you avoid smudging with charcoal? I use pastel but this is always on coloured canson paper so that hides the smaller smudges, and use a kneadable eraser to remove excess pigment. Can you use this eraser on charcoal like you can with pastel? If lifts the pastel off the page, so I'm assuming because charcoal is much the same make up as pastel, it may lift as well?
Also, what paper type do you use? I love my canson with pastel, so was thinking charcoal on white/cream canson may be the go?
    10-11-2009, 07:04 AM
@Liz: Sharpening charcoal pencil is even worse than sharpening pastel pencils. They break very easily. I would not recommend using an electric sharpener! Personally, I use very cheap sharpeners and LOADS of them because you need to make sure the blade is really sharp at all times...sometimes that means you can only use it for your charcoal pencils like 4 times. I then try and just sharpen the tip of the pencil on the blade, not the whole pencil if that makes sense. The 'hard' pencils are slightly easier to sharpen. Some artists I know use sandpaper or a sharp knife.
@Kayty: You have to be very careful. I don't let the charcoal dust build up on the paper and I use tortillons and cotton buds to blend the charcoal. I also use a piece of paper to rest my hand on and cover the areas I am not working on. Pastels are slightly more forgiving than charcoal. Once you've used your pencil (whether deliberately or not), you will not be able to get that area white again. A light charcoal smudge you can erase or lift off with a kneadable eraser (I use blutack myself as it is even more 'sticky'). My favourite paper for my charcoal work is thick cartridge paper - I use Daler & Rowney (135lbs). It is rather smooth but it is what I also prefer for my pastel work although I now like velour and pastelcard (which is like sanded paper) as well. I have used Canson mi-teintes in the past (preferably the smooth side) but can't say as I like it. However, if you do, I'm sure it would work well with charcoal too!
    10-11-2009, 07:08 PM
Wow cartridge paper, I didn't think the charcoal would take to the smoother surface! Althought I've never gone out and purchased the more expensive paper intended for art. Pastel just falls staight off it!
I intend to have a go with pastel card, I haven't tried anything other than Canson mi-tientes for pastel as I like working on it, and don't tend to stray out of my safety zone because I can't handle 'failure' haha!
I'll definitely have a go with what you've said thouhg. Thanks again.
    10-11-2009, 10:52 PM
That's beautiful. Another great success =)
Charcoal is one of my favorites but I thought since you're 'seasoned' () in the use of them...i've got a question for ya.
So with blending stumps and tortillions-is there any way to sharpen them or something? There's this whole middle area that really doesn't get used.
Kind of a cheesy question-but it's been bugging me!

art, charcoal, irish draught, thoroughbred

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