Oh, wow, really, I cant stare enough at his hand, it's so beautiful. I love the smoothness of charcoal. Never tried drawing with it - is it more difficult than with graphite? Maybe I should try it. It has a very nice hue.
It's a little different from graphite. It takes some getting use to. It actually feels different than graphite. I don't even know how to explain it? It feels like you're scratching your paper and it makes this annoying squeaky noise haha.. I love it though. I can't imagine ever drawing with just graphite any more. I really hated the shiny, glare graphite gives off and that's why I chose to pick up charcoal. It's really, really dark-- I did zero touch-ups so that black hair is actually that dark in person. It takes a little more blending than graphite, but it's so much easier to blend as well because it's so soft. But since it's so soft it's hard to do fine lines-- I had to keep sharpening it to a point to get the random stray hair strands on the sides of his head. I'd recommend you giving it a try because it's worth it.
Oh, I did finish it if you want to take a gander at it and let me know how you feel about it, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you! [link]
And you use something to blend it, or blend the different pencils (HB, etc) together? Sorry if it's a stupid question Yes, it's darker, but it is also softer and matte - i dont like the shine of graphite either.
No, no, not a stupid question at all haha.. I like to blend with tortillons and q-tips actually. You can blend basically with anything because it's such a soft medium. People have used felt, chamois, and other fabrics and it will give a different texture with whatever you use so experiment with it.
Usually I just use one grade when it comes to charcoal because it is so dark and the grades don't really change in darkness much like graphite does-- it just gets softer and softer as the grades go up and that's why I like using the HB grade in charcoal because it's still dark but the lead isn't too soft where I can't make any lines.
If you would like a peek at my technique I have one tutorial up and it's just on teeth, but you can see how and what I use to blend my charcoal. I tried to be as thorough as I can. --> [link]
This whole picture was then drawn by only one pencil (a HB)? It has so many different shades... In graphite I mostly use B grades, because HB is not dark and "strong" enough, i dont like the dull lines it leaves on the paper.
Oh, and thank you for the tooth tutorial, it was very useful, I guess it helped me to understand a few things about charcoal
No problem. I love sharing my tips and techniques and I like learning other people's techniques as well. Yes, the whole drawing was done only in the HB grade and that's it. I used my 0.3 2H mechanical pencil to do the lineart outline and that's it, everything else I used one charcoal pencil in HB. Charcoal is so soft it's able to do that compared to graphite. I say charcoal requires more layering and graphite requires more blending. I believe that's a huge difference-- the more charcoal you layer the darker it gets. With graphite you just go to a softer grade (B's) to get it darker or harder grades to get it lighter (H's) without the layering.
I honestly recommend you giving charcoal a chance. It takes some time to get used to because you will learn quickly that it's not the same as graphite. Once you get the hang of it, it's very rewarding. I also hope that the teeth tutorial will serve some purpose for you in the near future! You can also apply those same techniques with graphite.