View Full Version : Basic 101: Class 11 - Drawing with Charcoal

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01-23-2005, 11:41 PM
Basic 101: Class 11
That Ol’ Black Charcoal

As we further progress into this course you are going to find that we will be using other interesting media to enhance our drawings. That being said: At anytime that you do NOT own, cannot afford, or DO NOT want to draw in the course’s prescribed media, then feel free to follow along in pencil or in another medium of your choice. For now, break out the Kingston grills and dig in a grab yourself a hand full of charcoal.

There are many different types of charcoal so your choice will be determined by what kind of effect that you want to achieve. At this point, I would advise keeping a spare sheet of paper handy that you can “try out” on before proceeding on to an actual drawing. In the illustration of my “strange fruit” I did just this—I got a feel for using the vine charcoal which I used for this lesson. Doing this little thing, will save you hours of heartbreak and pointless backtracking.

Also, if you are using a scanner and have not yet applied fixative to your drawing, place a sheet of acetate or any clear transparency sheet onto the bed of your scanner and then GENTLY lay you drawing face down on top of the acetate/transparency. This will protect your scanner bed and scanner’s internal working from the charcoal dust.

Types of Charcoal:

For this course, I am using Vine Charcoal exclusively but charcoal can also be found in sticks of various sizes and degrees of hardness. Charcoal can be in sticks or in pencil form in varying degrees of softness to hardness—just like graphite!!! You can also get powdered charcoal, which lends itself nicely to cover large areas and will allow you to gently “paint” some areas for nice pastel-like effects.

Erasers and Blenders: Charcoal is versatile enough to allow you to produce an endless amount of strokes and coupled with the blenders and erasers, you can do pretty much anything that comes to mind with charcoal., I use toilet paper or Kleenex or my fingers—several WC members use cotton swabs to achieve some startling realistic effects. Some people like to use tortillions or paper stumps. Experiment and see what works for you.

Papers: Paper choices are endless as you all know. For this exercise I am using Canson Mi Tientes pastel paper. You can use either white or toned paper—again the choice is really yours. Many artists prefer toned paper. Remember that some papers have a different front surface from the back surface. Mi Tientes Papers generally have a rough side and a smooth side. I tend to use the smooth side as a matter of preference.

Fixative: I use Winsor Newton or Kryolan Fixatives. Both are toxic so use open air ventilation or, better yet, spray your fixatives outside. Spray ACROSS your drawing not straight down into it. This will avoid soaking your drawing.

The Demonstrations:

1. The first picture that you see is of an anonymous fruit—it is of no particular breed—just something from my imagination. This is not a demonstration piece—it is more like a friendly hello from me to the charcoal. I made this piece as a way of getting a feel for the charcoal. I used both black and white charcoal. I wholeheartedly encourage you to do the same.

2. The second series is of a set of stools. I just quickly sketched the stools in regular pencil and then developed it as a light tonal drawing to serve as a MAP for my work with the charcoal. Notice in the drawing that I also use WHITE charcoal. White charcoal is very interesting. I use it as a highlighter and then I also use it as a blender. To use it as a blender, simply make your black charcoal line and then with your white charcoal pencil simply PULL down starting from the black line. You will get darker tones running to gray running to lighter tones. There is a second reason for this particular demonstration and that is to take advantage of the negative spaces created between the rungs of the stools. The cast shadows are left free of charcoal while the floor is white and a deep black charcoal background is developed to help push the stools forward.

3. Finally, in the next demonstration, I have drawn in a light basic sketch a sheep’s skull. In this demonstration, I am using a lighter cream toned paper for this demonstration. The side of the paper that I am using is smooth. I develop the graphite sketch a little further so that I have a tonal map to follow. If you are using a darker paper like black you will want to do your sketch in white charcoal pencil. Moving on, I take a piece of vine charcoal and mark off the darkest areas. Wherever I make a dark stroke, I generally follow ABOVE it with a white stroke. If you make the white over your graphite, you will get a chalky looking gray. This is ok. In this demo, I blended the drawing using my fingers. If your fingers are oily or they tend to perspire do NOT use your fingers as all you will do is just lift off the charcoal. Once the blending is completed, I go back and touch up the darker tones and try to make sure that all of the marks are nicely blended. Finally, I add the fixative and I am finished.

You may copy these demonstrations for yourself if you want but if you are daring, try some of the photos that I have included with this class. Also, note that I am starting a new Field Trip Series that will feature WC artists who excel at the topic discussed. This will enable you to visualize the possibilities of your medium. Happy drawing!!!!!


Nancy Anthony (WC Member)




You can see more of Ms. Anthony’s work at


01-23-2005, 11:42 PM

01-23-2005, 11:46 PM
lets try this one more time:

01-24-2005, 05:47 AM
Great demonstrations. Thanks JayD!

Mary Woodul
01-24-2005, 07:49 AM
Thanks JayD, lots of fun this week. That staircase is tempting.

01-24-2005, 07:53 AM
Hi Mary and Dave: y'all should be looking for appearances by Zarathrustra who will be around here and there to help field some questions regardng the use of charcoal.

Also, don't forget to check out the new field trip series. :)

01-24-2005, 08:27 AM
Morn Jay, Dave & Mary :wave:
& rest of class :wave:
I have to watch my BF's twin grandchildren today. I cannot drive in snow so, daughter is picking me up. I do not know how long I will be, so anyone can step in sub today. So thanks in advance, have a great day everyone.

01-24-2005, 08:35 AM
I'm going to be around for the next few hours.

Nancy's work is indeed spectacular. The "underpainting" technique she uses is interesting.

01-24-2005, 09:52 AM
Oooh I agree Mary - the staircase looks tempting but I think I'm getting VERTIGO! :evil: :D
Barbara (sorry, couldn't resist - I'm such a U2 fan) Sure reminds me of the staircase Jimmy Stewart went up in the movie too!

Fireman's kid
01-24-2005, 10:48 AM
I was drawn (haha) to that staircase too! Not sure I'm brave enough though.

I was interested to see Jay using white charcoal. Just saw it for the first time a few days ago. I was checking out the charcoal section, but decided to start with the one or two pencils I have before making any purchases. My impression of charcoal, the once or twice I tried it, was that I have a difficult time getting lights. It seems sooooo dark and very difficult to make changes to. I'll let you know if my opinion changes after working with it this week.

I haven't had a chance to check out the field trip yet, so I'll catch that on my next visit.

01-24-2005, 10:56 AM
For me Stacy--I use the white charcoal pencil like a blender because this is what I do with the white colored pencil--it can be used as a blender as well. White charcoal looks much bettter when used on a colored ground--especially on the grays. Just play around and see and you definitely do NOT want to miss the field trip for this one. :) Charcoal is such a diverse and powerful tool--dispite what my hand think! :D

01-24-2005, 11:47 AM
The picture for Stoy's thread this week looks like it might be a good subject for a charcoal drawing...very high contrast and interesting textures. What do you think teach/super subbie?

01-24-2005, 12:33 PM
absolutely!! I would encourage the use of the weekly drawing thread for this class--Stoy always posts good references. :)

01-24-2005, 12:51 PM
Greetings Folks! :D
I'm no charcoal expert, but I do like to use vine charcoal in sketching (and drawings) - it's a very unused medium which surprises me in some respects given its versatility. Not only is it extremely messy (come on you can't tell me you won't the sort of kid who could resist jumping into muddy puddles!) allowing you to indulge in your childhood instincts, it is easy to manipulate, correct, shading and massing in areas is quick and simple and you have a greater freedom in the variety of line thickness/shape.
The only downer I can think of is storage. If you have nowhere to safely store it or frame it, even with fixative it won't last! I've tried the most expensive fixatives and even after several coats, a finger will still remove the surface. On another note, vine charcoal is made from burning branches of the willow tree, I don't really understand why the art company's refer to "white charcoal" - I don't know what the substance is, but I would imagine its more akin to pastel? (feel free to jump and correct me here!) :)

I have two tutorials on Wetcanvas that use vine charcoal, so please feel free to take a peek if it's of any use.

Warning - this one features nudity.

(sorry - videos no longer available!)

01-24-2005, 12:57 PM
A little advertising there, Gavin :D Now I have to go and find more links for next week. You are slated to be the next field trip for the second part of the charcoal class next week. :wave:

01-24-2005, 06:28 PM
Evening everyone :wave:
Hope all had a good day. Mine just begins when I get home from work cause now I get to do what I want and enjoy the most! This looks like a great class. I have only ever done one charcoal piece before, and it was a many moons ago. I'm excited about this class!
Thanks JayD for ALL you do. :clap: :clap: Nancy is a wonderful artist and I enjoyed her taking us thru the steps! That is always good to see!
Gavin, Thanks for the tutorials, wonderful! :clap:
Looking forward to the field trip :) .
Guess it's time to get re-aquainted with the charcoal.

Mary Woodul
01-24-2005, 06:56 PM
Hi Judi, :wave: Hi everyone!. That was a wonderful field trip to Nancy's. Her work is and eye treat and thank you Gavin for your tutorial. Looking through some art supplies I bought on one of my trips to the US, I found a charcoal pencil, that says, Peel & Sketch by General Pencil Company. I don't know how good it is, because I haven't tried it, but for those of us that don't like to get charcoal all over evrything, it might be pretty good. I'll let you know. It has paper over it that you peel off as you use it. :D

01-24-2005, 07:12 PM
Hey Mary! :wave:
I have some erasers like that. I didn't know they made pencils like that too.
I'm a little worried about the dirty charcoal myself! Not my hands, it's the light colored carpet we just put in. :eek:

01-24-2005, 08:22 PM
For those of you,like myself, who dont want to hold the charcoal--try using charcoal pencils. they are encased in wood and are very nice.

Oh, here is a tip for Gavin and the Gang: Want a place to store your charcoal--try an old HARD SHELLED glasses case. Works wonders!

01-24-2005, 09:09 PM
Hi Jay & class,
I am working at my own pace so I will not be starting on class 11, till I finish some of my unfinished projects. I will pop in & look now & then :), also I will still be subbing prior classes only. :)

01-24-2005, 09:42 PM
Hey All, :wave:
Just talked to Ann! She said she should be checking back in with us soon!
She has had some health problems and as well with her sister.
Ann is feeling somewhat better and her sister is home from the hospital. So that is good news. :)

See you soon Sults...you know you cannot stay away too long! :evil: :D :evil: :D

Mary Woodul
01-24-2005, 10:07 PM
Sults, bet you had your hands full with the grandchildren, but I know you enjoyed them. :D

Judi, I was thinking of asking if anyone knew anything from Ann. I hope everything gets better for her.

Good night!....... see you all tomorrow. Hope your weather gets better. :wave:

JayD, the glasses case sound just perfect. I have one around here someplace. :confused:

01-24-2005, 10:30 PM
Please don't forget to rate JayD's fabulous Class!!! :D

Cathie Jones
01-25-2005, 12:09 AM
Hi group! I went on the field trip this morning and thought I had posted, but my mind is a little foggy at 5:30 a.m., so I thunk wrong!!

It'll be nice to see Ann again. And where's our pdf-master Deb?

None of the photos here have inspired me (as if that's a requirement :eek: :evil: ), so I think I'll try Stoy's pears. Or something. Been working, working, working . . . so I'm a little foggy at 9:00 p.m. as well! :rolleyes:

Things should be back to normal in a few days, and I'll be back more often with Smiley Central in tow, and hopefully a charcoal drawing to post. I love working with charcoal! (Oh, did I already say that??)

In the meantime, keep on dancin' and I'll catch up as soon as I can!

01-25-2005, 03:26 AM
You're welcome Judi.

Mlelevier - I nearly bought some of these pencils a few days ago, they look quite smart.

If you get the chance I'd recommend trying vine charcoal and compressed charcoal (usually in pencil form) just to experiment with both and learn the differences between them. Vine charcoal is messy and volatile but highly adaptable. The compressed charcoal can be a pain to manipulate so it doesn't pay to make too many mistakes.
You could lay your paper down on a piece of newspaper to shake the dust onto if you have concerns about mess - they're really no messier than pastels.
Incidentally, although all sorts of papers work well with charcoal, if you're looking for the bee's knee's of paper - "Canson" (usually associated with pastels) works a treat and comes in all sorts of tints. :)

Jay - like your acetate tip - I usually clean up any residue after scanning, but this seems like a much smarter idea! :D

01-25-2005, 05:40 AM
Good morning everyone! :) Hope those of you in snowy areas are OK!

I decided to have a go at Stoy's pears, and I've posted the result in his thread. Rather than post the same image twice, this is the link to it. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3138545&postcount=15) This just uses vine charcoal, which I found good for blocking in large areas quickly and getting interesting textures, but not easy to control. Quite like the end result, though. I'll either try this again, or another picture, using compressed charcoal to compare them.

01-25-2005, 06:33 AM
Morning Dave! :wave:
Things are OK in this section of the states...for now. We are to get freezing rain tonight/tomorrow. Don't like that ice....so scary! :(
Looking forward to your pears. The ref is beautiful and I think I will try that one as well.
Hey CJ :wave: :wave: Haven't seen Deb for awhile...sure she'll pop in soon!
Gavin and JayD, :wave: Thanks for the info and tips!

01-25-2005, 07:29 AM
Judi, I've already posted the pears. Follow the link in my previous post!

01-25-2005, 07:55 AM
Ohhhhh Dave, WOW!!!! Lovely Pears!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Have you worked in charcoal before?

Mary Woodul
01-25-2005, 08:00 AM
Good morning, everyone :wave: .

Dave your pears look good, you have good contrasts there.

Gavin, Your right, I do see that I can control the drawing with the vine charcoal much easier than the pencil and I think you can get a sharper tip from the vine also.

Hi JayD, CJ and Judi :wave:

01-25-2005, 08:02 AM
Thanks Judi. I've used vine charcoal once before...I quite like it, but my wife isn't keen on the dust! Luckily, she was out for a couple of hours... Don't tell! :evil: I did vacuum up after myself! :angel: You have to use it in a completely different way from graphite (charcoal pencils are more like graphite than vine charcoal IMHO), and you get completely different effects. At least, I do...but perhaps that's because I don't really know what I'm doing!

Edited to add...Thanks Mary too, must have cross-posted. I must say I don't find vine charcoal easy to control!

01-25-2005, 08:16 AM
Hi JayD and all others... :wave:

Can I start in this thread with a silly question ? :rolleyes:

How do I sharpen my charcoal pencil ?... it's thicker then normal pencils and doesn't feet into my pencil sharpeners... do I have to use a knife ? a hobby knife ?... don't like this idea... it certainly requires getting used to it... I looked for mechanical sharpeners but they don't seem to accept pencils thicker then normal size...

Also what about that white charcoal ? do I have to search for one ?

01-25-2005, 08:38 AM
Mary - it does sharpen to a fine tip, but alas, it doesn't last long!

How do I sharpen my charcoal pencil ?... it's thicker then normal pencils and doesn't feet into my pencil sharpeners... do I have to use a knife ? a hobby knife ?... don't like this idea... it certainly requires getting used to it... I looked for mechanical sharpeners but they don't seem to accept pencils thicker then normal size...

Vasilkadifeli - I remember reading a warning about using pastel pencils in mechanical sharpeners so I wouldn't recommend putting a charcoal pencil in one. The best means to sharpen any pencil (including a charcoal one) is with a craft knife. You can then use a piece of sandpaper to maintain a point. It's really straight forward, just make sure you cut away from yourself when sharpening! :)

Cathie Jones
01-25-2005, 09:03 AM
Good morning graphite groupies!

Dave, I love your pears. Looks like you controlled the vine very well.
I didn't know anyone made charcoal paper - I'll have to check that out!

See y'all later . . .

01-25-2005, 09:14 AM
Here's a thread about sharpening pastel pencils. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=70112) Maybe the same applies to charcoal pencils. I tried to sharpen a pastel pencil in a sharpener once, and I just ended up with a big pile of dust! I've yet to see what happens with charcoal pencils.

Thanks CJ! :)

01-25-2005, 09:28 AM
try rotating your stick or pencil when you draw--it will make the tip last longer. :)

01-25-2005, 10:30 AM
Dave - As the person who is usually last, I thought I would sign on this morning and leave some smart remark about how you were late. But of course, you are already done. (I'm just jealous, I wish I had the time.)

The pears are terrific! :clap: :clap: Looking forward to the compressed charcoal version.

01-25-2005, 11:01 AM
Thanks for those kind words, Cleo. Of course, there are plenty of things I should be doing other than drawing... :evil:

01-25-2005, 01:51 PM
It's almost 21 o'clock and I finished my fruit exercise... but I used the first charcoal pencil I bought on Saturday (a Conte Carbone 722 H) presumably a hard one... I should have been much careful... so today I went out of my office and got another one (Derwent Charcoal Dark) which I will use in the next exercise that of the stools which I cannot draw :mad:... they don't seem getting into each other :rolleyes:... anyway, that Conte pencil is a hard one and not so dark... but the good thing is that you don't get smudges and almost no coal dust on paper... here is my first exercise without the white charcoal...


Cathie Jones
01-25-2005, 02:18 PM
Okay, we've all been there already, but go back to Stoy's Weekly Drawing thread and take a good look at Post #9. artistatheart did all of the shading of the pears with straight lines (remember Lesson #1?) . . . and so far I think it's one of the best submissions!

01-25-2005, 02:43 PM
here are my stools... I couldn't draw them one within the other... I used the Derwent Charcoal Dark for the background wall and the Conte Carbon 722 H for the shadows of the stools... no white charcoal... boy ! this is real charcoal... there was so much smudging and it doesn't seem that you can make precise work with a charcoal pencil tip... and with so much work it needs sharpening before the next exercise... I wonder if these pencils are ever being used in artwork... here is the image which I scanned over an acetate page :


Mary Woodul
01-25-2005, 02:51 PM
Ha,ha, CJ. :D ........, I can just see us all in that little vehicle, great field trip.

Dave thanks for the link, I tried last night with the craft's knife but I guess I have to practice because I ended up without a pencil. I think I'll go with the vine.

I don't know how to add the link to my pears in the Weekly Drawing Thread so I'll just post them here. Next, I'll do the stools and skull with the vine. The pears were done with the charcoal pencil that peels away and a paper stump.

Cathie Jones
01-25-2005, 03:09 PM
Excellent, Mary!! You even captured the reflected light on the pears. :clap: These pears would look great in color with your tissue paper technique!!

01-25-2005, 03:15 PM
exercise 3 : drew lightly the skull with pencil (I always draw first on scrape paper and when satisfied I trace it over my lightbox onto drawing paper) then I used the hard Conte Carbone pencil to make the lines and shadows on the skull... I used a litlle bit of dark Derwent Charcoal pencil for those shadows on the skull and then plenty of that pencil for the shadow of the skull on the ground and the background... here is the image :


01-25-2005, 03:21 PM
Dave thanks for the link, I tried last night with the craft's knife but I guess I have to practice because I ended up without a pencil. I think I'll go with the vine.

I don't know how to add the link to my pears in the Weekly Drawing Thread so I'll just post them here. Next, I'll do the stools and skull with the vine. The pears were done with the charcoal pencil that peels away and a paper stump.

Mary those pears look so juicy... wonderful...

To add a link to some thread just copy the URL from the address bar of the first page of that thread and paste it into your post... that's it...

I just used my craft knife and I have sharpened my charcoal pencil... it needs paying attention and pealing it slowly...

01-25-2005, 03:26 PM
Dave your pears are wonderful too... great work...

01-25-2005, 03:29 PM
An even better way to post a link to a specific post is first to click on the post number on in the top right corner (this post will be #47), then paste the URL of the new window that should open just with that post as a link.

Here's another version of the pears, this time on tinted paper and using charcoal pencils. These are Generals charcoal pencils, 2B, 4B, 6B and white.

01-25-2005, 03:40 PM
Dave IMHO this is much better.... and the white is adding so much to your wonderful drawing... excellent...

01-25-2005, 04:42 PM
Vasil, thanks for the comments. I think your drawings are great. I especially like the skull. Very skillfully done!

Mary, your pears are lovely...you have a way with fruit! :D

Cathie Jones
01-25-2005, 04:51 PM
You guys are having too much fun without me!! :rolleyes:

Dave I like all of your versions of pears, but the last one best.

Vasil, your cow skull has depth! Good job!

Mary Woodul
01-25-2005, 05:33 PM
Thank you Vasil and Dave for the instructions on the link. I will try it next time.

Vasil your skull is very good and the horns are just right. I was going to post mine and my husband said that I had put devil's horns on it so I took them off. :crying:

Dave your pears look striking with that white charcoal and the loose sketch marks.

Hi CJ, BTW, do you all know that JayD is our new guide?

A big hand for JayD :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

01-25-2005, 06:48 PM
Thanks Mary (BLUSH :cat: )--I knew I could count on you guys to draw better then me on this one--this is also my first foray into charcoal and I will try anything as long as it furthers the class. I am still experimenting so lets see how the week progresses. Vasil like the skull very much and I could kick myself in the tail except that I need my forked tail for balance :D --I should have separated those darn stools!

I just stopped in for a second--Janice insist that I sit with the family and eat dinner--so will be back after eats to look at the other stuff! :wave: :wave:

01-25-2005, 07:58 PM
I agree with Cathie, Dave--this last version is very nice. It looks like I am looking through a pane of glass. I actually took off my glasses so that I could lean forward for a better view. I can't find anything that I would want to change or improve upon. Nicely done! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Mary Woodul
01-25-2005, 08:40 PM
JayD, here is my skull, it looks spookier without the horns. I'll work on the benches tomorrow. The skull is done with the vine and blended with a soft cloth on sketch pad paper.

See you all tomorrow :wave:

Something is making it look flat, I guess it is the hard edges, or what do you think? It looks hollowed out.

01-25-2005, 09:20 PM
Dave, That is KAV! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Vasil, I agree about the first piece, if you would have had a darker/softer piece of charcoal the apple yould have stood out more. I love the stools! I think if you darkened the stool shadow a bit it would even be better. The skull came out well! I think it's shadow really helped to make it 3D. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Hey CJ, I love that truck as well! Just when I think you gotta be running out of things, you pop in with another! :D :D :D

Hey Mary, I agree that if you add more darks that in turn will lessen the lines. Good work though! :clap: :clap:

01-25-2005, 09:44 PM
I have dreaded this lesson, too much mess for me. But these went fairly well. First I copied a landscape by Jacob Van Ruisdael, shown in black and white in a drawing book. It is on paper from a drawing pad, using soft, medium and hard charcoal pencils, about 4" x 6".
Then I was inspired by Nancy Anthony's cat. I have a photo recently taken of one of my daughter's cats. This is done on white Aquabee Charcoal paper with mostly hard charcoal pencil. I didn't want to do the step stool she was sitting on, so invented a cushion with red Conte crayon - another first for me.
Jay - I have ordered some vine charcoal and compressed charcoal, will try them soon, I hope. I could have looked ahead, but of course didn't. If we have any other lessons that require, or at least would be better with, special equipment, could you give us some notice? I live out in the country and rarely get to an art store, so ordering is a good option for me.

01-25-2005, 09:52 PM
I have tried several times to put both the photo and drawing in the same post, but THEY either give two of the photo or two of the drawing, even after I changed the name of one, so here is the other one, I think.

01-25-2005, 10:05 PM
Hey Connie,
4" x 6"...you do like a challenge don't you! :D Thats a lot to squeeze into such a small area. Good job on the landscape Great job on the clouds! :clap: :clap:
The cat is looking good too! I like the red, gives it a punch! :clap: :clap:

01-25-2005, 10:08 PM
Hi, Connie--I am really glad you are still with us--I have seen you posting other places as well. You have real dedication.

Honestly, I NEVER copy anyone's work whose middle name is "VAn". I don't think I could stand the humiliation! :D I am not familiar with his work--do you have a refeence that you can post.

Regarding the cat--I like the cat but you turned his head away--that is the smuggest looking cat I have ever seen--but what you looks good. Check your cat with a mirror for a personal second opinion. Good Job!!

01-25-2005, 10:10 PM
But you know, Connie--I went back and looked again at your version of the cat and I think I like the interpretation--don't change the head. :clap: :clap: :clap:

01-25-2005, 11:29 PM



01-26-2005, 11:06 AM
Hi - I know I'm not supposed to be here as I have not finished the last lesson But:

{Quote=Connie}Then I was inspired by Nancy Anthony's cat. I have a photo recently taken of one of my daughter's cats. This is done on white Aquabee Charcoal paper with mostly hard charcoal pencil. I didn't want to do the step stool she was sitting on, so invented a cushion with red Conte crayon - another first for me.{Quote}

I love this Connie, and I think you should crosspost in in the Animal Forum!

Mary Woodul
01-26-2005, 11:20 AM



Wow, what a trip! It makes you want to stick to charcoal for a while. Is Bristol smooth like vellum? I haven't seen it here.

Hi everyone :wave: , sorry I was taken by the field trip.

01-26-2005, 12:22 PM
I cannot wait to go home and finally break out the charcoal.
Thanks for the field trip JayD! :clap: :clap:

Cathie Jones
01-26-2005, 01:39 PM
I cannot wait to go home and finally break out the charcoal.

Me, too, Judi! It's finally Wednesday, the one evening that I rarely have to work. So I'll break out the charcoal and the watercolors and see if I can get two things accomplished!!

01-26-2005, 01:51 PM
JayD - Excellent Field Trip :clap:

I would not have thought to try such a smooth surface for charcoal. I do not get to achieve "Drawing Time" until tomorrow night, but I might give it a try.

Vasil, Mary, Connie - Great stuff :clap: :clap:

01-26-2005, 06:42 PM
Hark! Is this the chatter of inspiration I hear? Alright!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Fireman's kid
01-26-2005, 07:00 PM
Hi folks! Lots of great pears and skulls here and even a smug looking cat!

I tried to get on earlier today and download a reference to work on, but WC was down. So instead I did nothing. :o I swear my body wants to hibernate during the winter!

But now I have my reference and will try to start my charcoal drawing tonight. I am amazed by how well you are all doing, because frankly I am worried. But nothing ventured, nothing gained!

01-26-2005, 07:01 PM
Hi Everyone :wave: :D

I haven't had a chance to read all of Lesson 10 or 11 but quickly skipped through. The link for the Class 11 pdf is in my signature line.

I am doing the dreaded "book report" from Class 9, about 1/2 way through. I'm trying to hurry so I can catch up with all of you.

Judi, I took a quick peek at your cp drawing/painting and that background is coming along beautifully. It really sets your son in the spotlight and as you do more it the background it will be even more noticeable. Really nice job!

Dave your pears are just great! I like how you used the charcoal on that drawing.

I'll be back soon! I've missed all of you.


01-26-2005, 07:02 PM
I may be dating myself, but when I was a child I used to drag a table into the living room on Sundays and draw with charcoal while watching John Gnagy on TV. Anyone remember him? He was the very first television workshop artist. I thought it was so cool to draw along with a "real" artist.


01-26-2005, 07:13 PM
Hi Stacy, :wave: Glad you are going to try it out tonight. I'm working on it now and it is somewhat messy.

Hey Ann, :wave: Hope you are feeling better each day! Thanks for the pdf and it is so nice you have dropped in. :clap: I don't think you will find the book report as dreaded as you think. It was great to read about all the books out there.

Michelle, I don't remember him but you sure had nice parents to let you in the living room with charcoal! :D Funny, and now you are a real artist. So he was your inspiration. :)

Mary Woodul
01-26-2005, 07:35 PM
Hi All, :wave: Well after the field trip I took out my vellum , stuck it on a board with some masking tape and started the lamp. At the very last, I did the background with charcoal and then smoothed off with tissue and...... :eek: ........ there were finger prints all over it. :crying: I thought I had never touched it, but I guess when I stuck it to the board I left my fingerprints all over. So I scribbled all over the background to cover up the fingerprints, not that I like the sribbling on it. I don't think the vellum takes the charcoal to well.

Ann, how nice to have you back. I hope your feeling better.

Hi, JayD, Barbara, CJ, Judi, Michelle, Cleo, Stacy and anyone else out there. :wave:

01-26-2005, 07:36 PM
Ann! Welcome back--we missed you. I hope that you are getting to feel better!

Barb, the classes are modular so you can weave in and out of them at your own pace--if you feel like jumping ahead--that is fine--but make a pledge to yourself to go back and pick up--again at your own pace. :)

01-26-2005, 07:41 PM
I have a question. I have this charcoal (image attached). It is labeled as General's Artist's Charcoal Pure Willow and says 'grown in England'????.
Dave, do you have any of this in your garden? :D .
Is this vine charcoal?
Second image is my getting aquainted with charcoal green pepper.

01-26-2005, 08:11 PM
Hey Mary, :wave: Sorry I missed your post. Please don't cry! :) I love your lamp. You are the first to attempt it and it is great. You have reflectiveness in the 3D base and the shade turned out well also! You know, if you take a q-tip over the lines in the bg, you may have textured wall paper! :clap: :clap:

01-26-2005, 08:40 PM
Tried the skull but I was not too sure of the contours. :confused:

01-26-2005, 08:52 PM
Judi, Hi! There was real depth in the front facial area. You can see the variety or degrees of shading--I think you are a bit timid on the eye holes. You might want to consider enlarging them. The rest is perfection. Good job!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Mary Woodul
01-26-2005, 09:11 PM
Judi!, your skull looks great, I like the shadow in it. It really looks like it is out in the wilderness. I'll try the Qtip. that would have been better if I had thought of the wallpaper. Then I sprayed it while it was on my easel and it smeared the whole thing. Maybe, I should transfer it and start all over again.

Well I guess that's the way you learn. :(

01-26-2005, 09:45 PM
Hey Mary, When I was doing my green pepper I reached over for my brush out of habit and stopped just inches away. Whew! Removed it from the room immediatley!
I hope you can salvage it! :)

Cathie Jones
01-26-2005, 11:21 PM
Judi, I really like that skull! :clap:

Ann, I received the pdf - thank you. I'll get it posted tomorrow night.

Finally! I've had itchy fingers all week . . . tonight I got them dirty! Made a big mistake with the paper, though. I bought a sheet of Canson Mi-Tientes, and it has kind of a honeycomb pattern - very difficult to get the charcoal everywhere. There are a couple of things I'll change if I get a chance to do it again on better paper. I like the pears themselves, but didn't get them grounded, and skimped on the foreground and background just to get it finished!

I liked blending with a tortillion better than q-tips. Tissue was good, too, in the larger spots.

That's pretty much my C&C . . . it's your turn! (Sorry about the upload - I couldn't get 'attachments' to work)


01-26-2005, 11:59 PM
Jay, I have done the drawings, but I do not know how to post them side by side...
If anyone can send me a message with instructions on how to do this I would really appreciate it...thanks..

01-27-2005, 12:53 AM
Hey, you are all doing so well :clap:... I have still to do my fourth exercise... may be I will do it this evening... if not, I have no chance doing it on Friday or Saturday :(... than may be on Sunday evening...

Hi Nancy, I am using the uploader tool as all those here that are from the watercolor forum... it is a custom there ;) the uploader is just above on the blue bar under the quick links drop down list... but I guess here, at least in this thread, it's better to attach images so that the page loads faster... to attach up to five images you can click the manage attachments button a little bit below this window you type your text... to be safe in both cases have the width of your images max 500 pixels and the hight sould be less than 600 pixels also... resize your image such that you its sides are equal or just below these limits... hope it helps..

01-27-2005, 06:46 AM
I have a new respect for charcoal seeing all the drawings on this site and the field trips. But when I get the regular charcoal, I might re-think about the dust.
Jay - photo I used as a reference is in An Introduction to Drawing, by John Jackson. "Ruisdael is said never to have painted on a clear day and he was a master of drawing and painting dramatic cloud formations." There are a wealth of images available on Google including one site with drawings done in black chalk on paper. How does chalk compare with charcoal?

01-27-2005, 06:59 AM
Nancy, you can also do this:

1. Click on the button that says "post reply"

2. In the window type in your "Ode to your Pictures" :D

3. Scroll down until you see "Manage Attachments"

4. Click on "Manage Attachments"

5. A Window will pop up--

6. YOu will see a set of 5 sections--this means you can upload as many as 5 images in one session.

7. Click on Browse

8. Look for your image and click on "open"

9. Click on "Upload"

10. The image will upload and you will see the attachment change to a link in this window.

11. Close the window

12. Click on "post reply"

Your image will now appear with your response. Hope this helps! :)

ADDED FOR YOUR VIEW PLEASURE: Vasil mentioned the image size and he makes a good point. If your images are UNDER 500 x 500 then there will be not problem with the upload. My pictures are larger so what of do is this--lets say for example that the iamge is

4730 x 6753 (this is typical of my scanned images)

I do this:

Change the size of the larges number (in this case 6753 to 500

The other size (in this case 4730 will change to 350 so your image will now be 350 X 500 and will be suitable for upload. :)

01-27-2005, 07:13 AM
Connie, that is a good question--I don't know the answer. :) Any Takers? How does charcoal compare and constrast?

01-27-2005, 07:15 AM
Cathie, pull out your Mi-tientes when you get a chance and take a look a the front and back surface of the paper. One side is smoother then the other--so you have two choices depending on the effect that you want to achieve. :)

01-27-2005, 07:50 AM
At one time, black chalk referred to a naturally occuring substance, a composite of carbon and clay. So, it is more akin to pastel: a stick of pigment and binder, but of course pastel is manufactured. That's what Renaissance artists like Michaelangelo and Rapael used for their drawings. Red chalk was also commonly used. Nowadays, black chalk probably is manufactured.

Charcoal (specifically vine charcoal) is charred wood...the actual sticks of wood themselves with nothing added or taken away. I don't know why it's called vine charcoal as it is most commonly made from willow. (Not sure whether English willow has any specially properties! Maybe there's just a lot of it about here...it's also used to make cricket bats! Sadly, none in my garden. :( )

Compressed charcoal is a bit like a cross between the two. The "pigment" is charcoal, but it is mixed with a binder and formed into sticks or put into pencils.

01-27-2005, 08:00 AM
Mary, sorry to hear about your lamp...it was a nice drawing. Maybe you can recover it somehow? I think it's best to spray drawings horizontally, by the way.

Judi, that pepper came out well, and the skull is very spooky! Wouldn't want to meet that in the dark!!

CJ, I like your pears. Maybe you could flatten the paper with the end of the pencil where you don't want the texture, like you described a class or two ago? Might be good to keep the texture in the background?

Cathie Jones
01-27-2005, 08:53 AM
Okay, hang on a minute here . . . is the drawing so bad that the only thing you'll critique is the paper? :eek:

01-27-2005, 09:20 AM
Hi everyone...Well in the last class I interpreted the statement "medium of your choice" to include all medias and I chose digital as I draw free handed in digital...I was wrong in my interpretation but Jay did challenge me to draw the pic again physically and post them here...I took him up on his challenge so here is a study of the still life from lesson 10...
I drew the same image 4 times yesterday using different paper for each...I chose the best two to post....there are still some mistakes on these as I am still learning to draw and paint...this is also my first time to use colored pencils physically...Also Jay suggested that I use stonehenge paper, but it is not available in my town so the papers I used were tracing paper(the image was not traced, just the paper was used) and sketching paper...I tried a real slick paper and construction paper also and those two did not get selected for posting....Now as far as the details.... physical versus digital...
paper texture...
in both mediums you have the choice of different paper textures and as I found yesterday physically you are limited by what the market has to offer, digitally you are limited to the textures programed into your media...choice of colors...physically you are limited to the colors in your pencil set..digitally you have the whole color wheel spectrum and are limited only by your imagination or skill...
in the drawing process I found some paper is not as forgiving as digital as the eraser can ruin your paper..but there again you can trash it and start over as you can digitally...digitally if you can set your program to back up up to 30 something strokes so if you forgot to save your work as you go which I often do you can back up on your strokes or use an eraser to erase the offending result...physically you only have one flat surface to draw on so all details are drawn on the same plane...digitally, you can draw each detail in layers and combine your layers at the end...that is if your program offers layers...there is a tremendous more amount of patience involved in digital drawing as you have to learn to controll the mouse or pen...it take a very steady hand and concentration to draw the lines to look as they would if you had a physical pencil in hand and it takes hours of repetive stroking to blend colors together and shade a section to give it the depth that you might achieve physically in a matter of seconds...I produced 4 drawings yesterday physically in about the same amount of time as it took me to produce one drawing digitally...my physical drawings are not as good as my digital drawings simply for the fact that I have had aprox 4 yrs practice digitally and have aprox 1 yr physically... now for the important part as I found yesterday, if the baby grabs my paper and rips it , I have to start over from scratch, if the baby grabs my mouse or hits the keys I can go back to a previously saved version and pick up from there...with digital, I can zoom in to work on the most minute detail and with physical I can only impressionize what I can't magnify enough to detail...The bottom line is each media takes skill, time and patience...with digital, depending on the detail and the success of the piece, I can sell a print for aprox 20 bucks, physically sign it and offer a limited number of prints for sell...physically I have only one painting or drawing to sell for a larger amount...I have never sold an non digital painting, or drawing...yes I have sold some of my digital work..so in conclussion each media has its merits and demerits...each takes skill, many hours of practice and patience, and contrary to popular opinion not all digital is achieved by the press of a button, nor is it traced...even physically, there are tracings, copying, and prints....now physically the digital painting can be described as having the clarity of oil, the detail of hand drawing, the soft look of pastel, and the stability of watercolor...just like your pastel, water color, or charcoal drawing, you need to use a fixative, or at least warn your client that moisture can ruin the picture...I use water color paper, canvas, parchment paper, linen, and sketch paper to print mine out on... Here are the finished results... two being physically drawn..and one being a digital drawing...even though it is a digital drawing it is still hand drawn taking over 8 hours to complete.

01-27-2005, 11:27 AM
Okay, hang on a minute here . . . is the drawing so bad that the only thing you'll critique is the paper? :eek:

I said I liked the pears! :D They look good and solid and there is a real sense of light being reflected off them. On the ref, the reflections are really bright...could you maybe get that white charcoal working a bit harder? :D

01-27-2005, 11:38 AM
Nancy, that is a very clear and comprehensive comparison between digital and non-digital hand drawn art :clap: In some respects it was an eyeopener.

I find it difficult to choose between your two versions....abcd and 072...I think I will vote for 072.


Cathie Jones
01-27-2005, 12:02 PM
Sorry, Dave. Guess I missed that. :o

I had the white darker (lighter?) several times and it looked bad, so I blended it out. Maybe the color was another thing wrong with the paper . . . if I have time before Sunday I'll re-do it on something slicker. I also bought pads of Bristol Smooth and Bristol Vellum.

01-27-2005, 12:13 PM
Dave, :wave: thanks, and thanks for the charcoal info,so it must be vine charcoal I have.

CJ, :wave: Sorry, went to bed early and missed your post. I think your pears are wonderful! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Hey Blah! :wave: How are you? Good to see you! :D

Nancy, :wave: That is a very good informative report, thanks so much for doing it. :clap: :clap: I have PSP8 but have yet to check out the digi painting. :(

Mary Woodul
01-27-2005, 12:15 PM
Hi All, Cathie, I like your pears but I have found that the right paper for charcoal is extremely important. I used vellum for my lamp and got fingerprints all over it before even putting any charcoal on it. Here is a link written by jolanta with very good pointers. You might have already read it.

Nancy, your paintings are very nice and I couldn't tell which was the digital. I am trying to learn with my wacom tablet and PS, but it needs a lot of time. I find it helpful to play around with something digitally before ruining a huge canvas.

Hi Connie your doing great with your drawings and I want to check that link.

Dave, I new the moment I put the fixative on it that I should have set it down, but I'm one of these impulsive people, only when it comes to art, :D otherwise I'm very patient :angel: .

Blah, nice to see you, we've missed you. :wave:

Hi! :wave: , JayD, Judi and Vasil.

01-27-2005, 12:40 PM
Everybody--a hearty HEIGH HO and many hands of applause for Nancy!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

A very informative report and I, too, learned a lot as well.

I would like you to consider posting this report also in our main forum and again in the digital forum.

Excellent work!!! :)

01-27-2005, 01:16 PM


Here is a differnet style in charcoal which I know you will love--Stoy is working from live models.

01-27-2005, 01:42 PM
thanks to all for taking time to view my report....Thanks Jay for suggesting I do it and allowing me to post it here...Now I will get back to the project at hand and that be improving my drawing skills and learning something new...I am still trying to catch up on classes and real life too....My goal one day is >>> is it real or is it memorex...lol...seriously I would just love to pick up a real canvas and paint one picture in oils that would win a blue ribbon at the county fair...just to know in my heart that I finally done good...

01-27-2005, 09:17 PM
Nancy, that was excellent and I saw the post and responses in the main forum. Thank you for adding to the educationa treasure trove.

Wow! Quiet night--where is everybody?

01-27-2005, 09:24 PM
I'm guessing everybody's charcoaling away JayD :angel:

01-27-2005, 09:42 PM
Aright!!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Mary Woodul
01-27-2005, 10:10 PM
Hi! Judi and JayD :wave: . Charcoaling away is right. This become addictive :D I tried this with another kind of paper but it probably wasn't very good for it. It was pad that said heavyweight paper in assorted colors. But it doesn't seem to take to much rubbing. I keep wanting to do charcoal like graphite and I think I'm wrong. See you all tomorrow. :wave:

01-27-2005, 10:16 PM
Mary, I hate to say this but you are right--this charcoal is addictive. I am fooling around with pencils tonite instead of the sticks. I will keep y'all posted on that one. By the way--nothing wrong with the image you just posted--its great!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Cathie Jones
01-27-2005, 10:30 PM
Hi everybody! JayD, I'm still working night and day . . . for several more days.

Mary, your flowers are gorgeous!!

Charcoal is definitely addictive (if you use the right paper). The demo I did on the Hillberry book was just in my sketchbook, and it blended wonderfully!

Did anybody know there are pastel pencils, too? I found them last night when I was getting paper . . . I think they may be addictive, too!!!

Back to work . . . see y'all later!

01-27-2005, 10:37 PM
Hey Mary :wave:
I like your Cala lillies very much!

Hey CJ :wave: That's what our teeth are doing up here in Pennsylvania! It's so darned COLD here. Single digits tonight :(

Hey JayD :wave:

01-28-2005, 01:10 AM
I first want to say thanks to all for the kind words about my study...It was fun doing it...Well I know I still have other classes I need to go back correct and ones I haven't even done yet but I just had to try my hand at the charcoal...I increased my resolution this time before scanning so the different tones would show better...I might have over done it cause the original still looks better than the scanned image...

01-28-2005, 03:56 AM
Wow, Mary, those lilies are great! Charcoal obviously agrees with you!

Nancy, that dog is so cute! You've done a great job. I'm not sure that increasing the resolution of a scan makes much difference to how we see an image on a monitor, because they generally have a resolution of 72 dpi.

01-28-2005, 06:53 AM
CJ, Hope you get a break soon!

Morning Dave!

Nancy, Your pup looks great! :clap: He is a pretty white pup, but I just think he needs a tad bit more modeling and highlighting to make pup pop. Attaching a grey scale. Also there is a new class in the portrait forum on eyes. Check it out. There is a great tip on the highlight of the eyes that adds more sparkle/life.
I agree, the scans never quite do the work justice. I never get it right! :D

01-28-2005, 07:55 AM
Hi Dave, I see charcoal agrees with you, your pears are very realistic, by the way. Oh & ty for the C&C on my thread.
Hey Vasil, those stools are a nice study of darks & whites.

CJ, I like your pears very much, I do like how you have them so shiny and dark.

Connie, I liked your landscape & the cat has such personality.

Wow All of you guys are all doing such a wonderful job with the happy chalk of my ancestors :). I have to say that the studies of the pears, stools, skulls are fantastic.

Mary, your lamp was so gorgeous it had such a romantic look. Ohhhh, I love Calle Lillies, they are my favorite flower. :) You have made it look so delicate and beautiful. & ty for the C&C on my thread also.

Nancy & Judi your pups are adorable.

Judi the eyes on yours has a sweet pleading look that makes me want to hold it. :), ohhh and great job in showing texture and value on the skull.

Just popped in to say hi and let ya all know I am still lurking. :)

Jay I enjoyed the eye candy field trips, especially Gavin's well informative pages. :)

By the way Jay, are you going to post your latest piece your working on in charcoal?

01-28-2005, 08:00 AM
Morning Sults, :wave:
Just so there is no confusion, that is not my pup. It is a greyscale of the original reference. :D

01-28-2005, 08:02 AM
Morn Judi, ohhhh ok :)

01-28-2005, 09:20 AM
thanks everyone for the kind words on my pup...okay here is the redo at 200dpi...the first was scanned at 560 dpi..I retouched his eyes with the white charcoal and retouched some previous highlights with white again...

01-28-2005, 09:36 AM
The owner's name is hope--her dog(that you are doing here_ is names Joy and her cat is named peace.

Judi and Nancy--both look great--I will check out the eye tips in the portrait forum. :clap: :clap:

01-28-2005, 09:57 AM
TGIF!!!!!!!! Morning All :wave:

Yes Michelle – You are not alone, I remember John Gnagy, But if we are old enough to remember, aren’t we supposed to have forgotten by now???

Mary – Great Callas :clap:

Here is the lamp in vine. It is on a medium Strathmore drawing pad 8X10. I tried it small to minimize the mess, but I think it is too small for that "charcoal look." I also tried it on a Bristol plate pad ala field trip, but could not get the vine to stick, perhaps it requires compressed charcoal or pencils.

I am confused about this white charcoal? I have a white Conte Crayon which I could not get to stick to either paper. Is this the same thing? I have a white soft pastel – is that it ? or is there a third item (An excuse to go to the art supply store! :clap: :clap: )

If time permits, I'll try the pears over the weekend

Mary Woodul
01-28-2005, 12:02 PM
Good morning everyone!
JayD, I'm looking forward to seeing your charcoal.

Cathie, thank you, your right about the paper. I think I'll try normal sketch pad paper today. I have some Derwent pastel pencils and I like them, but I still don't know how to handle pastels.

Hi Judi :wave: , thank you, keep warm. :D

Nancy, your puppy is so cute and cudley looking.

BTW Judi, thank for the tip on the eye class.

Thank you, Dave :D

Hi Sultry, I've been missing you. I like your avatar. It's KAV!!!

Cleo, your lamp looks so nice and soft. I can't seem to get a light touch with charcoal and I could get it to stick to the vellum either.

01-28-2005, 12:35 PM
I am confused about this white charcoal? I have a white Conte Crayon which I could not get to stick to either paper. Is this the same thing? I have a white soft pastel – is that it ? or is there a third item (An excuse to go to the art supply store! :clap: :clap: )

Don't want to give you all the idea that I'm a know-it-all, but I do spend more time than I should in art supply stores! :) Plus, I asked about white charcoal in another thread a few weeks ago. I think I'm right in saying that white charcoal only ever comes in pencils...at least, I've only ever seen it in pencils. It obviously isn't charred wood, so it isn't really charcoal, but I suppose it has something of the same feel as charcoal pencil. It's harder than pastel, not as waxy as Conte.

Interesting fact! Conte was invented during the Napoleonic wars because there was a shortage of graphite. It was originally a mixture of graphite and clay. Now it is described as "a variety of fabricated chalk"! Confused?! :D

01-28-2005, 12:43 PM
Afternoon All! :wave:
Generals has the white charcoal in sticks. I like them better than the pencil.

01-28-2005, 12:49 PM
You can get all sorts of neat stuff in the US that isn't available here! :envy: Next time I'm there I'm going to have to bring some back with me.

01-28-2005, 01:31 PM
Sultry - great new mini head!

Thanks Judi & Dave!

Dave, you do know most of it anyway, and we are eternally grateful :clap:

Oh Boy! :clap: :D :clap: A trip to the Art supply store. What do you think the odds are that I come out with only a white charcoal pencil?

01-28-2005, 02:15 PM
Jay, thank you for the nice lessons, and Nancy, Gavin, Stoy and Jolanta...thank you for the inspiring demos and works in progress. Charcoal seems to be a very exciting medium, or at least your work makes it look so :clap: :clap: I am hoping to try it out this week-end.

Dave, no wonder you were the first off the blocks. You seem to be very comfortable working with charcoal. Your pears, both versions, are lovely. But your post #108 looks blurred on my monitor. I don't know whether it is my monitor or your scan that causes it to be so.

Cathy, I followed your advice and had a look at Artisatheart's post in Stoy's Weekly Drawing Thread. It is terrific :clap:

I also saw your drawing of the pears. Yes, the background could have been better, but I think your pears are very good and, I also think the honeycomb texture has the potential to be a very interesting background.

Vasil, I like the way you have drawn the stools. Both the sketching itself and the composition are very nice.

Mary, Your pears are very good...you have brought out the roundness (volume) extremely well. The skull does look flat, probably because there are large areas with no tonal variations. In the lamp you have brought out the polished surfaces and the highlights very well. Your drawing of the plant (#102) has depth, and the curves and contours have come out well.

Connie...your landscape looks very grainy on my monitor. However I looked at it through half closed eyes and it looks really nice. First of all the whole drawing looks darker, and all the grains disappear. If your drawing is actually not as grainy as it looks in the scan, perhaps you should look at the resolution at which you have scanned it.

Your drawing of the cat is nice but I think your landscape drawing has even more potential.

Jay...the photograph in your post #74 is vine charcoal. Strangely, the plant from which it is made grows in my neighbourhood, and one family has been producing this for generations for the regional market.

Judi, that is a very nice drawing of a skull. I agree with Jay. The front facial area has been shaded extremely well.

Nancy, your drawing of the puppy (#106) has come out nicely. The different tones do show up well, particularly on the puppy's ears and face. Your post #112 of the same drawing is even better in the sense that the details are clearer.

Cleo...even without getting the conte white to stick you have captured the highlights very effectively. Both the base of the lamp and the effect of the glass shade look good.

I haven't had too much time for drawing or visiting Wet Canvas for most of this week and the last one. Hope to catch up with everyone soon.


01-28-2005, 03:16 PM
I am still waiting for my package from Dick Blick, with more types of charcoal (and a few other things.) Fed Ex called me to ask where I lived, it is really in the sticks. When I win the lottery, I will write them, "Dear Dick Blick, Send me one of everything in the store ...) Seeing all the drawings here makes me want to try them, too. There is so much more variety of styles and shadings and effects on different papers than I ever imagined with charcoal.
Mary - I have done a very small amount of digital painting, but have found that even sketching digitally is harder than freehand. So much patience.

Fireman's kid
01-28-2005, 05:23 PM
Hi everyone! Okay it's confession time...I have had time to work on my drawings this week but have been procrastinating terribly. I think the problem is worry. I was worried my charcoal drawings would be terrible. Then you all started posting these terrific drawings and I got more worried. I didn't want to be the only one to fail. :o

But I have committed to completing this class and I do want to stay with the class since I just caught up. So I made myself sit down today and start with some value blocks. From there I tried one pear at the bottom of my paper - just to get the feel of using the charcoal pencil and erasing and blending.

To be honest, it went better than I expected. So I am posting my practice pear here.

I have started sketching the outlines of the three pears and hope to complete that drawing before the end of the week. If I am really motivated and find a lot of time I will do a second drawing.

For now I am happy to have conquered my fear of charcoal this one time. :)

01-28-2005, 05:41 PM
stacy...your pear is great...I understand the jitters though...I have them with every post...

Everyone on here is doing such a great job...so hope all will forgive me for not posting that much...Im more of a looker than a talker...

01-28-2005, 07:02 PM
Evening All :wave:


Hey Cleo, I was looking at your lamp and it is very nice. :clap: The highlights on the base look great as well. :clap: I do think there is a problem with the symmetry and your centerline. I think it is so easy to lose shapes when using charcoal being it is so soft.
Also it is a good idea when the ref is colored and we are doing our work in graphite or charcoal to take the ref and make it a greyscale. That really helps to see the shading and highlighting. I am attaching a greyscale so you can compare the ref and yours.

Thanks for the info Dave! :D

Connie, I am anxiously awaiting the grand opening of our new bigger and better Michaels craft store (Monday! :clap: ) Haven't been able to get any supplies for two weeks. :crying: I heard the digi drawing is tougher too.

Mary and Blah, Thanks :)

Stacy, Really glad you caught up and are with us again! That is a lovely pear! You always nail everything! :clap: :clap:

Nancy, I see you posted you 'extra credit assignment' in the main forum. Looks like it got a lot of interest. Good idea! :clap: :clap:

01-28-2005, 07:16 PM
Stacy, can't understand why you should be worried! That pear looks good enough to eat...and I've just had a big dinner! :D :clap:

Blah, good to hear from you again. Hope to see more of your drawing soon...it is always such an inspiration.

01-28-2005, 07:24 PM
Hey Judi your doing a wonderful job subbing this class by the way. :)
Ty since I did not feel adequate to C&C since I have not started on the assignments.
Although I see one thing that could help ya Cleo, Remember to do the slinky effect with your value shading on your lamp. Ok I will shuddupita now. lol

Hey Stacy nice pear it is so smooth & shiny. :) See girl you CAN DO IT :clap: :clap: :clap: Also, may I ask what you used to get that effect?

Ohhhhh, Judi, now is that a ref pic of the lamp or is that your drawing?

01-28-2005, 07:45 PM
Ok I will shuddupita now. lol Don't you dare! Miss you here!

Not my drawing, it is the ref greyscale.

01-28-2005, 08:03 PM
Alas, folks--I've picked up the UK bug from Deepat! :crying: Actually, I seem to be getting sick--I am going to extend this class an extra week if you guys do not mind. Let me know--If not, I will happily move on to the next class--between "breaks!"

01-28-2005, 08:08 PM
Ohh JayD, So sorry you are not feeling well!!! I was wondering where you were. :( :( I hope you feel better soon.

I, for one, do not mind going another week at this, I actually need the time.

01-28-2005, 08:17 PM
Me too, Jay, awe its such an awful bug too. :(
IMO, Jay, since your not feeling well that if we were to go on to the next class it would not be as supervised by you as much as you would like to, due to being under the weather and all, so if your not well enough to give your 100 %, I vote to extend another week. All the classmates who have done all the assignments can keep practicing (because practice makes perfect). :cat:

01-28-2005, 08:35 PM
First I second that ...Jay if you don't feel well...let's wait til you are better...
Thanks Judi..but not my idea...was following Jay's suggestion...I just added a challenge to it...the same challenge Jay gave me... :D
Sultry you are right practice does make it better and that is what I will use the extra time for...gonna go back redo some I done that wasn't so good and play catch up on ones I haven't done yet...
Jay...I just couldn't resist the challenge of the lamp...it is so pretty, I had to try it...my depiction doesn't do it justice and I will need a lot more practice as the current version has major flaws but here it is anyhow...I plan on redoing it in the near future...

01-28-2005, 09:08 PM
Nancy, Your lamp looks good. :clap: Check the symmetry. Note it is a good idea to make careful measurements of your ref when you do your rough draft, before you transfer to your good paper.
Added the challenge to your post... :D

01-28-2005, 09:32 PM
Thanks Judi...Funny thing is...I did do a careful layout or so I thought...but sometimes what I see doesn't always register with my brain so I come up with something completely off...didn't realize my mistake til I was over halfway through, said to heck with it finish the best you can and redo it right the next time...I just fell in love with that lamp and will figure when I get it right it will be framed and hung in my livingroom... Yeah I challenged others to do the same as Jay had me do...do one drawing freehanded physically and then do the same drawing freehanded digitally....using the same tools in each...do as far as I care they could even paint an oil or water color just repeat the same thing digitally freehanded...no manipulations...no tracings...will be cool to see if any take me up on it...well off to practice some more...I know I need it..

01-28-2005, 09:34 PM
Nancy, when working with symetrical objects, establish a center line. YOur application is wonderful but the lamp is doing the hula dance.

Thanks, everybody--I appreciate the extra week. I will be in and out to see what is going on but mostly--I'm goin' to bed. :)

Fireman's kid
01-28-2005, 10:11 PM
Nancy, Judi, Dave and Sults - thanks for your support as always! :)

To me, charcoal seems more difficult to control, especially in the smaller areas like the stem. And as JayD has correctly figured out, I like to be in control of my drawing. Loose isn't something I've got the hang of yet. Although I think charcoal might force it on me a little.

By the way, did anyone else notice that my stem shadow is going in the wrong direction? lol I added my shadow pretty quickly before I scanned just to make my practice pear look finished. That will teach me to rush. :D

Sults, you asked what I used on my pear. Sorry I forgot to add that in my first post. I was just so excited to have drawn something with charcoal! Let's see...I used a Eberhard Faber Pitt Charcoal Pencil medium hardness on a piece of paper from a drawing pad. The front of the pad descibes the paper as medium weight (55lbs) with a light tooth. This is the same paper I used for my drawing of the pot, apple and bunnies in lesson 7. I blended the charcoal using Q-tips and a tissue. And I did lots of erasing and clean up using a kneadable eraser.

Jay, sorry to hear you are under the weather. You really must not be feeling well if you are going to sleep. Hope it's not too bad and you improve quickly. Of course, being the slow-poke that I am, I will always vote for having an extra week. :D

Nancy, nice lamp. Maybe not exactly symmetrical, but it has a style all it's own. We have one more thing in common besides today's jitters, I'm normally more of a looker than a talker too. Although you can't tell from this post. :eek:

Well good night all! :wave: I'm off to spend some time with hubby before he falls asleep on the couch.

Cathie Jones
01-28-2005, 10:42 PM
Hi guys -

Just a quick check in, and I find that nancyellen and I must be related - I have the same problem with proportion and straight lines (we won't even talk about perspective!). And I also am about halfway finished before I realise my drawing isn't quite right.

JayD, I hope you're feeling better soon . . . and I certainly don't have a problem with extending the class. I should actually be able to pay attention to the class in a few days.

Stacy, I like your pear. I drew one similar at lunch today, but didn't think about the shadow before I started it, so the shadow is the wrong shape, goes the wrong direction, looks nothing like a pear.

Hi Judi and Sults! And Connie, Dave and Blah - I miss you guys and will be glad when I can spend more time here.

Mary Woodul
01-28-2005, 10:48 PM
Hi All, :wave: just a quick check in to tell JayD to please take care and not worry about extending the class. Get plenty of rest. just got my cast taken off my leg. I fell so free. :D

01-28-2005, 11:40 PM
Hey CJ! :wave: It will be good to have you back soon. :D We miss you too!
No smileys from you lately :(

Hey Mary! :wave: So-o-o glad you cast is off! I'll bet you feel free! :clap: :clap:

01-29-2005, 05:07 AM
I was worried my charcoal drawings would be terrible.

So I am posting my practice pear here.

For now I am happy to have conquered my fear of charcoal this one time. :)

Wow!!! Your practice pear is excellent:clap: Hope to see more pears and other stuff from you soon.


01-29-2005, 05:13 AM
Alas, folks--I've picked up the UK bug from Deepat! :crying: Actually, I seem to be getting sick--I am going to extend this class an extra week if you guys do not mind. Let me know--If not, I will happily move on to the next class--between "breaks!"

Jay, sorry to hear that you are not well. Get well soon.

I will be happy to get an extra week...I have a lot of catching up to do.


01-29-2005, 05:24 AM
Sorry to hear you are ill JayD. Get well soon! Taking an extra week is fine by me.

01-29-2005, 11:08 AM
Thanks for the explanation, Nancy. I like all three of your drawings. I've tried to do drawings digitally, NOT successfully, but I know just how much hard work go into them.


01-29-2005, 11:20 AM
Feel better JayD! I hope you get lots of rest.

I'm always glad for an extra week also, since I am a great procrastinator. I have had time to do my charcoal drawings, but I didn't. I've also been working on a watercolor project for another group that I have not gotten around to finishing. I don't know where the time goes.


Mary Woodul
01-29-2005, 03:59 PM
Hi everyone!, I came so fast last night that I didn't get a chance to tell you Stacy, that your pear is excellent. You manage the charcoal very well.

JayD, hope your feeling better today, take care.

Judi, Sultry, Nancy,Cj, Dave, Blah and Michelle, have a good weekend. :wave:

01-29-2005, 04:40 PM
Mary you too, I am having a wonderful weekend by the way. I talked to Natalie on the phone for hours lol.
Also had a good chat with Judi too. :) hugs, Judi, its so nice to meet classmates and get to really know them as good friends. :) you too Mary :)

01-29-2005, 06:13 PM
Thanks Michelle, Glad you liked it...

Cathie Jones
01-29-2005, 10:44 PM
Better late than never . . . here's my cow skull. This one is on Bristol Vellum 300 series, 100#, with 'light,' 'dark,' and 'white' charcoal pencils, a tortillion, a stump and a kneaded eraser (and this time remembered to use a piece of paper under my hand!!!) - about 90 minutes. Blending is much easier with this paper, but still not as easy as the good old sketch pad!

I used a photo ref from the RIL (thank you 'sajemak').

Guess what's next???

01-29-2005, 11:01 PM
Hey CJ :wave:
How are you? Great cow skulls!!!! Most excellent!:clap: :clap: :clap:
So-o-o-o-o glad you are back and posting your work again!!!!!Missed you!!

Is that where the eyes are???? I really misplaced them on mine. LOL

Mary Woodul
01-29-2005, 11:06 PM
CJ, your version of the skull looks great, you did very well with the vellum and the different shadings. What's next of what???.(I think I know)

Good night Judi, Sults, and Nancy :cat:

01-29-2005, 11:15 PM
Hi Everyone, just popped in to see what you all were doing in Lesson 11.

Jay, sorry to hear you are sick and hope you get well quickly. I'm really pleased that this lesson is being extended too. Maybe I can at least get into this class before you all move on to Lesson 12 lol.

I've only gotten through this last page but love what you all are doing. The lamps, the puppy, the skull, the pear.

Also, Mary, good to hear you have that cast off. Hope you are feeling much better now.


Cathie Jones
01-29-2005, 11:29 PM
Hi Ann - good to see you!

Thanks Mary and Judi - I'm not completely back, just for tonight I think. DH went to a meeting, so I had time to draw.

I looked at several skulls and they all seemed very different - I guess placement of the features depends on age, size, brand of cattle, etc. This one must have had a very long face!

What's next is the bubble bath, followed by some sleep. I had a little cold last week that turned into a sinus infection, so I haven't been sleeping very well.

See y'all in the morning!!

01-30-2005, 12:38 AM
First Draft of skull. Starthmore watercolor paper, soft vine and 4b pencil charcol.

01-30-2005, 05:14 AM
Looks like I wasn't quite right about vine/willow charcoal! :rolleyes: See this thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3156503#post3156503) for information from real experts!

01-30-2005, 05:16 AM
CJ, your skull shows a lot of detail and some subtle shading...I think you're really getting to grips with the charcoal!

Metier, good draft...you seem to have the basic forms down.

Mary Woodul
01-30-2005, 09:13 AM
You can get all sorts of neat stuff in the US that isn't available here! :envy: Next time I'm there I'm going to have to bring some back with me.

Same way I feel Dave, down here. I try to stock up sometimes when I can, in the US, and then years later find things I haven't used, like that peel away charcoal pencil I bought several years ago, that I am loving, but it is quickly disappearing.

Metier, very nice skull.

Thank you Ann, nice to see you.

CJ and Jayd, I hope you all feel better today too. :cat:

Cathie Jones
01-30-2005, 09:46 AM
Good morning - it's a lovely day in Southern California, or will be soon, if a little chilly so far. Don't know what it's like down in 'the city' but in my corner of the desert it's only 28F now, headed for 60F later in the day. I know this was really important to you!!!

Dave, the only thing I've come to grips with is the charcoal pencils. So far the vine has stayed in its little box. I'll have to get it out today.

Thanks for the wishes, Mary. I actually feel okay, no fever or anything, just an annoyance.

Metier, what kind of paper did you use for the first draft?

01-30-2005, 11:43 AM
CJ, Thanks for the weather report. Now I know what weather Luke is enjoying a bit more south of you! :D

Metier, Good job on your first draft of the skull! :clap: :clap:

Live and learn. Heres a charcoal landscape I did and didn't know when to stop. :( Added some colored chalk and that is where I errored. Oh Well, and that's OK..nothing ventured, nothing gained.

01-30-2005, 02:15 PM
Hi, everybody--still sick but I had to pop in to see what was going on.

Judi--I like this landscape--it has a nice smokey feel to it. :clap:

Hi, Meteir--good start on the skull--take a sheet of acectate and draw a perfectly straight line down center of the sheet. You're done. Now keep this little tool handy whenever you are drawing objects that are symetrical. Lay sheet over you drawing the align the line up so that it lies diectly in the middle of your drawing (from top to bottom).. now compare the two sides and see if you manage to get the drawing symetrical. Correct where appropriate. Keep at it--you are doing very well! :clap:

CJ, nice work on the skull--good work establishing the center. On the eye sockets, the black needs to better blend in with the greyer ares and work on establishing some interest variations in shadow with the horns and the cavaty where the mouth is--a nice line drawing. :clap:

PS--I hope you are feeling better. :)

01-30-2005, 03:00 PM
Metier, what kind of paper did you use for the first draft?

Strathmore Watercolor 90 lb. It comes in a tablet. I used the rough side. I'm testing all kinds.

Mary Woodul
01-30-2005, 03:35 PM
Beautiful landscape Judi, it looks like a cold early morning. You gave quite a mood. Get well soon JayD. :wink2: 70° at 2:34pm. Bright and sunny, but the temperature will go way down as soon as the sun goes down. :(

01-30-2005, 04:14 PM
wanted to keep up with this thread JayD - looks interesting

Cathie Jones
01-30-2005, 04:38 PM
Thanks for the critique, JayD - hope you're feeling better, too. I'll be better after I see the Dr Tuesday and get some drugs. Still, I'm feeling okay other than a stuffy nose and furballs.

Judi, I like the landscape, too. Is there something specific you don't like about it?

01-30-2005, 05:10 PM
Judi, I think you gained a lot here with this landscape. It is a lively techniques and you should be proud of it. If I were to say something bothers me--well I probably would have moved or curved the road of center. Right now you have a bisected composition and it doesnt lead the viewer anywhere in particular. Remember that your painting should be a feast for the eyes. Varying the direction of the road a bit might lead to a more ineresting compostion. That being said--consider what I first said about the technique. Do either this one again or pick a new one and stick to the technique--it is a winner. :clap: :clap: :clap:

01-30-2005, 05:12 PM
JayD and CJ, Hope you feel better better soon. DH just came home sick-again. :( :(

Thanks JayD, Mary, & CJ,
Usually my dwgs look better in IRL (that does mean 'in real life'-correct?) and bad on the screen. This one is just the opposite-looks a bit better here than IRL. I took the pick while on the road one morning, and it screamed Mark Leap. Stopped in the middle of the road to get the pic. Did not capture it at all. Oh well, I see Mark has a tutorial and I will try again someday soon. I did find out that soft make-up brushes work good for clouds and blending though. I am really learning what NOT to use, and that is a good thing anyway. I did the pears on some watercolor paper and UGH again! I will redo them now. Win some lose some. :D
Michael's finally opened today (I thought it was tomorrow) and I got some arches cold press and graphite transfer paper! :D :D

01-30-2005, 06:38 PM
Hey everyone, Jay hope your feeling better
Judi I like your landscape it has a misty look to it.
CJ great skull :)
Ok, I was tempted to do a cow skull in charcoal, still need to put darks and lights in it. I am not liking anything I have sketched lately. May need to get away from the pencil and pad for awhile.
I did one of these in pen & ink years ago (that one is in my signature).
oops forgot to say what I used... 4H pencil to do outline sketch; charcoal pencils & a Sanford china marker peel type. shaded with a stump and kneaded eraser.

01-30-2005, 08:16 PM
Hey Sultry, :wave:
I really like the cow skull, He looks partly decomposed. I especially like the fur/hair and the horns. The right horn, the lifting of the dark in the middle section top, really made the horn come towards you. Your 3D is really good here on the top. Maybe a bit more shading on the bones on the bottom. The -our right - eye socket looks good and recessed. :clap: :clap:

JayD, I see what you are saying about the composition. Thanks for the C & C :D

I am posting the 'bad' pears first. I think the effect on the acrylic paper (I said watercolor accidentally in previous post) is different and maybe would use that effect in something else someday. Add that to the blooper file for future reference. Learned not to throw things out.
Second post is the 'good' pears. C & C please.

01-30-2005, 09:00 PM
Hi! I wish I were more competent at referals, but won't try tonight. But I would like you all to see the post by mbeckett in the Weekend Drawing Event, of Pilot Mountain in charcoal. That is lovely. I will try it myself if Dick Blick and Fed EX ever find me to give me the charcoal I ordered.

01-30-2005, 09:00 PM
Judi--interesting. First, the first set of pears are not badly drawn and nothing wrong with them. You did, it looks like, encountered an unexpected effect. I looks like your pears are traveling faster then a speeding bullet or that they are wind swept--so the blooper, if you really want to call it that, is in fact a moment of discovery. Look at the effect that you got and think about where you could apply this effect--a child standing in a rain storm--an empty town livened only by the rolling motion of tumble weeds or even Moses hurling down the tablets containing the ten commandments. THAT is what I see in those pears.

Your second piece is wonderfuly executed--it is precise and technically adept. I like it very much and it is a very successful drawing.

Of the two--I like the first one the best because it is interesting--it speaks of an artist who experiments, who walks the road to discovery.

Great job!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

ps--and all this from pears--critiqued by a guy whose avatar is Gomer Pyle! :D

01-30-2005, 09:21 PM
Hey Connie :wave: , Thanks for the referral. Going over to check it out! Funny how so many seem to be working in Charcoal lately. Maybe this thread has an effect on more than us, eh? I am sorry you haven't received your charcoal yet...seems forever you've been waiting for them. :(

Thanks JayD, I am trying not to be so stagnant. Really will be trying to do more, the people here at WC are such wonderful inspirations!
Hope you are feeling better tonite. :) PS: Love the Moses suggestion!

Cathie Jones
01-30-2005, 09:32 PM
Evenin'! I have a question. :confused:

I've been thinking about JayD's suggestion that I blend the black part of the eyes on the skull into the grey, so I went back and looked at the reference. It has definite black, no blending, because there are holes there. Maybe it would be easier to tell if I had drawn the table it was laying on.

Anyway, when there are definite lines in your refrence, as in dark holes, shouldn't there be definite lines in your drawing? Does everything have to be blended? Or did I just not get the technique that makes the black spots look like holes?

This is just for future reference - I sprayed the skull with fixative before I scanned it so it wouldn't goop up the glass, so I don't think it will blend anyway.

'nite all!

01-30-2005, 10:12 PM
Hey CJ :wave: , I am probably not the one to answer your question (at least not correctly) but I will try. I am posting your pic and ref together here so we can look at them. I remember once being told "look closely, do you see all the color variations". Maybe that is what JayD is kinda saying. Even when you do the inside of the mouth, you would not make it stark black. There are variations. I see on the ref the left eye (our right) is black and you do have a varied black-grey.

JayD's quote:"On the eye sockets, the black needs to better blend in with the greyer areas"
I see this can come into play with the cows right socket (our left). There is also much more grey variations and texture to the bone in the sockets.
Does this make sense?

There are no lines in the ref, just color changes.

Not the best at 'splaining. :D

Maybe JayD will jump in here.....

Edited: because I still don't think I answered you correctly. :( :( :(

Cathie Jones
01-30-2005, 11:16 PM
I think I see what you mean, Judi, especially about the texture in the ear socket.

Here's a close-up of the eye area that shows the definite change from black to grey without blending . . . this is what I was talking about - there's a definite line there, that could be made more 'ragged' to show shattered bone, but it is a definite color change, not blended.

Are we saying the same thing in different ways?? :D

Fireman's kid
01-30-2005, 11:54 PM
Hi all! I've been reading the latests updates and actually took notes so I could comment. lol :D

Sults - Your cow skull is very good. Not sure if this is included in your "not liking anything" comment because I don't see anything not to like. Also you said you were still planning on adding darks and lights. I think the darks look good already. You could maybe refine some of the lights but that's it. For me, my favorite part is the horns - especially the right one! :clap: Btw, I read somewhere that you had been talking to your daughter on the phone. That must be sooo nice. Glad you finally got to hear her voice!

Judi - I see you are experimenting with different papers. I admire your bravery. I'm trying to use up my abundance of sketch boooks and drawing pads before buying more, so I'll try to learn from your bravery. The texture of that acrylic paper was interesting, but I agree, not best for smooth pears. The second try, however, is great! The shading on that middle pear really makes it 3D. You nailed that little bump that comes out the front toward us.

CJ - I looked at your skull drawing next to the reference (Thanks Judi!), and I have to admit I would have made the change between dark and gray a definite line too. Although I might have gone with a more jagged line like your second suggestion. I don't know what the "right" answer is, but that's what I would have done. :confused:

Connie - charcoal is growing on me so I'll have to go check out that post. Hope your charcoal gets delivered soon. :( I hate waiting. You are sure being a good sport about it.

CJ and Jay - I am glad to see you are both surviving and hope you are on the mend soon. :)

So like I said, charcoal is growing on me. It's dirty but it is also quicker than graphite, which is good for a slow person like me. And I've figured out to use a "dirty" cotton ball or swab to get my lights. And because I am using a thicker pencil and haven't bothered to try to get a sharp point on it, I think my charcoal work is marginally looser than my graphite work. That's a good thing!

So today I started and finished my pear trio. I have to say that I like it - it is probably my favorite class assignment yet (just based on finished result). The only problem I had was apparently the pencil I used to sketch the shape of the pears had a hard spot in it. This left scratches in the paper which I wasn't able to fully cover. If you look closely you can see some thin white lines where they don't belong, especially at the bottom shadow area of the pears. But other than that I am pretty happy.

Don't let my reaction keep you from giving an honest C&C though. There is always room to improve. :)

01-31-2005, 12:42 AM
Nice pears, Stacy - they really look 3-D.

Michelle (who should have been in bed two hours ago)

Cathie Jones
01-31-2005, 12:51 AM
Hi Stacy! I don't seen anything in your pears that need improvement. They're smooth like pears, the shadows follow them, you have the direct light and the reflected light . . . what more could you ask for? :clap: :clap:

01-31-2005, 07:06 AM
Stacy, I would not touch them --spray fixative, sit back and enjoy. Nice Job!!!

01-31-2005, 10:18 AM
CJ and JayD – Hope you feel better soon.

Stacey – great pears!! CJ & Sultry – good skulls!! :clap:

Judi - I liked both the landscape and the pears! :clap:

I forgot to bring the pear reference home with me, so instead I decided to experiment with my brand new white charcoal pencil and a photo from the still life class. This was done on colored pastel paper with charcoal pencils.
It looked better before any blending. I stopped because I think I was just making it worse.

But we are here to learn, and this one had lots of lessons: charcoal pencils although much less messy than vine, are nowhere near as forgiving; they are also difficult to get an even blended shade; and someone please tell the operator to think about the background first! :wave:

01-31-2005, 11:08 AM
Hey Judi, Stacy & Cleo ty and yes I did add more to the bone and even added bg. I am working out more lights Stacy but I wanted to wait to spray with fixitive so I could add white chalk too. Will post update soon. :)

Judi & Stacy I love the pears. :) Judi I like the 2nd one :) Stacy do what Jay says, lol

Cleo that is very interesting how you drew this, are you planning to add more? I like the compositon of this piece also. :)

01-31-2005, 11:56 AM
Connie...thank you for directing me. I visited Stoy's weekly thread to look at Mbeckett's drawing and it was worth the trip. Plenty of other good drawings too...and so many from our classmates (including you).

Cleo...I like your drawing a lot. The bowl has come out really well and the all the spheres have good shading and highlights. And, I agree with the comment on the composition...it is good.

Sultry...your drawing of the skull is terrific :clap: Okay, it is incomplete, but only if you say so. It looks a finished drawing to me.

Cathie...I like your skull drawing a lot too. In fact, until you posted your version and the discussion that followed I had no intention of attempting to draw it.

I agree with you, there is a definite point where black turns to grey in the sockets. I think this is the point where the cast shadow ends. You get a grey next to it, in this case, because this edge occurs inside a depression.

You could also have a depression (or socket) that is deep enough for the grey to turn very dark and even black without a cast shadow. In that case I think blending might be the correct thing to do.

Metier....I think you need to examine the symmetry of the two halves before you proceed further.

Judi....I like your landscape and the second set of pears. I agree with Jay on his comment about the position of the road.

Stacy, excellent pears :clap: Obviously I can't see well enough :D since I could not spot the hard lines even after being directed to them.


01-31-2005, 01:17 PM
Hi Everyone!

Judi encouraged me to drop in and introduce myself here.

I have always loved to "doodle" ever since I was a young girl. I drew a lot then, but mostly horses. Then I got fixated on barns. Pretty limited.

For the twenty years I had young kids around I quit drawing, then I took a one-semester drawing class when I started college in when I was in my mid-thirties. I loved it, but life got in the way again, and now a dozen years later I'm picking up pencils and paper again.

I'm starting out 'way back on Class 1. I noticed there was a Pre-Class Assignment to post something that you've tried to draw in the past. Instead of forcing everyone look at it again, I beg you folks to let me submit my Old Pottery Sketch post as that assignment.

Now I need to get back to Class 1 and start absorbing all this new information. Thank you JayD for all the time and effort you have put into this!

01-31-2005, 01:27 PM
Greetings Anniesmith :wave: Welcome to the group!

Sultry/Blah - I can't take credit for the composition it was that way in the photo, but thanks anyway.

Connie - I agree with Blah, the lead on the Drawing Thread was worth the trip. Thanks.

Cathie Jones
01-31-2005, 01:27 PM
Good to see you Blah! Thanks for commenting on the skull/shadow. I think it would have made a big difference if I had taken the time to work on texture. I find texture very hard to do with charcoal, but maybe I'll try a macro of the skull and see if I can get it.

Cleo, I like your fruit bowl, too. Good composition and shapes! :clap:

Welcome, Annie! Always good to have another classmate. You'll love this - it's a lot of fun. Take your time and work the lessons - don't worry about catching up. You're not the only one in the earlier lessons . . . it's an on-going thing.

JayD and The Subbies aren't tooooo hard on us! http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Jan-2005/23460-smilie_whip.gif

01-31-2005, 01:30 PM
Hi Blah, and ty for the great compliment but I am my worst critique and I always seem to find flaws in my work. lol

Hey, Annie hi and welcome to 101, yes listen to Judi she is right about what ever she told you, to get you to join us. :) I too, was not sketching everyday as I am now, when I started this class. I may of doodled maybe 2 times a year, I have not gone a day with out working on a piece, since I have started. I do admit, I may get discouraged sometimes but then I go back and look at my prior work and realize I have learned alot. :)

Mary Woodul
01-31-2005, 08:33 PM
Hi All!, hope everyone is feeling better, now my husband and I both have the flu. :eek:

Sultry, you always surprise us with something so unique, just love your skull with the feathers.

Judi, you pears are both beautiful.

CJ, your skull is also very good, never thought of the grey or black value in the eye socket.

Stacy, I thought you were done when you posted that one, beautiful pear and these are just as beautiful. You have such a smooth, soft, touch with charcoal.

anniesmith, welcome, how nice to have you here.

Well I took a peek at the eye class, in the portraiture forum, but thought I'd do my own, in charcoal first and post it here. I couldn't get my grandkids over, for their beautiful eyes, so I took my own and drew it, minus the wrinkles. :evil:

Vine charcoal, charcoal pencil, white charcoal on sketch pad paper. I think the line where the lid meets the eyeball is too hard but I had already sprayed it with fixative when I saw that.

01-31-2005, 08:50 PM
Hey Mary! :wave:
Great eye! So much detail in the iris! The shading,highlighting and modeling are wonderful! 'Eye' see you got the inside edges of the lid as well! Isn't the portraiture class great!
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Annie, :wave: I am glad you came in to say hi. We'll come visit you where ever you are when you post. :D

01-31-2005, 11:16 PM
Oohhh Mary OUTSTANDING EYE, I like how it looks wet, such great reflection on it :clap: :clap: :clap: & Ditto what Judi said. :) Hi Judi :wave:
Oh here is the cow skull & I recieved my draw cat book today & have started a cat in charcoal (almost done with that too) will post it a little later. :)

01-31-2005, 11:33 PM
Wow Sultry, He is surely finished now! Wonderful job! KAV! I was just going to log out. So glad I didn't. :D
:clap: :clap: :clap:

02-01-2005, 12:26 PM
Sultry.....Your drawing has so many subtle variations and details, and highlights. It is just fantastic :clap: :clap: :clap:

Mary, sorry about the flu. Get well soon.

Lots of very nice things about your eye. As Judi said, the detail in the iris is terrific. I like the shading above the eye (I don't know what it is called, but I mean the fold above the eye), and excellent eyelashes, in particular the upper eyelashes.

Drawing the thickness of the eyelid (which I only learnt from the portrait class) certainly makes a big difference. but I think you have made the lower eyelid too thick. I also think the pupil (and the iris) should have a perfectly smooth edge. Your iris is fine but the pupil has jagged edges. I also think the outer end of the eye needs a small correction.

Most of my comments, I realise, would probably apply to the portraiture aspect. As far as using charcoal goes, I think you have done a very fine job :clap:

Anniesmith, welcome to Basic 101. This is certainly one of the most enjoyable classes I have ever attended. I am sure you will like it and benefit immensely from it.

I am attaching my first assignment for class 11 - I hope to do two or three this week - pears drawn on cartridge paper using vine charcoal, my fingers, an ordinary eraser and a putty eraser.


Mary Woodul
02-01-2005, 12:49 PM
Sultry your skull is just marvelous. I love the texture you gave the bone, it looks like real bone and then the extras you put in are great, like the feathers and the rope around the horns.

Blah, your pears are extraordinary. I don't see any ungly smudges from your fingers and I love the sandy texture the whole drawing has.

Thank you, Judy, Sultry and Blah. You are right Blah about the thickness in the lower lid and I am posting the reference picture because I was shocked to see the little jagged edges of the pupil. Although I think I exagerated them.
Don't ask why I didn't put in the ugly pleat in my upper eye lid, and all the wrinkles,I didn't know how :evil:

02-01-2005, 12:58 PM
Mary...I stand corrected. You have done an accurate drawing :clap: and now that I have seen the reference picture I appreciate the charcoal rendering even more :clap: :clap:


02-01-2005, 12:59 PM
Hey Judi & Blah :) thank you.
Blah your pears look so smooth and great value shading. I do see one thing (it may be the scanner but I see little light streaks across it from the left corner going up). It may be my computer too.

I could not wait to show you guys my cat in progress, I sketched the kitty outline in 4H; did the fur in charcoal pencil and blended with stump and kneaded eraser. I have started on right eye and a little around it with HB pencil for detail. I still need to pick out more lights with kneaded eraser. I am loving charcoal. :) The rest of kitty does not have HB pencil detail yet, nor does the left eye. I still need to blend by kitty's cheeks or muzzle. Too dark of a shadow shows.

02-01-2005, 01:04 PM
ohhh hi Mary we must of xposted :) I love your eye and ty for C&C

02-01-2005, 01:09 PM
Sultry, you are right, there are some streaks running across in the scanned version. I don't have the drawing itself next to me; will check that out later. Thanks.

The cat is coming along very nicely. I can see that you are really good with charcoal.


02-01-2005, 01:29 PM
Some great work been posted here recently. Mary...that's a great eye. Blah, those pears are perfect! Sultry, two great drawings!! Wow...you are so talented. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Feb-2005/52179-1356.gif

Annie, welcome!

JayD, hope you're feeling better!

02-01-2005, 02:41 PM
Well, my charcoal got here. Now, can I send it back? I spent more time washing my hands than I did drawing. The result is okay, but I didn't enjoy doing it at all.
I am going to try to post the link to the version of this (definetely better than mine) in the Weekly Drawing Event, quite a different place than the Weekly Drawing Project here in the D & S forum. Maybe here Maybe here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t+246883)
Sultry - your cat is showing real character already. Is he a cuddler?
Blah - the pears are so smooth. That seems to be a challenge for charcoal.
Mary - That eye is awesome.
Edit --- I tried the link and it didn't work. Back to the drawing board for that project, too.

02-01-2005, 02:56 PM
Connie, I think this is lovely! Shame you didn't enjoy it, because you're obviously good with charcoal!

02-01-2005, 03:25 PM
Ty Blah, Dave & Connie :)
Ohhhh Dave I saw the tortoise he is so cute :) :clap: :clap:
Connie I agree with Dave, you sure do know how to do landscapes very well. :clap: :clap: :clap: Connie that is not my cat, it is just a ref pic. :)

Mary Woodul
02-01-2005, 05:38 PM
Sults, your cat is already so cuddly and the eyes are for real.

Connie, that is a beautiful landscape. You should defintely do more of those. :clap:

Cathie Jones
02-01-2005, 06:05 PM
It just occured to me that life would be perfect if you could erase watercolor the way you can graphite and charcoal.

Just thought I'd share that with you.

02-01-2005, 07:45 PM
Evening All :wave:

Hope you are all feeling better, those who are sick.
Sults, Thats a great WIP of the Cat :clap: :clap:
Connie, Love your landscape. :clap: :clap:
Blah, Your pears are fantastic! :clap: :clap:
CJ, :wave:

02-01-2005, 08:03 PM
Hiyas Mary ty, CJ I wish we could erase acrylics too. Ohhh Hiyas Judi and ty, here is the Cat all done. I do not want to over work it. I think I am not skilled enough to figure out 3d ears and noses. lol (Someday I will achieve that status). :)

02-01-2005, 08:20 PM
Sults, The cat looks terrific! I love those eyes, wonderful job!
:clap: :clap:

Mary Woodul
02-01-2005, 09:03 PM
Hi CJ, No big smiley..... :crying:

Sults, that cat is gorgeous, the fur is so real, I want to pet it. The eyes are excellent.

Hi Judi :wave:

02-01-2005, 09:15 PM
Another Try (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=246883) Another try (http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t+246883) I am going to conquer this link thing, lots of people can do it, so why not me? Jet PM'd me some help, but I thought that was just what I did. Here is another try. Maybe here Maybe here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums.showthread. php?t+246883)
Thanks for the positive comments about the landscape. I thought this was a lovely photo reference, and Mbeckett convinced me that it could look good in charcoal.

02-01-2005, 09:18 PM
Charchol inspired by dream sequince in Spellbound - on TCM this weekend. I had trouble because I used drawing paper and it did not have enough tooth. Paper would not hold any more. Original is included.

02-01-2005, 09:26 PM
Metier - that is scary - even scarier than the technology that is driving me batty.
Another Try (http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t+246883)
I promise this is my last time tonight.

02-01-2005, 10:37 PM
Meteir, that is one great drawing. I like the eyes--this is really, really good. :clap: :clap:

Connie--you have a nice touch for landscape and for charcoal... don't quit charcoal. If you do not like the charcoal's touch or mess--consider this:

1. using latex surgical gloves

2. now try experimenting with the blending and watch what happens.

I cant stay long but I wanted to stop in and say hello and what a great job you are all doing this week--what's this about eyeball drawing Mary and Meteir--a great idea!

I am dealing with a severe migraine and hopefully will be back in shape in a day or two. I will pop in however to make sure everybody's camping happily. :)

02-01-2005, 10:50 PM
Metier - that is scary - even scarier than the technology that is driving me batty.
Another Try (http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t+246883)
I promise this is my last time tonight.

Connie, the link I have sent you works perfectly well--> This is it (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=246883)

the URL must read
------> http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=246883
and not http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t+246883

I guess you didn't click on my link to test it, earlier.

I hope this works the way you want..


PS- Here's a link, in case you just want a link to the picture only (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jan-2005/45731-RockOutcropping.jpg) .

02-01-2005, 11:01 PM
Evening again All, Subbie Subbie fell asleep at the helm. Long day. :(
Metier, great job there! That is a really cool picture! :clap: :clap:
Connie, Don't feel bad, cause you got it now! I try to cut and paste here and it doesn't want to work for me either, although I cut and paste at work and it is just fine :confused: . I'll try too..



JayD, :wave:
So sorry about your migraine :( . Never had one but I understand they can be bad...hope it goes away soon!

Hey Mary! :wave:

Cathie Jones
02-01-2005, 11:11 PM
Wow! I should have come here earlier . . . been a busy night!

Here you go, Mary. Sorry, I was at work earlier and sometimes I get interrupted before I can upload a good smiley! :D Here's one for Sultry's fantastic cat!

And the eyes . . . that's the scariest thing I've seen since spider cones!!!

Connie, stop already . . . the link works! And that is one fantastic drawing, isn't it?

JayD - get a grip, man. You've been sick too long now . . . we miss you when you're not here. Say da secret woid, take two aspirin, and call us in the morning!

Cathie Jones
02-02-2005, 12:27 AM
I didn't expect to finish this tonight, but couldn't stop . . . it's from the back of the "How To Draw What You See" book - caught my eye last night and, although his example is for washes (or something like that) I wanted to do it in charcoal.

The shell is dark, medium and light charcoal, kneaded eraser for highlights, and the shadow and background are willow (we used to think it was vine).

C&C please . . . although, once again, it's been sprayed so I don't know how much I can fix.

02-02-2005, 01:30 AM
Haven't been here for a while, last night I turned on my notebook and lo ! couldn't find wetcanvas... the telecom company did some changes and I couldn't access half of the internet... I hope they correct the problem asap...

I am now at the office and just looked at the past posts.. so I have to say that Dave, Sultry, Judi, Stacy, Cleo, Mary, Blah, Connie, Metier, Cathie, and Nancy you have all done so great... :clap:

02-02-2005, 03:06 AM
I didn't expect to finish this tonight, but couldn't stop . . . it's from the back of the "How To Draw What You See" book - caught my eye last night and, although his example is for washes (or something like that) I wanted to do it in charcoal.

The shell is dark, medium and light charcoal, kneaded eraser for highlights, and the shadow and background are willow (we used to think it was vine).

C&C please . . . although, once again, it's been sprayed so I don't know how much I can fix.

Beautifully done Cathie! :clap: I don't think you should mess with it. ;)

02-02-2005, 04:37 AM
It just occured to me that life would be perfect if you could erase watercolor the way you can graphite and charcoal.

What, and loose the thrill of danger!! I've been taking watercolour classes for a few weeks, but don't seem to be making much progress!


02-02-2005, 04:44 AM
Love the cat Sults! Don't know how you manage to make him look so fluffy!

CJ, great shell. Just think what a breeze the classes on wash are going to be for you! No erasing, though! :wink2:

Metier, glad I didn't see that one last night before I went to bed!! http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Feb-2005/52179-peepwallA.gif

JayD, sorry to hear about the migraine. Hope it's better this morning.

02-02-2005, 05:36 AM
I didn't expect to finish this tonight, but couldn't stop . . . it's from the back of the "How To Draw What You See" book - caught my eye last night and, although his example is for washes (or something like that) I wanted to do it in charcoal.

CJ all I can say is this shell looks veryyyyyyyyyyyy 3d to me. :clap: :clap: :clap: !!!~KAV~!!!
The reason you could not stop is because you thouroughly enjoyed working on it anddddddddddd your eyes saw it and from what you have learned you knew how to apply what you saw. You Have Come A Long Way Baby :wave: :clap:
Hey Judi, Mary, CJ, Vasil & Dave ty for the :cat: C&C :)

Oh Dave all I did was draw the cat outline fluffy with a 4H pencil, then I added the soft strokes of the charcoal and blended them with the stump to make them appear fuzzy. After that, I stroked them a little with the kneaded eraser and last sketched in the fur lines with HB. I am thinking of going back and doing a report on this book, It really has helped me to draw a cat more 3d then before. I will post my old ugly grumpy cat and a new one and a how to draw a cat in wip so you will see what I mean. If any of you are interested. :)
Speaking of this, I think we should all go back and check out our old sketches and compare them to todays. That is such an uplifting feeling to see the improvements.
CJ, I told you in pm what to do if you can. :)

02-02-2005, 06:33 AM
Morning All:wave:

CJ, I love your shell! Yes hard to stop sometimes.... :)
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Dave, you should check out CJ's watercolors! They are KAV! The koi fish is especially wonderful. Are you enjoying your watercolor class? :envy: I was to sign up for one but missed the sign-up date. Hopefully next time.

Sults, Hard to believe your cat can be improved much.

02-02-2005, 06:43 AM
Dave, you should check out CJ's watercolors! They are KAV! The koi fish is especially wonderful. Are you enjoying your watercolor class? :envy: I was to sign up for one but missed the sign-up date. Hopefully next time.

I have checked them out, and I agree!

The class is fun, though it only lasts two hours which goes by very fast! Just at the moment, it's hard for me to paint (as opposed to draw) at home, so progress is slow!! :mad: I got so frustrated on Monday trying to paint waves crashing onto rocks that for the spray I resorted to squeezing Chinese White directly from the tube onto the paper and smearing it with my finger! :eek: Shhh...don't tell the watercolour police. :evil:

02-02-2005, 06:49 AM
oops...wrong forum

please delete..

sorry :(

Cathie Jones
02-02-2005, 08:50 AM
Dave, I think the watercolor police heard you! :eek: Actually, one of the professionals, who is a 'partner' here, uses white gouache (much better than white watercolor) applied with his fingers to create ocean spray.

Thank you everyone, I'm so glad you like the shell. I really do like working with charcoal. You should check the watercolor forum, though, of you want to see some really good stuff. I'm just an amateur.

Fireman's kid
02-02-2005, 10:16 AM
It just occured to me that life would be perfect if you could erase watercolor the way you can graphite and charcoal.

Cathie, I'm with you on this. Monday night at my art class I spent the whole time trying to lift hard lines left by using miskit/liquid frisket/whatever you call it. I swear I unpaint as much as I paint. And it ain't easy! :mad:

I saw some great stuff here from last night. It makes me want to do another charcoal although I should be going back to lesson 8 to do the dreaded tree.

Cathie Jones
02-02-2005, 10:22 AM
Hi Stacy! How about doing the dreaded tree in charcoal?

02-02-2005, 10:36 AM
Frisket is expensive for lifting--also consider using drafting tape.

02-02-2005, 10:40 AM
Dave, when you get a chance, grab a book called Watercolor Troubleshooter by Don Harrison. It will make your watercolor experience a pleasant one by helping you to cut though some common problems. A very enjoyable book.

02-02-2005, 11:13 AM
Thanks for the tip JayD. Feeling better?

Cathie Jones
02-02-2005, 11:13 AM
JayD, I don't think Stacy meant she was using frisket for lifting. When you use frisket to 'save' the white paper and paint around it, the watercolor has a hard edge when you remove the frisket. Then you have to soften the edge, like the blending we're doing with charcoal. It's a pain, but sometimes it's the only way to reserve the white. :D

And you thought I was just another pretty face . . . :eek:

02-02-2005, 11:17 AM
no, the migraine persists but I can't sit still.

Cathie Jones
02-02-2005, 11:39 AM
Hi JayD - hope you're feeling better soon!!! :wave:

Mary Woodul
02-02-2005, 01:16 PM
Hi All, :wave: .
Metier, wow, that is fantastic and scary :eek:

JayD, take care and sit still. Hope you feel better. :D

Hey, Jet! :wave:

Connie and Judi, I cut and paste also but I have wanted to do what you are trying to do Connie and I can't understand how you put here, instead of the URL.

CJ, your shell is so keen. I love it! Thnaks for the simleys.

Hi Vasil, we've been missing you.

Hi Sults, Gavin, Dave, Judi and Stacy. :wave:

Judi got your PM, that will be fine.

02-02-2005, 07:58 PM
Hey Mary! :wave:

Quiet here tonight!

Mary Woodul
02-02-2005, 08:06 PM
Hi Judi!, Very quiet. I guess everyone is busy drawing. :D

02-02-2005, 08:12 PM
I had better get to doing that too! :D

02-02-2005, 08:14 PM
Hi Mary & Judi lol yup I am working on Natalie again lol :rolleyes:

02-02-2005, 08:21 PM
Glad to hear that Sultry! :D

02-02-2005, 08:28 PM
JayD, I hope your migraine goes away soon!!!! :)

Mary, I wonder how they do that with the here in the URL also. :confused:

02-03-2005, 04:22 AM
Mary, I wonder how they do that with the here in the URL also. :confused:

Good morning everyone!

What you do is press the Insert Hyperlink button (it's the one that looks like this http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Feb-2005/52179-createlink.gif above the text entry area.) It then gives you the chance to optionally enter some text for the link, and that's where you would type here or whatever. Then click OK and then paste the URL into the next box, then click OK again, and there you have it!

02-03-2005, 06:04 AM
Morning Dave :wave:
Thanks for the hyper link info. :)

Mary Woodul
02-03-2005, 01:52 PM
Hey Dave, thank you! That is what wanted to do the other day and had no idea. :clap: :clap:

Hi Judi, :clap: now we know. :D

02-03-2005, 01:58 PM
I had just completed my second charcoal drawing for this class (it had come out reasonably well too) and I ruined it completely while applying the fixative :crying:

Just in case this is of help to any of you...I made the mistake of spraying a second coat before the first one was dry, with the result that it ran, bringing down streaks of charcoal dust.


Cathie Jones
02-03-2005, 02:17 PM
That's awful, Blah! :crying: Hope it was something that was easy for you - it's especially hard to lose the difficult ones!

02-03-2005, 02:32 PM
There is some excellent art posted in this lesson! Congrats to all!! :clap: :clap:

I could not find the reference for the cow skull and by the time I got to Stoy's thread the pears were long gone. :D . Before starting this piece I experimented with all the different papers I had around the house with vine, willow and pencil charcoal. That alone was a learning experience and as Connie indicated...very messy....but fun!!.:evil: :evil:

The turtle was done with vine and pencil on Grumbacher Charcoal paper (9"x12").

The figure study is from the Loomis book and is charcoal pencil on the rough side of a sheet of Mi-Teintes also 9"x12".


02-03-2005, 02:53 PM
WOW JOE ~~~~ THIS IS WONDERFUL MASTERPIECES ~~~~ :clap: :clap: :clap:
I have been checking threads off & on today, I have a terrible migraine (no did not catch it from JayD) so been in bed most of the day. Sorry if I missed anything. Will come in later to check again.

Mary Woodul
02-03-2005, 03:25 PM
Oh Blah!, I'm so sorry to hear that, it is very sad for it to happen to your wonderful work. One thing that has happened to me is that I forget to shake the can of the fixative and then it gets white spots all over your work. :crying: :wave:

Joe that is very impressive work. The composition and work of the two together has a similarity.

Sults, take care, I'm sorry to hear about your migraine, it can make you feel very miserable.

Cathie......((((( :wave: )))))

02-03-2005, 03:42 PM
SSSHHHHHHH--Sults--dont let every know that I may have given you your migraine--my wife says I am a big headache! :D I am still nursing mine but it is better.
Joe, I love the nude--you should cross post over in the figure forum so that others can enjoy. I recognize that from--that is the one I wanted to do for Stoy's WDT. Nice job--especially the eyes and I get the reptillian texture. :clap: :clap: :clap:

02-03-2005, 04:01 PM
I've done that --well post it anyway--no sense missing one of your masterpieces because of a fixative accident--besides--it's an opportunity to learn--frustrations are just as good learning tools as successes. :)

HIIIIII__SEEEEEEE JAYYYYYYYY(cj)--I dont use frisket for water colors--I use masking fluid which smells to me like Glucophage--I've used it for pencil and of course pen and ink. So i will try that.

02-03-2005, 04:19 PM
For what it's worth, whenever I spray fixative I always lay my piece flat on the basement floor and then spray. If I have to move the piece, I keep it flat till it has had plenty of time to dry.

Sorry to all the migraine sufferers. How about a dark room and some soft classical music?


Cathie Jones
02-03-2005, 05:27 PM
shhhhhhh . . . all these headaches are giving me a headache . . . or maybe it's the sinus medication .. . . ;)

So, JayD, now that you're feeling better, would you please go back a page and look at my seashell . . . and tell me what you would have done differently. I already see things I would change if I hadn't sprayed fixative (only once, and after shaking the can :D ). Kudos are nice, but somebody must have said, "Now, if I had drawn that shell, I would have . . . . "

Now that you mention it, when Stacy said 'frisket' I was thinking masking fluid - the terms seem to be interchangeable in the watercolor forum. I had never heard of frisket that you could cut until the Hillberry book.

Gotta run . . . work calls . . .

02-03-2005, 05:41 PM
Hi, CJ--the first thing that I would do is to deepen the shadow that is casting on the ground from the shell. You can definiitely go a bit deeper. Dont be afraid to to that. I dont like the background because it is busy and my eye is not drawn to the shell but is directed immediately to the backgrund. I would have gone wiith a more sandy or stippled background.

I love the way you have the texture of the shell following its contours. That really works for me. Inside the shell, you could go a bit deeper. I like the haloing around the shelll--keep that.

All in all it is a nice picture but what I see is that you are treating other media like watercolor--a light and delicate touch abounds in all of your drawing and this IS a good thing but you have to remember that it is ok to work the pressure, it is ok to experiment--next time you do a drawing--make a point to try something, anything that you have never done, techniquewise, before.

How'd I do? :D

Cathie Jones
02-03-2005, 05:51 PM
A+, JayD. :D Thanks.

Maybe darkening the shadow and inside would take care of the thing I would have changed - the dark rings at the bottom - I would have blended and lightened them. Also, I wanted to make the background look like sand, but don't know how, so I went for a (what else) watercolor technique of making the background darker so the shell would "pop." I hoped it would look like watery ocean bottom.


02-03-2005, 06:21 PM
Blah - Sorry to hear about your fixative problem. :( That has to be very very frustrating.

Sultry, Mary and JayD - Thanks for the kind words!

Sultry and JayD - Hope you are feeling better quickly. :)