Beginners Charcoal Drawing: Learn to Draw with Willow Charcoal Techniques | Shellie Cleaver | Skillshare

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Beginners Charcoal Drawing: Learn to Draw with Willow Charcoal Techniques

teacher avatar Shellie Cleaver, Visual art + academic writing classes

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Types of Paper

    • 3. Charcoal Techniques

    • 4. Materials

    • 5. Charcoal Invitation To Draw

    • 6. Now to Start Drawing

    • 7. Your Project

    • 8. Charcoal Class Thanks Updated

    • 9. More Art Classes

    • 10. Teacher Introduction

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About This Class

Join artist Australian Shellie for this 25 minute class, as she takes you step by step through creating your own willow charcoal drawing.  Suitable for all skill levels, this easy to use medium is forgiving and allows for mistakes, making it the perfect drawing medium. Start this class today and see your drawing evolve.  This class covers the materials you will need, and shows you an easy method to develop a drawing of any subject you choose.

Meet Your Teacher

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Shellie Cleaver

Visual art + academic writing classes


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1. Introduction: Hello. My name is Shelly from Sydney, Australia. Thank you for joining me for this beginners charcoal drawing class. I'm really thrilled. You he charcoal, especially Willer. Charcoal is such a beautiful medium to draw. It offers a sensitivity and the capacity to be subtle whilst also bowled. You can have the beautiful sort of smudged grayness of charcoal, and then you can have the dense of blacks that you can build up, especially when using fixative in this class. We're going to look at the time of paper to use when drawing with charcoal, because it does matter and it does make a difference. We're going to consider how you use the charcoal and what other materials we want made were also marriage lens. Different techniques for drawing with charcoal. This class is suitable for all skill levels. If you're a beginner, don't worry. The techniques that I'm going to share with you just require simple mark making. So don't be too worried about ending up with a perfect drawing. This is much more about actually becoming familiar with willow charcoal and learning about the different ways to use it, and manipulated and has what she creates in different effects. So once you've gathered raw materials, let's head over to the next costs and let's get started 2. Types of Paper: before you start charcoal drawing, you need to actually think about what sort of paper you'd like to use due to the chalky, dry nature off charcoal. You're really looking for a paper that has some texture to it so that the actual charcoal will come off and adhere to the paper surface when you drag it across. Another consideration is that charcoal drawing often involves, you know, rubbing back a layer, working back into it, raising sections, working other sections up so they become really densely black. And because of this, you want a paper that has some weight to it. So let's go through a few different paper types. We've got brown craft paper. This sort of paper is thin, which is an ideal for charcoal. It also has quite a slippery sort of surface. So it would be fine for messing around and, you know, maybe doing a quick sketch. But it wouldn't be suitable for anything that you wanted to work over in layers, anything that wanted really dense blacks. It wouldn't be really suitable for any drawing that you actually wanted to keep or developers a major work for the same sort of reasons your regular copy paper or notebook paper isn't ideal for charcoal. It's really, really thin, usually around 8 80 GSM, and it doesn't have the truth or texture that our papers might offer. Which charcoal really needs. Teoh. Build up layers, have some density and, um, have some longevity as a drawing. So when we look a visual art diaries there a reasonable choice. They're usually around 110 GSM, some maybe a little higher. Um, these do offer some texture, and they they offer a good surface. But the paper is still on the thin side, so it wouldn't really be ideal for doing ah ah, significant work of art in charcoal on for that sort of drawing. You really looking for watercolor paper like this, you can see the texture of the surface. Um, it may not be watercolor paper. It may just be a really high quality drawing paper, which has a lot more weight and some texture to it. Stonehenge is an example of ah, you know, better quality drawing paper with some weight. It's reasonably smooth, but it has enough of a tooth that the charcoal will come off as you draw on it and it allows for the opportunity to do layers to rub them back. And if you're trying to build up blacks, you can actually use fixative to fix that layer of black and then toe work over it again and do this over and over. Then this is how you get a really date velvety black with charcoal. 3. Charcoal Techniques: so the first charcoal drawing technique he can use is simply drawing, so that involves taking the stick of willow charcoal and dragging it along the surface of the paper to create the image that you want to make. Another technique he can use for charcoal during its to break off a tiny piece of charcoal the end and crush it into a powder, dip your fingertip into it and then use your fingertips to draw. This creates a really soft image, gives you a lovely, shadowy starting point, and then you can draw into these sort of smudgy marks and start to build and develop your drawing that way. Another approach using this crushed charcoal is to use it to smudge across the paper in a in a shape not to actually draw with it and you just creating a smudgy base so that you can then draw into that using an array za um, a party. A razor like this is really ideal for charcoal, drawing a regular one white work as well on what the party razor does is it just lifts up the particles and lifts away the charcoal, creating a lighter space where you've put the razor so you can see he the drawing is coming together, and then he can draw back into the image or making with the charcoal, and then you can repeat the process and keep building it up that way. So for this technique, you do a simple line drawing using the willow charcoal. I'm just drawing a paint tube for this example. It's not. None of these are very good drawings, but it's just to show you the technique. Then you take your fingertip or a rag and smudge it over the drawing. It just made this, softens it back, creates a beautiful great own across the image and gives you a chance to then come back into the drawing using the child called just that, creating detail and building it up. Then you can get your party rubber, and you can actually start lifting charcoal off on this one. I'm doing it where the light might be hitting the paint tube, and you know you can repeat this process over and over. Hatching or mark. Making is a way of drawing where you do a simple line drawing, and then you build up the tone within the image using a series of lines, and the lines are often parallel to each other, and then they may cross across those lines to build up density of darkness on This isn't ideal for willow charcoal, because it's so soft and smudgy you can't get a really firm or fine line. Um, you can make marks, but it looks a little course. If you wanted to do finer hatching, you would use a charcoal pencil. Um, and you can also use marks. If you place him in the direction that the object is moving in space, it actually helps to tell the reader about the shape and form of what you're drawing. Charcoal drawing, particularly with willow charcoal, is such a beautiful medium. It has a lovely, soft, warm gray quality to the color. But if you want to build up really dense blacks with willow charcoal, the process that you need to go through is to actually draw the dense blacks on and then spray with fixative and just give it a few seconds to actually set And what the fix it does it it is. It adheres the charcoal particles to the paper so you can see how much it's it has smudged without the fixative. And then when I spray the fixative on top, just give it a moment to set. When I run my finger across, some will still move, but nothing like what it did beforehand. And then what you do is build the layers and repeat this process over and over. There is no limit, and artists actually get a really, really dense, black, rich black. Using this technique, it's a really lovely approach to chuckle, drawing. And once you finished any kind of a charcoal drawing, whether it's in an art diary or in a loose piece of paper, you should fix it. So spray the entire image with fixative, and you probably want to do two or three layers of fixative with a bit of a break in between. For it to set always used fixative outside in a well ventilated area because you don't want to be inhaling the fumes 4. Materials: So here I've got a box of new willow charcoal, Alderson rapid and show you what it looks like. These are the willow charcoal sticks. Another form of charcoal comes as a charcoal pencil. The self is a slightly hot, a great of charcoal, but really good cause you can shop in it. And he we've also got a party, a razor, which is really useful for charcoal drawing. And this is a standard razor, which is good for charcoal drawing. But not as essential is the party, Raisa. 5. Charcoal Invitation To Draw: join me. I invite you to draw and follow along with May. Gather your materials. Copy what I do on the video tutorial. Pause the video as you need and start working on your project. 6. Now to Start Drawing : So here we're just going to have a quick goat drawing. I've taken a small piece of charcoal and I have used the long edge, and I have just created a dark background, and now I'm actually drawing into that charcoal using the party A razor. I'm during a water spray bottle and I'm just mapping in the main shapes. You see how effective that party a razor is in lifting off the charcoal? Now I'm getting my charcoal, and I'm actually gonna draw into that now and just start mapping in some details and create a bit more of a sense of form with the object on drawing. So let's start on a new page, and we're going to start any drawing of the same object now. The method here to make it really easel easy for people of all skill levels is to take a piece of charcoal and you're simply placing a mark just a dot at various points that start to map out the object. This major not committing to any lines. It gives you the space to get a sense of the proportions. Teoh to consider where the top of that bottle relates to the bottom of the bottle to the handle of the spray trigger, and it gives you the opportunity to keep reworking it until you really feel like you've nailed down the correct proportions. I've now watched over the drawing with a paper towel, and that's left in memory of those marks, but im now reworking them. I'm looking at the object, and I'm assessing where the lines should go, and I'm just making a mark. Every now and then I'm drawing a line, but it's basically just mapping it out with dots. Dane, I've wiped out the marks, but you can see now there's more of a history remaining on that page, and I'm working back into it again with my dots on considering. Have I got the width of this? Correct? Have I got the heart of this correct about the angle of these lines? Correct. And all the time, I'm looking at my object, looking at my page and making visual assessments. Have I got this right so that I can see that the image off the water bottle sprayer is really coming together? It's coming together to such a point that I necessarily to actually put in lines because I've done enough mapping out of the object to be quite confident that I've got the proportions. Right, The angles. Right. And the lions. Right. So you see, I'm marking them in sama. Thika, Some Athena. This is good because it add some life to drawing. If everything was uniform, it would be incredibly boring and lifeless. 7. Your Project: So your project for this class is to get some willow charcoal and to draw on object and use the steps shown in this class would love it if you would actually share photos of your drawings on the class page so that we can all learn from each other. And if there's anything you're not sure off, just send me a question. I'll do my best to answer certain to help you improve your drawing skills. 8. Charcoal Class Thanks Updated: Thank you for joining me on the beginnings. Charcoal drawing class. I really hope you have enjoyed this class and that you've been Abbas. Follow along and begin your Aren't we learn charcoal drawing. We've considered the paper to draw on the materials that you made. And we looked in the right of techniques that you can use with ruler charcoal. It is such a versatile medium. If you enjoy the class, please review it, please Like it and share it with your friends. I'd love it if you'd share your projects on the project page. Really? Get a kick out of seeing what my students draw, and I'll be able to offer a few encouraging words and a few tips to help you with your next during the place. To be brave and shame work. I know it really makes a difference in the cost. Well, have you drawing? And I look forward to seeing you for the next class. Bye. 9. More Art Classes: I've made lots of classes on painting and drawing and water colors. Color theory, endless classes for you to take, and you'll find that each one you do your skills will develop and grow. So let's have a look at how to follow me on school Share. Here is the full I button. Click on this, and if you hover your mouse over this part here, it'll take you through to my profile as well. Under my profile, you'll see all of the classes I've created, and you'll be able to see the range of classes you could take. So here are highlight a couple of my classes color mixing basics for absolute beginners. Copying the masters with Shelly Learn to paint. Watch me work. Embrace fear in the creative process. Begin is charcoal drawing how to paint gloss and beginners figure drawing gesture. I'm creating new outclasses all the time on I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to support you as you develop your own creative skills and make your way on your own creative journey. So let's start making stuff 10. Teacher Introduction: so from a creativity is central to what I do. It really feeds. May I think creativity is vital to our well being and is worth pursuing and is worth investing time in. My name is Shelly. I'm a Sydney based artist, Andi. I work across many mediums. I studied oil painting at the National at School in Sydney. It was a beautiful sandstone jail with a very traditional Italian based structure. So we learn drawing every stage of education I love to make. I love cooking. I love music. The thing that I love about school share is the opportunity it offers for me to share my skills with people. I've studied so many things, and I tried so many different creative and artistic disciplines on projects that this opportunity to share my skills to encourage others it really means a lot to me. So the trick with building and creative practices to actually build up of routine and to have a space that's dedicated to your creative work. If possible, it's hard to develop a practice and really, if you can make it daily, you will see the most progress you'll also find, gain confidence and move forward far more effectively than if you do something one day and then don't touch it for another few months. My family believe that artistic and creative skill doesn't come down to talent, Sheldon said. Once that you can't know the talent of a man or one until they've actually put in many, many hours of practice and work on. That's when talent is revealed. My family delayed. Everyone come on creative skills and everyone can develop a creative ability that's not easy to achieve. But it's worth trying to actually building to every day that space where you can be creative, whether you take class. When you do a little sketch of something in your home with you, try and draw your pit all of these acts of creativity, valuable and would doing it comes down to your building, your own language, your own crave context in your own creative environment. And this actually is what will facilitate you being a creative person. And that could be quite overwhelming for beginnings because I haven't got that and I don't understand that. But by taking these classes step by step, you'll build your skills, your knowledge and also you experience and confidence. And that's the thing that's worth pursuing. Because in the end, your own artistic, um practice could really sustain you and sustain your life. And there is no end point. So it's a fantastic. So I really hope with these classes, help you on your creative journey. And they make doing these creative activities less scary and give you some confidence to move forward in your in practice. Thanks for stopping by. I really hurt my classes of helpful for you. You might even say my to studio assistants Ali and Millie in some of the classes.