Charcoal Basics for Beginners | Diane Flick | Skillshare

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Charcoal Basics for Beginners

teacher avatar Diane Flick, Artist & Art Teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

20 Lessons (60m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Measuring - Part 1

    • 4. Measuring - Part 2

    • 5. Light Values - Background

    • 6. Light Values - Rocks Part 1

    • 7. Light Values - Rocks Part 2

    • 8. Medium Values - Pulling Highlights

    • 9. Medium Values - Sand Shadows

    • 10. Medium Values - Sand Highlights

    • 11. Medium Values - Rock Shading

    • 12. Dark Values - Compressed Charcoal

    • 13. Adding Details

    • 14. Blending

    • 15. Sharpening Edges

    • 16. Modeling

    • 17. Texture

    • 18. Adding your Signature

    • 19. OPTIONAL - Spray Fixatif

    • 20. Recap - Wrapping up

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About This Class

Welcome to Charcoal Basics for Beginners! In this course, you will learn the basics of charcoal drawing. You will learn techniques such as measuring, shading, blending, and creating textures. By the end of the course, you will be able to recreate a realistic image from a photograph. I hope you enjoy the course!

Meet Your Teacher

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Diane Flick

Artist & Art Teacher


Diane Flick majored in art during college and went on to graduate school, receiving her M.A. in Humanities with a creative study emphasis in 2001. She has been making art her whole life and teaching art to children and adults since 2005. She loves to share this joy with folks who are interested in the same.

In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family and friends, playing her ukulele, dancing, and wearing wigs while referring to herself in the third person. Though truth be told, she hasn't actually tried that last bit about the third person self-referral yet. She conceived of it upon writing this and is now anxious to give it a go.

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1. Introduction: Hi, everyone. My name's Diane. I have been teaching art for 14 years and I've been making art my whole life and I love it . I hope to inspire you to love it as well. Today we're gonna be doing a basic charcoal class, and we're going to be copying this photograph of three rocks stacked at the beach, and we're gonna end up with a drawing that looks something like this in charcoal. So the skills you're going to be gaining today are learning how to draw a measure realistically learning about the different types of charcoal and how to use them toe layer and create different values and charcoal values, meaning lightness or darkness, and also how to create different textures such as sand and pitted rocks. This class is perfect for anyone who's never used charcoal and never drawn before. But if you have a little bit of experience with either, it's also good just to add a few more tools to your toolbox. So feel free toe. Follow along. Go ahead and grab a cup of tea or cup of coffee. Bottle of water. Turn on your music like that candle. Whatever it is you want to make your environment. Yours also, make sure you're wearing something that you don't care about getting a little dusty. And you're in an area that's okay to get a little dusty, cause you're gonna get a little messy with this class. So pop on that music and enjoy. 2. Materials: so the materials you're gonna need for this class are a regular pencil. Just a number two pencil is fine with a cap eraser. Or you can use a separate eraser just a regular eraser. You'll also need a special kind of racer for this class. This is called a Needed A research. It kind of looks like putty, and the more you stretch it, the cleaner it gets will get into that more in the class. But it's definitely clay like you will need a blending stump. This is a tool used for softening fine edges. You will need a charcoal pencil, um, and a sharpener. Ah, you definitely is a handheld sharpener for this kind of pencil. Don't use an electric sharpener because it might break your electric sharpener, and even if it doesn't, it will probably break your pencil. This is optional but recommended, which is an eraser pencil. It's This tip of the pencil is actually an eraser, and it's great for getting really fine sharp edges. You'll also need your charcoal. We have two kinds of charcoal. The vine charcoal comes in these little plastic pouches, and it looks something like this. You can break them into pieces. It's very light and willowy, Um, when you color with the charcoal, which I'm going to do right here, just a zone example. The vine charcoal goes on very lightly, and it blends really easily, and it also races really easily. The other kind of charcoal, called compressed charcoal, is much darker. I recommend breaking this into smaller pieces to just about that. Size is fine and you'll see it goes on much darker. It also blends very well, but it does not a race as well. So we do all of our introductory colors, placing our values down with the fine charcoal. And it doesn't race, but not as well as the vine. And then we put the compressed charcoal on after. Something else you may need is a sandpaper pad, optional but recommended to have on hand. And we use this for sharpening edges. If you need to sharpen an edge from one of your pieces of charcoal during class, you also should have on hand just a rag or a towel because you're going to get a little messy, and it's nice to have something toe. Wipe your hands off with So in art rag or a paper towel, and then, lastly, in order to seal your image. Once we're done with the picture, I recommend having a bottle of fixative. This is workable fixative. You can also use something called matte finish. If you prefer workable fixative works great for, um, keeping your charcoal from smudging. Matt Finish also does that, but workable finish does it so that you can go back into your image and work on it more. If you would like to. After you sprayed it, you'll also need a piece of drawing paper. Make sure the drawing paper that you have is recommended for charcoal, and it'll easily say that on the front of whatever drawing pad you buy at an art store, it will say good for charcoal. Or you can ask a sales person and on that piece of paper have ah, five by seven frame drawn, which is exactly the same size as your reference image. You'll also need to download and print this reference image from the home page on the class . You can also tape both images to a board to make it mobile and easy for you to pick up and move or if you I would prefer you can just do it flat on the table. You don't need to have them take down. 3. Measuring - Part 1: So we're going to start this image by just drawing with our pencil. We're gonna draw the basic form of the three rocks, and I'm going to start that by showing you how to measure the three rocks. This reference for the photos the same size is your frame. So everything that we draw is gonna be the same Size is what you see in the reference photo . So that makes measuring pretty straightforward. We're gonna use our pencils a measuring tool. You can use the tip of your pencil for one side of a space and mark the other side with your thumbnail or the tip of your thumb. So once you have that and are able to pick up the pencil without anchoring it to the paper , you can pick it up and move it over to your paper lining your thumbnail up now with your side of the frame the right side of the frame and make a little mark. And I'm gonna be drawing darker because I want you to be able to see it. But you go ahead and drop very, very lightly on your papers so that your pencil marks won't show through in your final image. Now that I know how far away from the side it is, I'm going to go approximately to the center of the tip of that rock again and see how far it is from the bottom of the page or the top. I could measure this distance to its typically easier to measure a shorter distance, though, So I'm going to use the bottom and see how high up that comes market with my other finger and make a mark. So where those two marks intersect is where the tip of that rock should be. And then I'm gonna do the same thing for the other sides of the rock. Here's the bottom edge will be right here. And I'm gonna see how far away that is approximately from the left side. So I'm glad I checked because I was way too far over to the right. So where these two intersects is where that bottom corner is Race. My mistake. Do the same thing on the right. I'm putting my pencil pretty much about halfway up this rock or at the closest point. The rock is to the left side of the page market with my left finger and make a mark. And then again, just putting my phone nail about halfway up that rock. I'm going to see how high up the page it is, and it's about right here. The back or the top of the rock is obscured by the second rock. But you can just make an educated guess if that line or to connect about how high up that would be, because it's much easier to draw full forms than it is to try to stop here and stop there and then draw this rock over the top. So we're going to draw three full forms for these three rocks. So what should come up about there? Another option is to use your original bottom mark and see how far that is from the top. Or you could just use that to check. And that looks about right. So I'm gonna leave it, and now I'm going to draw the approximate form of that rock, and it's lovely to draw natural shapes because you really don't have to worry about precision or perfection. You can really just kind of sketch it in and get it approximately toe what you see. Don't worry about any little bumps or lumps and irregularities on the sides. You'll put those in later with the charcoal, even if you were to draw them. And now charcoal is a very kind of messy blending medium, so the chances that they would survive the first layer of charcoal is very slim. So you really only need to worry about basic outer shape, making sure that this tilts up and the top is round and the left side is really round in. This side's a little point here. I'm happy with that, so I'm going to leave it. 4. Measuring - Part 2: Now we can move on to the 2nd 1 We're going to exactly the same thing. Measure from one side. Doesn't matter which side you start with. Make a mark, See how far it is from the bottom or the top of the page. Make another mark so they intersect and then we'll do the bottom or you could do the top. Next. Doesn't matter. The bottom will come down to hear infringing on this bottom rock. And this is a much flatter edge. But I'm still going to just see if I get I just want to make a mark. So I know about where that round part should be, and I guessed pretty accurately there. So that was lucky. And then I'm going to check the left side, which will be that far from the side of the frame and this far from the bottom, another lucky guests, and then the top edge we'll measure from the top of the page since it's closer than the bottom. And that will be that high. Um, and I'm also gonna just double check it from my original mark was here. Look, moving from that bottom edge over to the left since the highest point is over to the left. From it, it looks like that's about right. So then I'm gonna draw again. Remember, impressing harder than you should be. I want you to press really lightly so that your pencil lines don't show through in your final. So this goes up, uh, an angle and then kind of bends over, so it's pretty flat on top. And I feel like I need to make this slope more Maurice my mistake. And just evaluate the shape and see if I'm happy with it. I feel like this Didn't I made slope a little too much. So I'm gonna make it a little bit more of a corner there, and I'm happy with that. So I'm gonna leave it now. I will do the last rock. I'm just going to do the left side first just to mix it up. Let's be spontaneous. Um, and I'll show you another way of measuring when you use that same mark to measure where the right side is. Rather than using the side of the page, you get generally the same result. It's just a different point that I'm using to measure from. Oh, I forgot to measure the height, so I'm going to go back and do that where those to intersect is about halfway up that rock . And then this is really round about where those to intersect will be about the middle of that rock, and I'm going to check the distance from the top of the page to the top of the rock and that to the bottom and the top in the bottom are so either flat or around. I'm not gonna do the vertical because it's pretty easy to deduce where that should be, based on the fact that it's so close to the top edge of the rock and that it's a flatter shape. If there was a point of your part there, it would be make more sense to put in the vertical mark. Now I'm gonna draw very, very round a little bit more of a slope on the left side than the right. I'm going to go up a little higher and then over there and then here. I need to make this arounder that bottom corner, and I'm happy with that shape. So now once you're happy with everything, go back a race all your measuring marks and erase the part of the rock that should be gone . So the top part of the bottom, most rock and the top part of the second most rock you can erase, we no longer need those. But because you drew them, you get a very believable form race measuring marks, wipe off the crumbs and draw your lines back in. So that's it for the drawing part. But before we get onto the coloring, I'm just gonna have you take your eraser and lightly a race you're drawing so that you can just barely see it. We definitely want to be able to see every line, but make it as light as you possibly can without actually getting rid of it. And that will eliminate even more the possibility of your pencil lines showing through in the final image. Wipe off the crumbs and we're ready for toning 5. Light Values - Background: So now we're gonna put in a light layer of charcoal over the entire drawing. And to do that, we're going to use the vine charcoal. We talked about this earlier, but the vine charcoal is the lighter of the choices, so we want to put all of our values in with vine. First value is just a word meaning lights and darks. So I'm snipping off a little piece so it's easier to work with, and I'm gonna start in the background. Generally speaking, you want a color in the direction of the thing you're copying, but were coloring sand, which it has somewhat horizontal orientation to it. But it's very lumpy and bumpy and all over the place, so really, we can kind of just afford to do little circles in whichever direction. What you don't want is a vertical direction or diagonal, because those will defeat the slight horizontal nous of that picture. But just about any any other thing goes, including scribbles. You can start by just giving a little bit of a light outline to the rocks. I'm starting on the left because I'm right handed and I don't want to smudge the color as much as possible. If you're left handed, start on the right for the same reason. And then once you have that outline and that's just to protect the rocks from getting too much charcoal into them, then just start coloring. And we're going for this. Approximate lightness. You can see this. Look, what I'm doing looks a lot darker, but keep in mind when you blend it, it's gonna lighten up considerably so you can Don't definitely don't press hard. Definitely try to get a light layer in there. But don't worry if it looks darker initially than you want it to. Even if smudging it doesn't take off all the color you want. You can always pull some off with the kneaded eraser, which I'll show you in a while. So you're just putting kind of a light coat over the entire background. Don't worry about the pits and dips and shadows and stuff in the sand. You're just trying to approximate this value over the whole thing. And also don't feel like you have to cover every teeny little bit because when you blend, that will fill in any spots you missed. So I'm going to continue outlining here to preserve my edge. Keep going in circles or horizontal zor whatever. A little of both. One more you can blend as you go, or you can color the whole thing and then blend after it really doesn't matter. When you get up to the edge of your rock, though, be go slower and use the edge of your finger so they preserve that sharpness. If you try to use the middle, show you what happens. It just smells smudges in, and you absolutely lose your pencil line. If that happens, just grab your eraser, pointing your eraser towards the edge. You want to preserve the sharpness of a race back out, blow off your crumbs if they don't blow off, just gently wiped. Um, then blow again. But, um, ideally, you just want to blend with the edge of your fingers so that you don't get any into the rocks in the first place. It's just eliminates a step if you can if you can do that. So we're going to keep going, circle emotions a little more outlining little coloring, and I feel like blending. Now. I'm just gonna skip back to where it started because I want to and use the edge of my finger around those rocks. It might be easier if you want to turn your board. You can certainly do that any way you want or turn your picture. If you're not taped to do aboard, you can just turn the piece of paper so that it's easy for you to blend against the edge. I'm using kind of the edge of my finger, but it's the tip of my think tip of sorry, the edge of the tip of my finger, since I'm pointing perpendicular to those rocks right now, whatever goes, as long as you're trying your best not to get color inside the rocks and I'll finish coloring, find to get color outside the frame. In fact, it's best to err on the side of that versus not getting all the way up to the edge. You don't want to leave any white showing next to your frame, because if you frame this, you want it to look finished. So going off the page and you can see I accidentally went inside the rock a little bit when I colored that top bit right here, there's a little white line showing That's my original pencilling. So in that regard, um, original pencil lines can be helpful because you don't lose your drawing when make a mistake like that. And I'm going to use my pencil. My cabaret, sir, to Reese that out alternately. You can use your if you have one. I had mentioned that this was optional, but you can use your pencil research, which is much more precise. Tool. And I adore these things. They're just fabulous for this reason. So I could go around and kind of clean up many mistakes I made. Not that you're not going to get even more charcoal into it later. It's just sort of keeping it neat. As you go on, we'll blow off the dust. What doesn't blow off? I'm gonna use a clean finger. I use this one to smudge. So I'm not going to use that one clean finger kind of wipe over the eraser combs because they do like to stick and then blow off again. 6. Light Values - Rocks Part 1: and we'll also do a lightly on the rocks. So this is where it can get a little dangerous. You don't want to lose your rocks by accidentally coloring them exactly the same values the background. So really, pay attention to the edges. Notice here. Which edges lighter? Is that the rockers at the sand on this side? It's the rock. So I'm gonna make sure that if I put any color here, I'm gonna make sure it's a lot lighter than the sand where as down here, it gets a little shadier there almost the same. So I'm just going to get right up to the edge of the rocket darker, and then later I can always dark in the sand if I need to, But you want one or the other to always be lighter or darker so that they contrast so you can see the edge. So I'm going to start by coloring pretty dark right here along the bottom edge. This on each of these rocks. It has a darkest place that's called the core shadow. The core shadow really allows your object toe look three dimensional because it gives it that rounded appearance and there's Usually there definitely is in this picture. There's almost always a little bit of light below the core shadow that's called reflected light, and that helps it to look like it's really curving under. So we want to preserve that. I'm going to go up here in color a light layer, and when I say light, it looks very dark. But this is vine charcoal, so it's gonna blend out lighter than what I'm putting in just where that shadow is. And even though there's plenty of value here, it's very light value. So I'm just going to rely on my blending to fill that area, and I'm not gonna actually color it. Then when I blend, I'm gonna get right up to the edge of the rock over here. I'm gonna just soften some using the edge of my finger down to the bottom of the rock, preserving that reflected light preserving the edge shape. And then if you I feel like I have to much charcoal on my finger to effectively go into that area without darkening it too much so you can go into your scratch area and just wipe your finger off. If that's the case, and then I'm gonna go in along the top. And now I'm blending in circles cause I really want that to spread unlike down here it was blending kind of in a lying, so I didn't want it to spread. I wanted to keep that edge really nice and sharp on the top. I'm going to put my finger right up against that bottom edge and just go kind of side to side, blow off the dust, white my finger again and go back and do the same thing Little circles to encourage. It's a blend down into this area, and it's a little too uniform. I don't have as much light as I'd like here, here, but don't worry about it. As long as you can see the form of the rock, we're gonna rectify all of that later. It's just kind of blocking in those main shadows. And now we're going to the same thing on the next to rocks. So this next one definitely very light along the edge starts to get dark here. It kind of has almost a jellybean shape shadow right there and then it gets a little bit lighter and then dark again I'm really only coloring where I see the really darkest parts and right up to the edge and then right underneath this rock. And as I color it as you call, you'll notice you're forming these little points and peaks on your vine charcoal, which you can use to your advantage. If you have a sharp edge, just 0.1 of the peaks at it and color right next to it, and that'll form another peak, which you can use later. Blow off the dust and blend again, kind of going side to side along the bottom edge of this shadow to maintain the integrity of the rock shape and the reflected light on the bottom edge. White my finger in the scratch paper area and then go back and blend in circles on the top because I really want that to spread a lot. When I get here. I don't want it to spread so much, cause it's a sharper shadow than it was here. So instead of just spreading it everywhere, I'm gonna be a little more careful and just go a little more side to side to keep that, um, the integrity of that shadow intact and then up here and going to go side to side to keep the bottom edge of that rock intact. Plus, this shadow doesn't spread as much as that one did. So I don't want to go in quite a Sfar. When I did that, I accidentally kind of flattened out the bottom of this top rocks. I'm just gonna take my eraser pencil, pointing it towards the bottom edge of the rock so that it's very easy for me to see into a race and making sure I'm not putting the heel of my hand in my paper and keeping it well out so that I don't smudge it. I'm going to just re claim the bottom edge of that rock and the no wipe off those little crumbs and blow. And just looking back at that, I'm gonna smudge this a little more on the right. It seems to need a little bit more gray and throughout this part, just a little bit, because I don't want that really to be the brightest part. And now same thing on the top, Brock the top rock. There's a very distinct pit right there, black that that seems almost radiate out into the rest of the shadow. So I'm gonna use that and just start from there and then color out from it. And as I get out to the edges, just make it much, much lighter. Not even going out to the edge on that one. Fully flow off the dust and same thing kind of side to side on the bottom edge, keeping the integrity of the shape of the rock as well as the reflected light white my finger off on the scratch paper and then do circles on the top egx. 7. Light Values - Rocks Part 2: If there's anything that got compromised a little bit, you Congar back and put those edges back in, like down here again. Remember to keep your edge of your hand outside the picture and just put the tip of the pencil. Or if you, if you have a really study hand, you can also do this where you have her over. Or if you absolutely have to anchor your hand in the picture, you can. It's just that it gets a little messy. Your hand gets dirty. It tends to smudge stuff, so it's really best if you can avoid doing that. But it's not the end of the world, so I'm gonna erase that just so I can really see the shape. Same thing here. It's just better to err on the side of not losing your shape. Even if you think that's not so bad, I can still see it. You don't want toe kind of absent mindedly lose it altogether without noticing it. So it's best to kind of a race and keep the integrity of the shapes as you go and then up here. We want that a little bit later, and all those crimes love to stick to the papers. I'm just gonna lightly loosen them with one clean finger on, then blow. Often I need to do that again because they really stick. Particularly eraser. Pencil crumbs. Love to stick. Not sure why, that is, they just do part of their personality. So that's our light layer. Now we'll move on to the medium's. 8. Medium Values - Pulling Highlights: first thing I'm going to do is pull off A little bit of light in the sander is because I want There's to be a lot of areas where the color is lighter than the value I have here. So I'm going to use the kneaded eraser and to use this, you want to just stretch it and stretch it until you get a pretty light gray area. The lighter, the gray, the cleaner, the eraser and the more color will pull off. So I'm just gonna lay it down and see. I've already got, like, kind of a ghostie shape there. I'm just gonna do that a bunch. So I'm just dabbing at the color at the value to pull some off, being pretty careful around the edges. But I do want to get right up next to the rocks because what we don't want is to have a halo of darker grey and then everything around to be lighter gray. We want uniformity in the background. So I'm doing this mostly in the background. You can see I've already picked up quite a bit of colors. I'm going to stretch again and give myself the cleaner place and I'm doing it mostly in the background cause it's lighter in the background. It gets darker as we get closer to the foreground. So I'm just gonna do it about halfway down the paper. It also has the added advantage just by chance of leaving kind of, ah, Dabbagh Lee pattern, which is perfect for sand, so we'll stop there. 9. Medium Values - Sand Shadows: Then you're gonna take your vine charcoal and go back and put in a bunch of patches. So with this, you want to be very, very varied, actually, um, put in different shapes, different sizes and, most importantly, different spacing. A common mistake is to kind of get into a pattern and end up with dashes for circles that are very evenly spaced, and it ends up looking very inorganic. So try to kind of break the boundaries of that mindset and put in very large, very small. The only thing everything should have in common is a generally horizontal orientation. You wouldn't want a pit that goes vertically, for example, cause that doesn't match with the the image. Um, another thing to be mindful of is, make sure you get right up to the edge of the rocks for some of them. Just so that again you don't end up with a halo of perfection around the rock and then a bunch of pits coming almost to the rock but not touching it. If you have your pits touching the rock, it will look like they're going behind it, which is what we want. So do a bunch and then smudge them by smudging them were just dabbing. If you rub, they'll just blend into the background and disappear and make your background darker So we don't want that. We're just very lightly dabbing at um, and as you dab, you can kind of dab a little further to either side than the actual dab go. The smudge goes, and that will make it look like it kind of disappears more organically. So do a sample do a bunch like that. And then if you're happy with, um continue. If you're not happy with, um, you can either go over them, you can erase and try again. It's a very forgiving medium. So let's say, for example, just to show you that I don't like this part. So I'm gonna just get rid of it, blended out and do more. Definitely use your reference photo as inspiration, but I deeply encourage you not to try to copy exactly what you see, because that would be, at least for me a maddening exercise. So I'm I'm using it to get the approximate shape and form of what the's pits look like, some deeper, some thinner and dabbing to blend as I go, Don't worry if your sand starts to get too dark as mine is weaken. But we're gonna go back and lighten some areas between these pits. It's just kind of a matter of getting the form in. And that's also why we started out by lightning the sand to make sure it wasn't gonna get too dark, because this process alone will dark in the whole area as you move forward. Another thing is you want your pits to get larger because as a rule of perspective that the closer something is to you, the bigger it seems. So we're creating the illusion that the foreground is closer to us than the background. By making our pits bigger as we come forward. It's also kind of nice because you don't have an entire page of the same size pit. Psychologically, it's more fun for me to vary the size of things and hopefully free to cause that's what we're doing as we get under the rock, the foreground rub. You can really put a line underneath it because we really want that shadow very dark and then pull some pits out from that line so that it doesn't actually look like a line. It looks more like a shadow. And then in the front, those air more like kind of maize lines like you would see in a maze on the back of a cereal box or something. But they're very blurry because the photograph is focused on the rocks, not the sand. So I'm switching from pits, two more like big, fuzzy, thick lines here, but still very horizontally oriented and just dabbing like crazy flowing off dust is you need to, and coming around the bend, we're almost done. Leave a couple big areas showing you put a couple more right here and then I'll call that good. 10. Medium Values - Sand Highlights: So now I'm going to go back with my pencil, Reeser and sorry, not my cabaret, sir, because it's a little bit thicker so it can pull more color off and especially in the background, I'm just gonna pull off a little bit more color where the pits are not generally above each pit is a good place to pull color off because that's where the light would most naturally hit. And we want those pits in Earth, not the pits. We want the light areas in the background to appear slightly lighter than the ones in the foreground. And as I moved down, I'm still a racing but impressing lighter with theory Circus. I wanted Teoh gradually get darker as it goes down. I don't want it to be like the top half light in the bottom half dark. So now I'm just sort of dabbing at it with the eraser. And I'm gonna do the same thing over here, not letting my the heel of my hand touched the paper. Another trick, if you need to, you can put a piece of scratch paper under the heel of your hand just so the oils in your hand or not smudging the charcoal, you still have the opportunity to smudge it if you have a piece of paper between your hand and here. So ideally, it's best to just keep your hand off. But again, if that's really difficult or frustrating, you can use the paper. Or you could do this where you're holding the pencil of a you know, great length and keeping your hand off blow off theory. Sir Crum's The Razor comes from the cabarets or come off a lot more easily than the pencil Aries or so There's not much loosening I need to dio, but that will be it. Now I'm noticing that because I did all that erasing it really sharpened up the edges of the pits, and I want them to be much more blurry in the background. So I'm just going to go back and and sort of casually lazily dab at them to make them a little blurry again. And that may or may not have happened to you. If it doesn't, then you don't need to do this step and wiping off my finger on the scratch, and then I'm going to go back in and again clean up any edges that accidentally got compromised with that background layer. And I'm using the eraser pencil because of its lovely precision, and then we'll blow off and wipe off any crumbs. 11. Medium Values - Rock Shading: Now we're gonna go back into the rocks and do mediums on that so you can just start with a second layer of vine and see how far you can get with that. But the vine only does take you so far, it's just not gonna be as dark as we would like it to get in some areas. So you can just do a second coat in the very darkest places and then re blend and see if you feel like you need more. Yeah, that's not really doing much, at least on that rock. Let me see what it does down here now that darkened a little bit. And it is nice to approach layers with, um, some conservatism so that you don't end up with big black blotches where you don't want TEM not looked that worked well down here. It's pretty dark. I'm gonna sharpen up the edge of that little shadow, thereby just stabbing at it and then hear this shot. It was actually pretty light, with the exception of his really dark pity part. Pity, meaning like pits not having pity for, um So Okay, now I'm happy with that. And, um actually, yeah, that's good for the mediums. Then we'll get onto the dark's 12. Dark Values - Compressed Charcoal: Okay, so now we're gonna move on to our dark layer with the compressed charcoal, so you're gonna be just adding those kind of really intense darks with both this and with the charcoal pencil. Both are about the same darkness. The pencil is just a much more precise tool, and the compressed charcoal is more for general areas, so we can start with the compressed charcoal and moved to the pencil. Um, we'll start by putting a little bit more dark right underneath the bottom edge of this bottom rock. Any time something is touching the surface of another object, that's gonna be words darkest. Blow off the dust and just use the edge of our finger to soften so that that bottom edge of the rock stays really shirt alternately. If your finger is not working for you in this regard, you can use the blending stump, which is more precise. Tool. The issue with the blending stump is it tends to take off more charcoal, so it's better if you can use your finger if you could get away with it. But the stump is also fine. And then I'm going. Teoh, add a little bit of dark right here and right And right there where the core shadow is darkest. So not at all touching the bottom edge. Just kind of a big, long, thin splotch in a couple places and that I'm gonna blend down towards the bottom edge, keeping my finger really close to here on the edge of the rock so that it doesn't go break that boundary or get to blending. And I'm just gonna keep going over here to the right, and then I'm gonna do the same thing on the top Egx right where the rocks touching right where the rocks are touching. Keep in mind you're not going the full length of the rock from corner to corner because they don't actually touch each other the whole way. If you look over here on the left, it's actually really light right there. And even here on the right, it's almost white. So we're just doing it in the main section and right where the rocks touch. Same thing for the bottom rock. I didn't want to go all the way to each side, cause then it just looks like a black outline. You just want to put the darkest black, where something is just touching the object below it. So again, I'm using the very edge of my finger to soften blow off the dust, and that's good for that. Appear not quite as pronounced darks as there were on the bottom rung, but there's a little bit on the right side. So I'm gonna put kind of a thick line and right here blow off the dust and blend, keeping the bottom edge right, keeping my finger right next to the bottom edge of that rock and then on the top edge, just doing little circles so that it's much is a little bit more and finding another corner . I'm kind of getting a dull a joint money charcoal, so I'm gonna switch. So I'm I'm using a corner because that's how you get a nice, precise edge again, not going the full length of the bottom into that rock just kind of in the center, and then a big dab where that blackish pit area is and just sort of smudge it in a circle and then dab out to the side so that it blends in with the vine charcoal. If you had any trouble with any of that, you can go back and use the charcoal pencil. The reason not to use the pencil in the first place is because it doesn't tend Teoh, um cover as well as the compress. You want to try to use the compressed in as many areas as possible. The other reason is the tendency if you start with a pencil, is to get to detailed before you really get the blocks of color in. So you want to get those blocks in first and then go back and detail later. As for the rest of the sand, I'm going to take the compressed charcoal again and just put a few darks where I see the darker pits down here. But I'm not gonna touch the rest of the sand. I don't want any of that to get darker. Just in this shadowy area beneath the rock and most of the shadows, shadowy pits you're putting in should touch this dark line that you put beneath the rocks so that it looks like it's an organic extension of the shadow. What you don't want is a line on the bottom of the rocks and then a bunch of pits that don't touch it because it'll look pretty calculated if you do that. And then we're just gonna depth blend by dabbing, and that's our dark layer. So before I begin the details and kind of finalizing everything now that we've got all our colors mainly blocked in my hand is incredibly dirty, I'm sure yours is too. So if that's the case, you can wipe it off. Just have ah on art rag nearby or paper towel. You can wash your hands, too, but I find washing my hands during a charcoal picture is not always the best because I come back with slightly damp hands, which can pull off color. So I like to just have something nearby toe wipe on. 13. Adding Details: So now we're going to do some detail work. Were mostly gonna be using the charcoal pencil and the eraser pencil because it's very detail oriented. So Well, actually, let's start with the eraser. Pencil will start by pulling off color so you can go back into edges and start erasing where you see the lightest lights. This is not doing the best job, but I'm gonna keep using it just because it does such a nice job getting those edges really crisp. And then I can go back with the cap eraser to pull off brighter details down here. I'm gonna add that kind of irregular little point edge that we had talked about earlier, not to draw. But, you know, you can put that in now if you want. And I'm gonna really erase into the shadow, but very lightly because I don't want to pull the shadow off. I just wanted to gradually change from lighter to darker. I'm happy with the bottom edge there, so I'm not going to erase more. In fact, if anything, I need to darken it. But I'll do that later with the blending stump and then over here on the right the Shadow definitely took over a lot more of the light than I wanted it to. So I'm gonna race back into it and use that to keep to get my edge back, Meyer. A nice, sharp, bright edge blow off the dust, wipe off crumbs flow off more than just kind of keep doing that alternately. Now I'm going to use my Capri, sir, as I said I was going to and go back and just really erase out a big area here. That's lighter, because that part I really want to be nice and bright, kind of coming down in a rounded shape right over the top edge of this core shadow. Here, blow off the dust. And that blew off really nicely. Same thing over here just to get a big break patch. 14. Blending: And then, as I mentioned, I'm gonna use the blending stump and encourage this core shadow down into that reflected light. So I'm just putting it in the core shadow and kind of coloring with the blending stump in little circles to soften and dark in there. Sorry, soften the edge between the core shadow on the reflected light and dark in the reflected light itself. And I'm just kind of using my eyes and looking back and forth between the two images until I'm satisfied with how dark that's getting. By pulling more color down. It's not really getting his dark as I want, so I'm gonna go out here into one of my smudges. Or if you don't have a smudge on your scratch, you can create one with the compressed charcoal rub. The blending stump in it just tested a little bit to see how much color you have on there, and then you can use it as a coloring tool and go back and darken, and just keep doing that until you get it is dark if you want. Or maybe years was already is dark as you want. You don't have to do this or Maybe it was too dark and you want to use the eraser pencil to lighten it? Everybody's is gonna be so different over here. I've created a little bit of a point, so I'm going to use the blending stump to kind of soften that I'm barely touching the paper and just sort of dabbing at it. And then I'm just going to evaluate and see if there's anywhere else over here. My sand actually got a little compromise. You can see I have a fuzzy white edge there, so I'm going to use the blending stump and push back in to create that nice sharp edge again from the rock against the sand and then over here and when I use the blending stump to just extend the edge of my shadow a little bit. So it softens again. They're sharpens against the bottom of this next rock, so I'm happy with the basic shadows and nice sharp edges and stuff here. We're going to go back and do all of this modeling after we're done, kind of refining the shapes of the other rock, so we'll do that in a minute. One thing I want to point out you may be able to see this white line here, which is my original pencil line from my original rock drawing. And that happened because I pressed too hard with my pencil. So if you see that, it's just because you did, you press the little bit too hards. No big deal. We can incorporate it into the drawing just by pressing a little harder and making sure we we kind of put some texture over that area. So you can do that by using Try the blending stump first. Just do little circles over it. It happens to be in a shadowy area, which is helpful because it's easier to camouflage that way. So I'm gonna do the same thing over here. It kind of worked, but I'm gonna leave the rest of that for when we do the modeling, the kind of speckled texture. And then I'm going to use the blending stump up here to soften the bottom edge of that top shadows so that there's more of a gradual blend from dark to light 15. Sharpening Edges: And now I'm gonna go back in with the eraser pencil and sharpen apps images. So if you don't have an eraser pencil, which I do highly recommend, but I I also consider optional. You can use your cafe racer. It's just not as precise. So don't be too hard on yourself. If you're having trouble getting precise edges without an eraser pencil, it's just very difficult to dio. Um, let me see if my finger yeah, my fingers pretty clean. So wipe off the crumbs and then I'm gonna go back with my cap ary certain really brighten up those parts without getting too close to the edge, since I just did my edges with my research pencil blow off the crumbs, wipe them off and I need a little more Racer pencil out here because I got an extra smudge into the tip of that rock that I don't want. There's a couple places here, here and here that I'm having trouble getting the edges to really pop, even with the eraser pencil. So I'm going to use the blending stump and go back in to the sand and bring the sand back into crisp up those parts continuously blowing off dust, wipe a little more color, a little more, get those edges pretty sharp. And then for the top rock, same thing. We'll just go back in, sharpen up edges top here. This is a very bright surface, because that's really where the sun is hitting the rock unimpeded by shadows from anything else. And then I'm going to use my Kappa research to brighten as much as I can. The top dome of that rock Blow off dust, make sure I have a pretty clean finger and wipe the crumbs that far more stubborn. 16. Modeling: So now we're going to go back in and add some pits and, um, this modeled pattern. And this is, in my opinion, one of the funnest parts of this image. So you can use a combination of blending stump, pencil, eraser and maybe even the charcoal pencil. But we're gonna start with the pencil eraser and just plants it in the shadowy areas and do little circles not pressing hard, just kind of messing it up a little bit. And that will create some texture. And it won't look like you did circles. It'll look really frankly, but it really is just tiny little circles. That's all you're doing. I'm gonna do a little bit of just sort of pulling. I'm now. I'm pressing hard to pull off a few dabs down here underneath this shadow for that lighter edge and then on the top surface here, it seems to dip down in a couple places pretty dramatically. So not that I'm trying to copy that. Exactly. I'm just trying to get the same effect. So I added a couple dips, and then I'm gonna do a little bit more dabbing just to make it not look like a couple of perfect loops, and then we'll do the same thing on the next rock. Just little circles, kind of in starting in the shadow and pulling out into the light, pressing a little harder because this color isn't as dark as the color on the bottom. So you have to press a little harder to get it to show up, at least on the edge of these shadows. Something like that. Blow off any dust. Same thing on the top and in the top. You can really go into the shadows because there's so much modeled texture in this one, and really kind of hone in on that dark pit in the middle of this rock with little circles . So you're almost using the eraser as a drawing tool blow off the dust. 17. Texture: and then we're gonna do the same thing with the blending stump. If you're blending stump like mine has a dull end and a pointy end, and this is just from overuse. Um, used the pointy end if it has to. Pointy ends. Great. Use one of the pointy ends, but you'll start by coloring a little bit in some scratch compressed charcoal over here on the right, and then just sort of coloring little dabs and dots into Iraq on the left. And I feel like that's not really that effective. So I'm gonna color some more over here. There we go. That's showing up a little bit better. You don't have to do a whole lot of this. It looks like you have to. It looks like you have to just stop the heck out of it, but it's sort of an illusion. You're just adding a few dots around the shadow area, like where the shadow meets the light and that gives the illusion that the entire thing is dotted. It's e don't no if there's a scientific explanation for that, but I'm really happy about it, and I find it exciting. So something like that and then Same thing on the other two folks. We just got the heck out of it, at least in the shadow areas. And then where the shadow year is, you meet the light. That's kind of where you want to focus your energy. And this one isn't particularly frankly, so I'm not going to do that much of this rock, but more over here on the right side of that top shadow, a little bit on the left, mostly on the right, and then the top rock do a little bit, but it's already pretty modeled, so I don't need to do that much, and then we'll also use are compressed charcoal pencil and add anything else you want to put in so you don't have to do this, but you can go back and put in some darker pits, and I'm gonna dark in this course shadow right there where it seems darkest, pretty happy with that bottom edge, though, right here, it could use a little bit of sharpening, and I'm just going to kind of lift off onto the paper right there and color a little bit into the sand so that that bottom edge remains very crisp. And where this point is, where these two rocks touch, just pull a little line in so that it looks like it very seamlessly. This rock sits on top of that one and color lightly below it to soften and blend up. Here, let's see, what does this need? Um oh, I that's right. And I kind of lost my train of thought. I'm doing pits and particularly dark, frankly, parts just where I see them approximately or not, you don't have to. It was definitely a big one there. There's definitely this one here, which is pretty much already there. I'm just darkening it a little bit. And then this top one has the most of any try to avoid being too patterned, kind of like the sand. What you don't want is evenly spaced, evenly sized dots. Then it just looks like, um too thought out. We want organic. So if you're doing these dots on the top, Rock thinks based far apart, close together different sizes so that it does look organic. So I'm pretty happy with the spec Aly patterns I've gotten. I'm just gonna go back and refine some edges that may have gotten a little out of whack, darkened and sharpen that part and kind of like I did over here. Even though the sand appears pretty light here, it really does conflict a little bit with those two edges. So I'm taking some artistic license, which means I'm making it up in order to make it look better. I'm gonna extend my line out into the sand there and dark in the sand just in that one area to make it contrast better with the rocks. But I'm pulling that shadow out into an already existing pits in the sand. If there isn't a pit there, you can add one so that it looks like it really turns into this shadow. And I'm gonna do the same thing on this side to make the light of this rock pop out a little more same thing down here. And that also just makes it look like a very complete form. If you have that shadow kind of turning into the line the dark line underneath each rock lastly, and looking at the shadow down here and I'm not thrilled with how it ends up, So I'm just gonna dab at the tip of each one to make him flow a little more naturally into the lighter shadows beneath, um, and looks like that sent for here. 18. Adding your Signature: if you would like to sign it, you can. A lot of people like to just sign their first name. I'm just doing this in the scratch paper to show you how to sign your name, but we're actually gonna sign in the bottom corner. You can do your first name or you can do your initials. However you'd like to do it. So I'm just gonna put my initials here. And you do want him to barely show up. That's a little too barely. So I'm gonna go over it again because I do want it to be visible. But you don't want your signature to glaringly take over the image. You just want it to be, um, innocuous in one of the bottom corners and all right, brothers and sisters, we are done. 19. OPTIONAL - Spray Fixatif: So at the very end of your picture, you can add some fixative to it to just keep it from smudging. So much so this is called workable fixative, which means you can spray it on your picture and then go back and rework into it if you want. This is a fine product to use, although you can also use something like matte finish, which will give it a little bit more of a permanent hold, and you can't really go back and work into it as easily. But I like this one because you can't work into it if you choose to, and it has the kind of hold effect that you want so your picture won't smudge. So in order to apply it, you just hold your picture up. First will be outside because it is really stinky, and it's bad for you to breathe. Um, so hold your picture up and hold the can about a foot and 1/2 away from the picture, maybe two feet and just kind of or actually give it a test spray first, just make sure it's coming out misty and not spritzing or spreading any drops and then hold it about a foot and 1/2 to 2 feet away and just kind of in a light circular motion. Apply the spray. It should just kind of shoot towards the picture and fall on it pretty evenly. And you can do this for a little while, 2020 to 30 seconds to really get a nice even coat on there. Or you can take a break and do it again. You can't really apply too much, but that should be adequate. 20. Recap - Wrapping up: Hey, everybody. Thanks again for joining me today for this charcoal class. Just to recap today we did this drawing of three rocks stacked at the beach in charcoal. I hope you had a great time. Some of the skills you gained. We're learning how to draw realistically, using measuring techniques, learning the different types of charcoal and how toe layer them to create different values and how to create different textures and charcoal. I have other classes. If you're interested in watercolor graphite, another charcoal class pastel and colored pencil Feel free to check him out. And I hope you had a great time and have a beautiful day. Thank you so much.