Tag Archives: charcoal

Art Cards – Week 34 – A Typical Week

I had a typical week last week, keeping busy with work, time enjoying the outdoors, house chores, and art projects. I worked on a couple sets of art cards, using them as opportunities to experiment and reflect.

I enjoyed a beautiful afternoon on the patio experimenting with my travel watercolor kit.

I also revisited one of my favorite illustration techniques, using white charcoal on dark pastel paper to illustrate some cool things I noticed in our gardens lately.

Nothing wrong with a typical week, as long as I remember to take time to appreciate life.

Heightened Drawings

In my drawing for illustration class, we spent a couple class periods working on heightened drawings.

This is a technique where you use white charcoal pencils on dark paper, drawing either the highlights of an object or the negative space around the objects, using the tone of the paper as one of your values.

I have always loved this illustration technique, so I was happy to first learn how to do it in my Drawing Fundamentals class last semester.

I was even happier when I heard we were going to do more of this technique this semester.

The supplies necessary for this illustration technique are mi teintes paper (also known as pastel paper), which is a heavy weight paper with a rough texture, and


and white charcoal pencils. Black charcoal pencils can also be used to add some of the darkest values to extend your value range, or just make some of those edges pop off the page.

You can also do this technique with a variety of colored pastel pencils, which are very soft and easier to blend than colored pencils, but they aren’t oil-based like pastel sticks.

I adore this image, so I am looking forward to experimenting more with this technique in summer.

Silhouettes and Final Still Life

Earlier this week, I felt like I forgot how to do all my homework, after being out of town last weekend. I was a little lost in the beginning of my classes, but after a few minutes, it all came back to me.

I had to work on a couple of drawings in the evenings for my drawing class.


We moved from drawing the folds of drapery to drawing silhouettes. Aah = hard!

I found a dried floral arrangement in our basement similar to the objects we used in class this week. (Hmm, wonder how long it’s been down there, and why it’s still there because I really hate it!) It was a good subject to use at home for this practice exercise.


Working on these highlight and shadow exercises is like drawing in reverse. Lay down the charcoal and erase away the sillouette and highlights of the object. I never thought I would be drawing with an eraser, which is actually kinda like painting.

Our final charcoal composition included a silhouette of flowers and various other objects.

Next up, I hear we are going to learn how to draw perspective. Yay, I’m so excited the creative adventure continues!

While I really love drawing now (something I’ve always wanted to learn), I’m hoping to get back to my sewing room this weekend… sigh.