How to Draw With Charcoal

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Kelly Medford

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Professional Artist

This article was co-authored by Kelly Medford. Kelly Medford is an American painter based in Rome, Italy. She studied classical painting, drawing and printmaking both in the U.S. and in Italy. She works primarily en plein air on the streets of Rome, and also travels for private international collectors on commission. She founded Sketching Rome Tours in 2012 where she teaches sketchbook journaling to visitors of Rome. Kelly is a graduate of the Florence Academy of Art. This article has been viewed 689,368 times.

Co-authors: 48

Updated: January 29, 2021

Views: 689,368

Article SummaryX

To draw with charcoal, hold it like a pencil to make sharp edges, applying more pressure if you want a darker line. To make softer, broader strokes, hold the charcoal on its side and drag it across your paper. If you want to add shadows to your drawing, use a piece of paper or your finger to smudge the charcoal. For highlights that contrast with the rest of your drawing, use an eraser to remove sections of the charcoal and reveal the paper underneath. To learn how to avoid smudging a charcoal drawing, keep reading!

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