Finding some old charcoal in the drawer!

'Stanley' Charcoal on paper A3 NFS

What can I do with this? I haven’t used charcoal since uni, over twenty years! For a start, I needed some paper without a smooth surface, such as watercolour or pastel paper. I know the paper needs to have some ‘tooth’, in other words some texture or roughness for the charcoal to grip. If the paper is smooth, the charcoal will kind of fall off, and smudge much more easily.

I rummaged about in my studio and managed to find an old A3 sketch pad that had a bit of a rough surface. I also found a charcoal pencil and a kneadable eraser, which can be used to remove charcoal to emphasise hi-lights and lighter areas…