Drawing Basics TRACK: Lesson 6

Prompt

Create an 18″ x 24″ wet charcoal drawing, using a landscape reference photo as a very loose reference.

Examples

Kate A., Anastasia Lvova


Experiment

Before starting on the final drawing, spend at least an hour playing around and making marks on newsprint (or any other inexpensive paper) to see what wet charcoal is capable of doing!

Use paper that is about 18″ x 24″ so you have plenty of room.

Wet Charcoal Drawing, Clara Lieu

Reference Images

You can use any landscape images you find anywhere or, you can choose a landscape image from our free reference photo collection on Flickr.

Set up

Place towels on the floor that you can put your finished drawings on. The drawings dry fairly fast, so it’s okay to place a wet drawing on top of another wet drawing.

Goals

The purpose of this assignment is not to replicate an accurate drawing of the photo, rather it’s to use the reference photo as a starting point so you can take it in any direction.

The more dramatically you manipulate and transform the reference image, the more your voice is going to show.

Wet Charcoal Drawing, Clara Lieu

Recommended media

We recommend using compressed charcoal or a black soft pastel. Note that vine charcoal will not work for this technique. Newsprint is good for the experimentation segment.

For the finished drawing you may want thicker paper like watercolor paper which will be less fragile. A spray bottle is handy to wet your paper.


Wet Charcoal Drawing, Clara Lieu

I was motivated to do the Drawing Track because I wanted to improve how to express my ideas figuratively, at my own pace and with the limited time I have.

I’m much more confident at drawing the human figure, gesture drawing, and making finished pieces. The track was so fun with lots of options to play and obtain feedback – I’m looking forward to another Track!

Sarah McGill

Inspiration

Norman Ackroyd, Caspar David Friedrich, Michael Mazur, Eric Fischl’s monotypes.

Wet Charcoal: Techniques

Art Prof Clara Lieu demonstrates techniques for wet charcoal drawing. Prof Lieu shows how to use a spray bottle, newsprint, and compressed charcoal

This demo shows how to experiment with making abstract strokes on the paper to create a dynamic and engaging range of contrasting marks. 

Wet Charcoal: Landscapes

Art Prof Clara Lieu demonstrates how to draw landscapes with wet charcoal drawing techniques.

Prof Lieu shows how to use a spray bottle, newsprint, and compressed charcoal in order to experiment with making abstract strokes on the paper to create a dynamic and engaging range of contrasting marks.

Finished?

  1. Submit your track images + info via this upload form.
  2. You can choose to receive a hard copy certificate from us via snail mail. (this includes international people)
  3. We’ll feature your track work in an Art Prof Share segment in one of our live streams on YouTube.
  4. We’ll post your name, a link of your choice, your slideshow, and video feature on the corresponding track page in our student gallery area.

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