Task 3-Part 1: Universal Forms in Charcoal

Drawing the universal forms is great practice before taking on more challenging still life drawing. It allows you to learn about how light and shadow work on the main forms for all future drawing. It also gives you chance to experiment with a new media…in this case, charcoal.

There are many ways of using charcoal so get a range of equipment to experiment fully before deciding which is the best way for you:

You are aiming to produce each of the main forms: Cube, Cylinder, Sphere and Cone, using your charcoal media.

To get a richer experience, do try to leave the confines of a sketchbook. Larger pieces of paper work very well and allow for different expression of markings. Being able to smudge easily, you will find covering large papers much easier than with graphite.

Try white paper, but also tonal and black papers. I like to use brown parcel paper as it has a bit of texture, it’s cheap, and you can buy a roll and have the freedom to cut it to any size you want. For the darker paper choices, there is one piece of equipment missing from the image above that is worth having….white! White charcoal or even chalk, is a great to get the highlights onto the paper and to create your full tonal range.

So you can try creating each of the forms in turn (recommended) and also an arrangement all together, so that you can think more about shadows from neighbouring objects.

I will demonstrate in our facebook live sessions the different ways to use charcoal…I sure you will really love this media, as I do! See you there 🙂


Join our Facebook Group for LIVE lessons and friendly art community – see you there 🙂

Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART


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