Task 3- Part 2: Charcoal Still Life

After you have trialed and experimented with using Charcoal on different papers, you should take on a still life drawing to test your technique.

Universal forms now need to be tested in observational drawing. Finding objects that are interesting on their own, or mixed with other objects that altogether have a range of forms, is a good challenge for you to take on.

Less is more. One object or three objects…don’t go too far. Think of the scale of your piece-it can be bigger than what you did for graphite-especially if you are using blocks of charcoal.

Composition is important. If doing fruits, think of their interesting textures from inside as well as outside. Zoom in and think about placement on your final page.

Whole objects are not necessary and can focus your observation and make the piece more interesting too.

So get a photo of a set-up. Make it tonal so you can easily see the range of tones you create. These can be made very good when using natural light. Have the objects in front of you, as well as the photo, so all your references are there to do a great observation.

What paper will you use? This would have been decided from your previous trials with charcoal. Brown parcel paper perhaps to make the scale larger and involve white chalk too? White A3+ paper to capture some textures and work on main shadows? See my previous demonstration on Facebook Live (link below) to see how to practice charcoal basics first.

Make time to set the composition and trial many variations before deciding on the final one. Do careful observations of the main forms and objects, then you can start to add the tones and details.


I will demonstrate in my next facebook live how I go about a still life using charcoal, in case you are anxious to start.

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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