Sunday, February 12, 2012

charcoal in winter


Snowing by the tracks

sketch for "Snowing"

Charcoal is made from burning wood--charring it--until the wood is velvety soft-hard.  Juncos' heads and napes look charcoal-black.  And the branches they alight upon are charcoal, pre-fired!  So I tried this Junco drawing almost entirely with charcoal.  The winter snow sketch has charcoal under it, almost as a skeleton. (In the sketch you can see the skeletal structure.)  In my studio I have a large can of charcoal powder, but I do not use it much.  The charcoal sticks, though, I love to use.  Strong enough to be crayon-like and to evoke structures (of trees, of railroad yards and such); still, the sticks can stroke paper with that velvety sheen, slight shimmer.

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