Now that I'm out of school, I'm playing around with vine charcoal. I like it...it's a classic medium. Messier than charcoal pencil and the marks can be very delicate. If laid down lightly, vine charcoal can almost be blown off a newsprint surface. Some people don't like that, but I think it's an advantage. Easier to correct a bad stroke. Just a quick swipe with your finger. And with a bit more pressure, your marks stay put.
If you want to see how a master handles vine charcoal, see Scott Burdick's video "Secrets of Drawing". This video is for everyone, beginners to advanced. I learned a huge amount about the expressive potential of the medium.
The first drawing below was created a few days ago...after I viewed Scott's video. I used a jumbo Grumbacher medium charcoal stick for the lay-in and modeling of the forms, then detailed the features with a 2B charcoal pencil. In contrast, the second drawing (below) was created a few weeks earlier with charcoal pencils only. I see big differences. I was able to make more expressive and more varied marks with the vine charcoal. I stabilized the vine drawing towards the end with workable spray fixative. Vine charcoal tears up newsprint, so I will use a different support next drawing.
|Amanda, vine charcoal on newsprint, 18x24" (3 hours from life)|
|Amanda, charcoal pencil on newsprint, 18x24" (3 hours from life)|
Here is a YouTube preview for the "Secrets of Drawing" video.
If you don't know Scott Burdick's drawings, here are a few examples. Hopefully he won't mind.