CHARCOAL GENERAL – Once upon a time, Black and White movies, photography and printing were in the ascendant. This era was truly about painting with light. Technicolor changed all that and color became the essential style for all media. However, there is certainly a lot to be said for Black and White TONALITY, and many have realized this and returned to it at various points of art and design history. Charcoal was and is a powerful medium for this art genre. If you are interested seeing how far one can go with Charcoal as a finished rendering medium for design, check out the amazing work of Hugh Ferriss:
SPACE DRAWINGS – The following are some charcoal sketches aimed specifically at improving one’s perception of SPACE. Architectural and other designers need this skill (SEEING SPACE) and can improve on it by this type of exercise. You imagine the buildings are underwater – you draw the water and the building gradually materializes because of the many tactile ‘collisions’ with the surface and edges of the forms. You continually remind yourself that you are drawing the ‘space’, not the ‘form’, but the form emerges anyway. It is largely a mental-perception expanding exercise, but the quality of ‘seeing space’ gets into your other drawings. It is a very sculptural way to draw. You learn to perceive 3D space as an actual tangible, malleable substance versus just the emptiness between forms. (More videos are coming demonstrating this idea. Also, see the Category “Man Who Wasn’t There’ for demonstrations of this idea.) I find that using blending sticks (AKA ‘torchons) and white vinyl erasers (Dollar Store) are very helpful, and tidier. I don’t use fixative (kinda toxic) but just photograph and store in computer.