|Sketch using various charcoals |
on Strathmore pastel paper
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General Pencil Company (a.k.a General's)
This company is one of the oldest art suppliers in the U.S, and I have used their products since I was a kid. I remember buying General's drawing pencils and sets at the Ben Franklin five and dime (yes, I said "five and dime") with my allowance. I have never been disappointed with the products from this company, and I have continued to use them even after my introduction to the pricier "artist quality" supplies. In my opinion, General's charcoal is definitely artist grade, but it is priced so reasonably that some may overlook it when shopping for drawing supplies. If you have any cash at all to spend on arts and crafts, then you can afford this charcoal. Honestly, the only reason I tried other brands was because some of my drawing sets came with charcoal sticks and pencils.
|I used an Internet photo of James Dean- got the angle wrong,|
I think he looks a bit Asian here- anyone else see that?
Royal & Lagnickel Charcoal Pencils and Compressed Sticks
|Royal & Langnickel medium grade pencil(left)|
and compressed stick (on the right)
|Here is the R& L vine without any blending|
Daler Rowney Simply Compressed Charcoal
|Daler Rowney Simply Charcoal "swatch"|
Koh-I-Noor Compressed Charcoal and Negro Artificial Charcoal
|You can get nice and dark with the KIN 2 charcoal, |
but it feels a lot harder than other brands
Negro is an artificial charcoal with an oil binder. It feels somewhat waxy like colored pencils and hard like Conte' drawing crayons, but there is no dust. You can smudge it, but not as easily as regular charcoal, and you can get some really nice shades of black and crisp lines using this medium. Negro mixes well with other media such as regular charcoal, colored pencil, graphite, ink, and watercolor. The Facebook page for KIN states that they are particularly good for under-drawings for oil paintings, Since I am not an oil painter, I have to rely on their word.
|Degrees for Negro pencils and sticks range from the soft #1 to |
hard #3 in the set I own, but the KIN website has a larger variety