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  • Annalisa Wallace

Drawing a Cat Using Charcoal

I have discovered that alternating between different mediums helps maintain a fresh and innovative approach in my work. Having recently dedicated my attention to watercolour, I have now transitioned back to charcoal and wish to offer some guidance on creating expressive and atmospheric drawings.

Below are a selection of materials that I prefer to utilize in the process of creating a charcoal drawing.

Charcoal Sticks: Willow charcoal sticks are predominantly used for drawing purposes. These soft sticks offer the advantage of easy erasability when needed, along with the ability to be smoothly blended to achieve a diverse spectrum of tones. Furthermore, they can be broken into smaller fragments to facilitate various types of mark-making techniques.

Charcoal Pencils: are useful for adding detail and creating varying tonal values.

Erasers: I utilize a diverse range of erasers in my work, such as a putty eraser, a battery-operated eraser, a Tombow Mono Zero eraser, and a plastic eraser. This selection enables me to effectively adjust shading in both broad areas and intricate details as needed.

Blending Tools: Creating a smooth shading with charcoal can be effectively achieved with blending tools such as a paper stump or a soft brush.

Fixative Spray: - The fixative can be used to provide effective smudge resistance, preventing the charcoal from smearing or rubbing off easily.

Outline Sketch: I start with an outline sketch in graphite and keep the marks light.

In order to prevent smudging, I initiated the process by blocking in the background starting from the left-hand side of the drawing, and also outlining the fundamental shapes.

More tone has be added and blended in to achieve the effect of soft fur. The white whiskers were achieved by lifting out the charcoal with an eraser.

More layers of charcoal are added and the highlighted hairs are emphasized.

The final version is below-

To view more of my charcoal drawings, click the gallery button below

Finally, I must give a big shoutout to my trusty sidekick in the studio, the one and only Smokey!

Thanks a bunch, furball!

Until next time,


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