Timeless, stylish, atmospheric and arresting, monochrome has enduring appeal. It can be bold, using the darkest darks, or subtle – almost dreamlike – with the palest of tones. In this easy-to-follow beginner’s guide, readers are taken on a journey to explore the rich potential of monochrome using the medium of charcoal. Inexpensive and easy to source, charcoal is perfect for the beginner artist. Accomplished artwork can be achieved with just a pad of paper and one stick of charcoal. To increase the variety of mark-making, or simply to make life easier, readers can choose to buy different types and sizes of charcoal, and tools such as blenders and brushes for different effects. This is all explained clearly so the reader can make informed choices.
Following the section on tools and materials, the basic techniques are presented, showing how to exploit the medium to best effect. The fundamentals of drawing are also covered, including perspective, composition and observational drawing. Carefully pitched to be authoritative yet non-intimidating, the reader will have a sturdy foundation of knowledge on which to build in the next section – the projects.
There are ten projects to work through with a wide range of subject matter, from still lives to landscape, seascape, portrait and animals.With illustrated steps to follow, tips to help avoid mistakes or improve outcomes, and the author’s friendly guidance and encouragement throughout, readers will feel challenged but supported in their efforts.
Three feature spreads are interspersed within the projects.These focus the reader’s attention on areas that will help them, including things to consider when planning their work, advanced techniques, and preserving their work (something that is often thought of as tricky with charcoal but in fact very simple).
By the end of the book, readers should have a very good grounding in how to draw with charcoal and feel confident to go on and explore the medium further, unaided.