Black and white with shades of grey.

One of the media I love working with the most is charcoal and pastels. I find the blending to create values challenging and enjoyable, while some find the process messy and frustrating I feel it is similar to painting. I start by applying normal board chalk to a piece of paper that has been firmly secured to a board. The composition can be then sketched using vine charcoal. The reason for using vine charcoal is that it is more forgiving and easily removed than the charcoal pressed with adhesive, the chalk base also allows for errors to be removed.

Once the desired composition has been achieved the image is then coated with Titanium white pastel. The pressed charcoal is then used to create the values, a correct gauge to know if enough white pastel is present is to observe the creamy tones produced when the dark charcoal is applied. The two mediums can be blended with a gum rubber or blending stump. It is important to minimize hand contact with the paper as the  oils from your skin transfer and can interrupt the rendering of the charcoal/pastel. Also Titanium white pastel is a by product of nuclear waste, so was your hands well after using or before eating and use in a well ventilated space!

resized-templar Knights Templar (2016)


value_drawing2 Still life (2015)


bonnie-resized Bonnie (2015) Commissioned piece.


©Amanda Griffin.2016



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