I had this image of a tree trunk on my ipad since very long and I finally decided to create a charcoal sketching of the same on FABRIANO ACADEMIA paper. It is an acid free paper and I already mentioned in my last post that I use it for both charcoal and pencil medium. It has an amazing texture and it adds to the character of the subject especially if I am creating a tree.
Also I made a deliberate attempt to remember photographing the images as my work progressed.
1. The size of the paper is 5.5" X 7". I did a very rough outline of the tree trunk in the first
stage as shown below using a HB pencil.
2. Next I used my charcoal tools and pencils to add the tonal values and the darkest tones to
establish depth. I also blended the strokes at places. The background was kept hazy and I
used a soft cloth to cover the distance. The foreground was similarly created by using
cloth and blending tools.
3. At this stage I used more of my charcoal pencils namely Camel charcoal pencil and
General charcoal pencil to create the details like small outgrowths, barks and other
twisted shapes, bark strokes etc. I also added few strokes in foreground to create grassy
effect. The source of light is from the right direction so I used eraser and kneaded putty
to create the highlights.
4. In the final stages I keep the sketch at a distance and evaluate. I keep it aside for a day
to look back at it the next day with FRESH MIND and EYES so I can redo the fine
touch up ie adding few details, the dark and light values, creating wild grassy growth
in foreground etc. At some point then I decide to call it an end as overworking, I have
realised can cause more harm than good.
The Knotted tree trunk
Charcoal sketching on Fabriano Academia paper
Size 5.5" X 7"
I have a big collection of charcoal pencils of different brands which I picked up from different
in an attempt to try it out for its darkness and quality. I have not had the time to try
all of them but among the ones that I have given a try, I find Camel , Primo and
pretty satisfying for my work. Very soon I will try and photograph
the other tools as well and write a post about it.