The Monochrome Lover

All about pencil and charcoal sketching

Believe it or not, I can actually draw

Whoever knew that the familiar, crusty, crumbly, black remains of your campfire is one of the oldest art mediums, that every artist would go mad about? Charcoal is a traditional drawing medium that has been preferred by various famous artists like Robert Longo, Vincent van Gogh and William Kentridge.

This form of dry art medium is mostly preferred because of its ability to produce rich tone and contrast on paper. Unlike other form of mediums, charcoal gets easily blended with the paper, helping the artist to produce various effects on the work. That said and done, this is the only art medium that dirties the hands, bringing out the inner-child of the artist.

What a burnt stick could produce on a paper

Just like every other child, I too loved getting my hands dirty. I chose to try this art only to โ€˜get-messyโ€™. But eventually, I fell in love with the magic that a burnt stick had produced on the paper!

Charcoal sketching may look complicated externally, but technically, it is a very easy and interesting form of art. Reason being that, it easily spreads on the paper/ surface, we can make free and big strokes and most importantly you can erase and influence your imagination with smudging techniques.

My first attempt at charcoal sketching was done when I turned 18 and had just finished my high school. I had no image in my mind and I did not have a professional charcoal pencil set then. I had just began trying the art form and hence considered expanding my medium apart from Charcoal- I used a black crayon to sketch the outline and I was surprised by its versatile nature and the outcome on the paper.

My first attempt at charcoal sketching

So if you are looking for a recreation and love to express yourself visually, may be charcoal is the type of art you should be attempting, for its so easy to begin with and simply because it is such a forgiving medium.


What you see, you draw


  1. Incredible! This blog looks just like my old one!
    It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design.
    Wonderful choice of colors!

  2. Saumay

    Thats a nice sketch that you’ve drawn. Great post on charcoal sketching and very informative. Keep it up!

  3. Hilary T

    The idea of charcoal drawing isn’t one that I’ve thought of. The stress relief aspect of it sounds appealing but i’m not sure if I want to get my hands dirty in that way, maybe i’ll just stick to colouring books.

    Post more images of your sketches they are fantastic.

    • prajasekar

      I agree with you Hilary, few people won’t prefer dirtying their hands! of course colouring helps! And thank you, I will post some more sketches soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Amazing sketch! Do you draw nature or landscapes? I am going to try charcoal drawing. I used to draw a while ago with pencil ๐Ÿ™‚

    • prajasekar

      I have started with landscapes Ilia and Thank you! you should definitely try charcoal! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Thelma Igbre

    Wow! I’ve learned so much from reading this.
    Great Blog!

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