Sketching With Charcoals

Posted by in Sketching

When done well, charcoal drawings can look incredibly realistic. In fact, charcoal drawing is a cousin of painting. Because of this, for many artists, charcoal is the medium of choice for portraits, since it can really make them seem to come to life. Charcoal paintings can be preserved as such (see below for notes on fixative spray) and/or can be memorialized by taking a photo and creating some cool unusual objects from it, such as awesome shower curtains, or acrylic blocks.

Great for beginners:

Charcoal drawings are great for people with all levels of skill, but are especially a good option for beginners. Various kinds of lines can be made easily with charcoal, without pressing down too hard, so that it is not tiring. Also, charcoal can be smudged with fingers for different effects, and can also be erased very easily to create additional effects.


Paper: Charcoal sketches are commonly done on paper, but can actually be done on pretty much any medium, as long charcoal marks show up and stay on it.

Charcoal: Decide if you want to work with hard or soft charcoal. Also, while black or gray typically comes to mind when you think of a charcoal pencil, you may also want to have a white pencil on hand. The white pencil is often useful for specific highlights. Compressed charcoal, vine charcoal, charcoal pencils and charcoal powder are some of the forms in which this may be obtained.

Eraser: You need a high-quality, wonderful eraser. Otherwise things can get frustrating quite fast! Ideally, you would use something called a “kneaded eraser” which works especially well with charcoal.

Fixative Spray: Once you are done with the drawing, you should spray it to keep it from smudging. Some people use hair spray rather than a specialized fixative spray for this purpose.

charcoal drawing




Cool Origami

Posted by in Origami

Some believe that Origami is a popular art born in China at the time of the invention of paper. Imported into Japan, it was a great success from the seventh century. It remains to present a lively tradition and rooted in the everyday life of the culture of this country. Its name comes from the Japanese words “oru”, which means folding and “kami”, which means paper.

It consists of making figurative models or not by folding a sheet of paper without cutting or pasting. Origami can be practiced by following diagrams or by giving free rein to imagination.  ThisJapanese art of folding has no secret.

While there are inherently only a relatively small number of folds, the number of permutations and combinations are very large, and a surprising number of objects can be made. Some are very simple, and can even made by small children, while others are truly intricate works of art.

Pretty much any type of paper can be used for Origami. You can use plain paper, or paper with beautiful patterns or paper that has been painted on. In fact, materials other than paper can also be used – the main thing to consider in picking the material is whether it can hold a fold/crease, because this property is absolutely essential in Origami.

Articles made using Origami make great gifts. As mentioned above, almost everyone can make some objects using this method, so don’t be deterred by your supposed lack on skill in this area. As with anything, advanced Origami can take a while to master, but basic Origami can be picked up quickly. The easiest way to do this is to watch an instructive Youtube video, such as the one below.



Another thing you can do is to follow some websites which provide detailed instructions on how to make specific objects.

Painting Mediums

Posted by in Painting

Paintings can be created with many different types of paints. Depending on which medium is chosen for the piece, the very same painting can end up with a very different look.

Things to consider before choosing a medium:

Think carefully which medium to use before starting the painting, because once this decision is made, it is almost impossible to change your mind about it.

The look:

Think about the end result and the look that you are going for before choosing the medium for any painting.

Skill level:

Of course, a particular artist may be more skilled in a particular medium, in which case he or she may make his choice based upon his skill level. If you can do gorgeous water colors, but your oil paintings are very ho-hum, then you may want to seriously think twice before starting an oil.

What do you want to do?

People often paint to relax and enjoy the process. If that’s the reason you are painting, then just think about which type of medium you enjoy the most, and let that govern your decision.


Some types of mediums:

There are a TON of mediums out there, and we are going to go briefly over just a few.


It is easy to cover up one’s mistakes in acrylic paint, so this is a good medium for beginners. It’s also inexpensive, so that’s another reason to use it if you are just starting out and are not yet sure if painting is your thing. It also dries rapidly, so you don’t have to worry about being super careful with it forever.

Water Colors:

Water colors are kind of medium in price range. You can make them dry fast with a little help (e.g., by using a dryer). But watercolors are not very forgiving, and therefore require a certain amount of skill. Also there is no shine on water color paintings once they are dry.


There are a lot of issues with oils – they are expensive and somewhat toxic. Many people tend to get headaches when they engage in oil paints for a while. Another big con with oils is that they take a very long time to dry, and there is pretty much nothing you can do about it.

Oil Pastels:

Oil pastels are made up of color pigment, oil and binder. They kind of look like crayons. The surface of an oil pastel painting, while still powdery, is not as powdery as crayon or chalk.

Another close relative of painting mediums is charcoal– this medium is often used with some pretty stunning results.


Now you know a little bit about some of the mediums and what to think about when picking one.


Hi, guest!