Charcoal over Graphite

Another day in my daily art habit and I figured I’d talk about layering charcoal over graphite to get a next level of value in your drawings.

Normally charcoal will not stick when trying to apply it over graphite. This is because graphite gets burnished into a sheen when worked, flattening the paper and not giving the charcoal anything to grab onto.

But I found that the Conte’ a Paris sticks can be applied over graphite no matter how hard you burnish it. You will be able see what this looks like in the video and in several parts of the Pocahontas drawing.

That is all I have for today. Use this knowledge with great care though. It’s best to work harder on compressing your value scale than using your materials to try and reproduce life accurately. If you lean to heavily on your materials you will reach your value limits too quickly.

Pocahontas Drawing in Graphite

Previous Pocahontas Drawing Posts


The normal 15 minute warm-up in graphite.


Extended Gesture Study

I’m still having a lot of fun with the extended gesture study exercise from the The Natural Way to Draw book. I love using images from stock photos sites also.

Extended Gesture Study

What went well, what was awesome! Celebrate It!

Got some great focus on art this morning! Plus I’m using the charcoal over graphite method well in the Pocahontas drawing.

What needs work? What did you learn?

Don’t loose track of time.

How am I going to Optimize moving forward?

Tomorrow I will recommit to checking my schedule every twenty minutes.

Session Details

  • Session: 2854
  • Work: 1751
  • Width: 12"
  • Height: 18"
  • Medium: Graphite, Charcoal
  • Location: Home
  • Art Time: 3
  • Creative Time:



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Christopher Beaven

Christopher Beaven

I am an Artist and a programmer currently living in the amazing state of Washington. I have a passion for art, but I'm stubborn as hell with it. My day is complete only when I do some piece of art each day, no matter how small. "There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."

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2 Responses

  1. I appreciate how excited you get over what I might consider mundane. And you share your excitement well. Making it easy and a little interesting to learn. I guess it’s similar when I get overly excited that a zoo has scimitar-horned oryx, and everyone else around me is like “it’s a bleeping antelope…” NO! It’s COOL! Same with you. I normally might be all like “it’s a pencil…” but now I understand. Your art supplies are an endangered species that isn’t at every zoo.

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