Sketchbook Exercise: Drawing Brushes with Charcoal

By Paula Briggs

Capturing different qualities of a brush with charcoal
Capturing different qualities of a brush with charcoal

 

Each week during the AccessArt Art Lab for ages 11, 12, and 13 at Wysing Arts Centre, students will be working in their sketchbooks undertaking a five or ten minute exercise.

The sketchbooks have been kindly donated by Pink Pig International and as well as filling them with the drawing exercises, children are also encouraged to use the books to help explore ideas related to the main session. Creating sketchbook content like this which is a mixture of exercises and personal study should help fuel creativity and ownership.

See all the sketchbook exercises undertaken during these sessions here.

To Begin

I wanted to give children the opportunity to begin an exploration of charcoal. In last weeks exercise we explored how we can use different grades of pencil to add interest and expression to our drawings. This week I wanted them to experience how they can use different parts of the charcoal (i.e. side, end) with different amounts of pressure (light medium, hard) to create varied and exptessive marks.

The challenge to the children:

Make a five minute drawing using different pressures and different parts of the charcoal to help communicate the particular qualities of a brush (the soft bristles, the metal, the wood)

Children were also encouraged to create a “ground” by laying down charcoal and knocking it back with their fingers. Children also used putty rubbers to craete white space amongst the grey tones.

Working to the five minute limit meant children did not overwork their images, which is easy to do with charcoal.

Laying down a ground
Laying down a ground

 

Using the charcoal in different ways
Using the charcoal in different ways

charcoal drawing of a brush

charcoal drawing of a brush

charcoal drawing of a brush

charcoal drawing of a brush

charcoal drawing of a brush

charcoal drawing of a brush

charcoal drawing of a brush

charcoal drawing of a brush

charcoal drawing of a brush

charcoal drawing of a brush

Many thanks to the children from the AccessArt Art Lab

Many thanks to Pink Pig International for the Sketchbooks

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