Charcoal is great for drawing preliminary sketches because of its temporary nature. In da Vinci’s day artists used bread to erase charcoal. Studies for the Heads of Two Soldiers in the "Battle of Anghiari". Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci, 1452–Cloux, 1519). Charcoal, or soft black chalk; some traces of red chalk on left; 192 x 188 mm
Charcoal is used for figure drawing because of its ease to shade and make corrections.
A great quality of using charcoal is the qualitative lines that can be achieved.
It also offers the intense drama of the blackest of blacks. PAUL RUMSEY Sisyphus and RockCharcoal 55x 75 cms
Uncompressed charcoal is known as either vine or willow and are very soft and erasable.
Compressed charcoal is rated by it hardness like graphite is, the softest being the darkest and hardest the lightest.
Käthe Kollwitz Kollwitz (1867–1945) saw much suffering and depicted it with an empathy rarely rivaled. Her husband was a doctor for the poor in Berlin, which likely played a role in her socialist sympathies. Losing her son in World War I prompted a lengthy depression. She also lost a grandson in World War II. As a result, her heartbreaking images of mothers crying over deceased infants strike a resonating chord. Catalogue of the Complete Graphic Work of Käthe Kollwitz, by August Klipstein (Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, Delaware) Käthe Kollwitz Drawings, by Herbert Bittner (Thomas Yoseloff, New York, New York)
Death Seizing the Mother Lithograph Kathe Kollwitz
Home Workercharcoal on yellowish paper, 227⁄8 x 175⁄8.
Seated Old Woman Her Hands Folded in Her Lap1905, charcoal, 27 x 15½.
Edgar Degas The career of Edgar Degas was a long one - about 60 years out of the 83 which he lived. And his style, unlike that of most famous artists who worked into their old age, never ceased developing, always seeking out new means of expression and technique. Besides Degas, arguably only Titian and Picasso were able to maintain such a comparably high level of creativity. The art dealer Ambroise Vollard one day asked him why he had never married, to which he replied: "I would live in constant fear that, whenever I completed a new painting, I would hear my wife say ' That's so pretty what you've done there! ' ". Indeed, despite today's almost universal appreciation and popularity of his images, it was never a conventional sense of beauty which attracted his talents.
Dancer Bending Forward 1881 Charcoal 46.2 X 30.4 cm
Deux danseuses Charcoal and pastel 28X22in
French, 1834-1917Charcoal heightened with white and pale yellow chalk on paper17-3/4 x 11-7/8 in.