Charcoal Masterpiece

     My first assignment for Independent Study was to draw a complex landscape using charcoal and to have a full range of white-grey-black shades. For once I actually did not spend more time on figuring out what to do than actually drawing. I estimate this took about 3 weeks, one hour a day 5 days a week, would be about 15 hours. It was 100% worth it. I personally like my drawing better than the reference drawing, and I’m very very harsh about the quality of my work.

     I went from the top to the bottom because with charcoal it gets messy and I didn’t want it all over my sleeves, which is what is going to happen if you start at the bottom and not the top. For the texture for the trees I put marks on a blank paper and rubbed a blending stub on them and then used the stub to create the leaves. I really like the way it turned out.

     As for the grass, I just used strokes. Lots and lots of strokes. I went over them with the darkest black and white chalk to make them pop.

     I matted this and entered it into an art contest in town, in a festival type of event locally known as The Pumpkin Show. (It’s not the Pumpkin Festival, it’s a show. We’re very adamant about that) I got second place with this piece, and first place on the oil painting that is featured on the My First Masterpiece post. Surprisingly it’s very very difficult to win at this competition. You never know what the judges are looking for, and often I don’t even understand why some win. You don’t win much money but it’s still kind of a big deal 😉
     Our little town waits for the second Wednesday in October for a while, all the local schools close and as does all the roads in downtown. It really is magical, saving up money for pumpkin flavored everything and eating hot bourbon chicken with the blustery wind, with hot cider or pumpkin spice lattes.
Happy Sketching!