Australian Fine Artist

Oiled Charcoal

Tip for Drawing from Winsor & Newton

I especially like the Winsor & Newton brand. I used it many years ago when I first began painting. Interestingly, the paints I had left over from that time were stored away when I began work full time and didn’t have the time or a place to set up to paint have lasted to today.

When I pulled out my old art kit about ten years ago to start drawing and painting again on the weekends I found that my Winsor & Newtons were still mostly useable! Only a couple that I hadn’t sealed properly had dried out. The same was appliccable to my left over drawing materials, all still good to go, even my small jar of Indian ink.

That subject aside, I will get on to today’s topic. Oiled charcoal. This is something I have never heard of before, so I can not talk about how it works from a personal practical point of view yet, although it sounds really interesting. As a drawer I like to find anything new that will enhanse my skills and broaden my range of methods and materials.

The video from Winsor & Newton suggests that you select some willow charcoal (they didn’t say how thick, but I would think that the very thin sticks may not be suitable) and soak them in refined linseed oil in a jar overnight. The next day remove a stick and give the charcoal a wipe and begin drawing immediately.

You need to use the removed charcoal straight away as it will become unusable when the oil dries out. The benefit is a darker and more intense black that will not rub off as easily as dry charcoal. The demonstration video showed a vast difference between dry and oiled charcoal when drawn onto textured paper in particular, so if you like strong dark lines this may be a good method to try out.

If you would like to follow the tips from Winsor & Newton the link for the videos is:

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