Black is BACK - by Robert Dutton

Nitram Charcoal has made a brilliant bounce back following the devastating fire that wrecked the factory in 2016. Thankfully the unique charcoal oven was saved during the disaster and once again, to triumphant applaud Nitram Charcoal is being boxed, shipped and distributed again around the world.
Flowing Waters Through Kirkstone Pass

Flexibility Across the Range

On a personal basis, that comeback is really welcome! Nitram Charcoal is essential to my creativity - no other Charcoal even comes close or is more varied. With Nitram Charcoal ranging from 'soft' to harder 'H' harder grades, (think grades of pencils and you get the idea), the unique range of top quality Nitram Charcoal offers the artist so much creative flexibility.

Perfect Production

I've never come across a Nitram Charcoal stick yet in any box ever that has had signs of any impurities, grittiness or any other flaw to be irritating or a frustration with as I work. The smooth velvety quality of Nitram Charcoal is all thanks to that rock solid oven that was saved and back in action - like the Phoenix for the ashes.
Malham Cove


Besides the standard smaller sticks in the Nitram Charcoal range I like the big stuff! The larger soft Nitram Charcoal sticks (both round and rectangular) help me to be really expressive when drawing and painting - particularly on a large scale. By holding the larger charcoal sticks right at the end when drawing, this creates a more looser gestural mark making approach with both wrist and arm movements. Applying different pressure with the Charcoal both light and deep velvety darks are created.

Winters Dawn, Brothers Water, Cumbria


I use fixative a lot when working with Nitram Charcoal (as I do with my pastel work too) either from an aerosol can or in liquid form to build sumptuous layers of tones and textures in my drawings and mixed media 'colour tinted' paintings. The effects created with both types of fixative within such expressive paintings and drawings and are amazingly addictive.

Honister Pass


By using all sorts of different grades and sizes of Nitram Charcoal in combination with different paper surfaces that suit your style, the possibilities for creative exploration and reward are endless. Once you pick up a Nitram Charcoal stick and start working with it you won't want to put it down - I guarantee it!

Robert is a Leeds based artist having settled in West Yorkshire and living in the county for over 22 years. He has travelled extensively in search of overseas subjects (to include the South of France, Venice and New York), which he captures with strong visual colourful presence and a modern impressionistic style. However, it is without doubt that it is his beloved Pennine moors and Dales landscapes and hidden corners along the UK coast which are his main creative inspirations.

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