Embrace the Large! Why Every Artist Should Include Large Format Charcoal in Their Toolbox.
Large Scale Projects
Nitram’s Demi bâton de saule, Maxi bâton de saule and Bloc de saule extra soft charcoal are perfect for large scale projects that require rich color and expressive lines. It also offers more control than other chuck charcoals. Nitram’s large format charcoal works well for creating mural projects and drawings that require a large amount of charcoal to be laid down. It is versatile, allowing for soft shading and hatching on large surfaces without tiring the arm. For large-surface soft shading, it’s best to forego the blending stump and opt for a chamois cloth. For texture shading, a felt square will do the trick. These larger blending cloths will not only save time, but will provide more control and mobility and less likelihood that the side of the hand will drag across the paper or canvas. Lines that were drawn too dark can easily be lightened safely with a chamois cloth. To use felt for texture, it’s best to use white. Colored felt has the potential to leave streaks of color from dye remnants. If colored felt is all that’s available, wash it first in warm soapy water, rinse well and air dry. When working with Nitram’s large format charcoal, it best to use a heavier paper with enough tooth to achieve dark values yet still create smooth textures. A heavier paper can withstand multiple charcoal layers and blends for contrasting textures when drawing wood, bark, coarse fabrics, facial hair, animal fur and cast shadows.
Circulism can be achieved with Nitram’s large format charcoal; in fact, it can be easier and less time consuming. Instead of painstakingly drawing each circle, the Demi bâton de saule and Maxi bâton de saule can be placed on its edge and simply turned in a clockwise motion, pressing enough so that the charcoal catches to the paper. Lift and repeat until the sides are worn down, and with the charcoal laid flat, scribble on scrap paper until the baton is even again. The charcoal laid down on the scrap paper can be lifted with the chamois or felt for shading when a darker value is needed, so that no charcoal goes to waste.
Nitram large format charcoal isn’t just for large scale work. It’s perfect for gestural drawing. The larger charcoal is easier for using the arm movement required for gesture drawing, helping to resist the habit of drawing with the hand. The large baton allows freedom to move around the paper without worrying about the string of a china marker or wearing down the tip of a charcoal pencil.
Gestural drawing is a quick sketch that requires the least amount of line with the most amount of information by capturing the essence and emotion of the subject. Large format batons allow the artist to achieve the exaggerated angles and tone with speed.
Nitram large format batons are a handy drawing tool for animators who need to sketch multiple poses in a short period of time, without stopping to sharpen or replace broken pencil leads. Whether the project is large or small, Nitram large format charcoal should be a part of every artist’s sketchbox.