013 Differences in CP, Graphite and Charcoal

Differences in Colored Pencil, Graphite, and Charcoal

John and Lisa discuss what drawing medium they had used most often in the past.

Intro - Out of these 3 mediums it seems to me that colored pencils are the most versatile and yet probably the most challenging.  

  • Differences in graphite consistency and colored pencils (exception might be col-erase)

    With graphite, I tend to use just the pencils to do the work and I don’t use tortillons and paper stumps much. I build up my values up gradually and deliberately, remaining aware of the overall balance in the piece.  But with colored pencils, I do layer a lot, but I tend to go to very dark values at the beginning of the drawing.

  • Charcoal differences (powdery, fluid nature, quick)

    With Charcoal - There seems to be a temporary nature to the medium.  In some ways an artist may have less control over this medium than the other two.  Personally, I don’t enjoy it as much only because of the lack of control and I don’t enjoy the tactile experience with using it like I do with graphite and colored pencil.

 For example, even with graphite, If I’m using a very hard lead like a 2H or a 4H and I start to feel some of that grit, where the paper is getting scratched, I cringe.  It reminds me of someone scraping their fingernails across a chalkboard.

  • Tools, erasing, solvents

Adding water to a water-soluble medium (or other solvents) will make it to where you cannot erase it.  At least it becomes very difficult to erase.  Charcoal is water soluble and you can sometime get some interesting results when you use water with graphite.

In colored pencil, the more you use solvents and other tools, you can mimic the look of so many other art mediums and still have that control of a pencil.