Bunny and Teddy are off on a carrot hunt! How cute is that? Autumn is here, and it’s the season for root vegetables including carrots isn’t it? The pair of friends are out and about to pluck them and munch on them as healthy little snacks to give them energy and keep them warm. It’s late November and as the days are getting colder and shorter, they could do with a boost! Here then comes a quick and kawaii sketch I made about them the other day using some new art supplies I had bought the other day, my set of Art Chunky Colored Charcoal!
Curious about this Art Chunky Colored Charcoal? So was I! They are a set of 12 charcoals and conté-type round sticks each with a wide 1 cm diameter and 8cm length supplied by Cretacolor. All in earthy tones as seen below from left to right: Permanent White, Ochre Light, Ochre Dark, Sanguine Light, Olive Brown, Green Earth, Olive Green, Sepia Dark, Payne’s Grey, Silver Grey, and Charcoal. For some reason, though, there are 13 sticks which may be a bit confusing. This is because last two are actually graphite sticks which come in Nero and Nero Soft. As they are quite messy to use on your fingers, I was lucky to have saved the plastic packets each had been packed in. The flaps were snipped off so they can easily slide out and be used with the plastic still on whilst in use.
Starting the Sketch
And now let’s put these to the test! On a page from Conda’s Drawing Pad I began by roughly sketching the bunny and teddy and filling them in with Silver Grey and Ochre Light, respectively. The edge of the sticks were used for the outline, then colored in with the flat side of one end. Then I doodled in the carrots which was a spontaneous decision actually, as I wanted to fill in the paper with something interesting. Interesting how they end up becoming the theme for this sketch! For the grass and sky, I also used the flat side of Olive Green and Payne’s Grey (which looks more a navy blue actually). A little space was left on the top right corner for the cloud which was filled in with Permanent White. Worth noting is that when sketching with these sticks, you don’t need to press hard, and that a very light touch and a little color goes a long way. In the end, you will be smudging the colors anyway so no need to go overboard!
Blend, Blend, Blend!
Happy with my rough little sketch, I set about blending the charcoals using a blending stump. The tip here is to start with a little, then smudge and blend, and if more needed, add more. Despite being a bit dusty and messy at times (a bit like working with pastel sticks), I found these sticks quite pleasant to work with. Blending until the desired effect was not difficult either as compared to say, working with graphite pencils. Once I was done blending, I drew in the eyes, carrot tops and leaves. Finishing spray was then applied. And now!
Working with the Art Chunky Colored Charcoals was quite an enjoyable experience. It’s not often that I get to work with charcoal and “chalky” mediums like those, and hence being able to sketch roughly, color light-handedly and blend. Accustomed to and drawn more towards bright colors, I also found it a pleasant change to work with earthy and neutral tones. I ought to work with these more often and now would like be interested to see their effects on toned and black paper. New projects coming up!