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Charcoal & Graphite

Charcoal is one of the most widely used drawing mediums. From art students to professionals, artists have relied on the unique characteristics of charcoal for centuries, to add depth and strength to compositions. Charcoal is great for drawing, sketching, portraits and mixed media. There are two main kinds of charcoal you will find in this category:

Compressed Charcoal - Compressed charcoal is formed by mixing charcoal powder with gum binder and then compressing it to form sticks. The amount of binder determines the hardness of the stick. Compressed charcoal is used in charcoal pencils.

Vine Charcoal - This popular form of charcoal is created by burning sticks of wood (usually willow) into different consistencies, ranging from soft to hard. Natural vine charcoal is very soft and can be easily rubbed off with a soft rag or chamois cloth. Natural willow charcoal is harder than vine charcoal and gives a darker line.

Because charcoal and graphite are softer media that tend to smudge more easily, fixatives are recommended for sealing and protecting final work.

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