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Vine charcoal

October 19, 2016

I feel a little silly that I had no idea what vine charcoal was until today. The pieces I had showed buds so it was more obvious that it was actually a smoked grape vine. Yes I googled it. I’m not sure if the one I had used before were grape vine or willow branch. I don’t remember seeing buds before. 
I also learned why vin charcoal is so great for doing toned paper renderings like these. Because they are smoked sticks or vines, they don’t have any binders added like you would get in a compressed charcoal or charcoal pencil. That makes for easy erasing and smooth blending. 

These were started by rubbing the side of the stick on the paper and rubbing it in with a paper towel until medium value and smooth texture. Small circular motions are the trick. Then the fun part. I like to start with the highlights, pulling them out with a block eraser. I used the white kind. A needed dresser is helpful though I didn’t use one today. Sooo fun! I did one in each art class as a demo since many kids were out for PSAT testing today. So I worked on each about 45 minutes. 

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