I really like the dark moody tone of charcoal. In the past I have used a range of techniques. Using willow/vine, compressed and condensed charcoal on different types of paper. I do have to be careful though using charcoal as I have a lot of problems with the dust.
One way of overcoming this is to use pencil and then charcoal pencil.
Inspiration for improving technique
Pencil and charcoal pencil for hyperrealism
I had often earlier used PVA glue with ink because I like the random ways in which it mixes to create interesting textures for landscapes and abstracts. Some drawings from my earlier OCA courses are given below.
While doing the Invisible Cities Assignment I discovered glue drawings as I was looking for something ‘sticky’ for Octavia spider webs. I suddenly noticed some of the drips from the PVA glue bottle as I was making collage and thought this might be very interesting to make spiders webs with drops of rain, and very thin lines. So I made three random images in my sketchbook that roughly had some sort of spider’s web, but basically just playing.
The first of these I rubbed over with graphite powder (I collect sharpenings from graphite sticks in a small container). I really liked the smoky effect. I then used a water brush and started to polish up some of the areas and found I could get really interesting gradations.
The second I covered with charcoal and rubbed off the excess from the raised parts.
The third sketch I painted over with black acrylic and a credit card. Then drew into this with white conte and pastel to accentuate raised areas and get some tone shading.
Finally I photographed cropped areas and experimented with different effects in Photoshop – mainly curves and invert. I could take this much further using masks, but have not had the time.
I really like the effects I obtained just by doodling. But this technique – together with earlier PVA and painting techniques – have a lot more potential for further development now I have some idea how things work. There is also a lot more I could do incorporating digital blending and masking into the workflow – some of which I did in Assessment 1 Octavia. But a lot to be further explored – I could colour parts and be more extreme in my blend mode choices.