Graphite & Charcoal

black pencil on black background

Graphite is probably the cheapest and most easily accessible of all art materials (normally the first thing we reach for when wanting to begin to create art). Ranging from light greys through to darker greys, depending on the pencil’s hardness, and with a slightly shiny finished appearance, I recommend having at least one pencil in your art supplies.

Charcoal is very much like graphite in that it can be applied via pencil or stick, but is likely to be of a more crumbly consistency. It’s finish, unlike graphite, is matt in appearance and a true black application can be achieved.

Colour-tinted Graphite and Charcoal are also available as are Water-soluble ones too. So there’s plenty to choose from, or plenty to be tempted by 😉

Opposite are the basic supplies I recommend if just getting started with graphite or charcoal

Below is a small selection from the graphite & charcoal products I use

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  • Trace Down Wax Free Tracing Down Paper – available in graphite black or white
  • Clairefontaine Glassine Paper – to rest my hand on while working preventing unwanted smudges.
  • Blending Tools – an assortment of sizes allowing blending in the tiniest of areas.
  • Embossing Tools – perfect for making indentations in the paper for relief work.
  • Derwent Pencil Extenders – you’ve paid for those pencils so use every bit.
  • Loxley Fixative Spray – tested and recommended
  • Winsor & Newton Professional Fixative Spray – tested and recommended
  • Angoo compartmented Pencil Case – ideal when you’re on the move.

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