Training at The Masters' Atelier of Drawing and Painting started with compressed charcoal and I found that I really enjoyed the medium. It is very forgiving and it is easy to achieve beautiful chiaroscuro (how light and shadow are rendered on an object in a painting to create the perception of depth) and sfumato (the blending of one tone into another, rather than by a clear outline. The word derives from the Italian sfumare, meaning "to evaporate,"). Throughout the Renaissance, most artists used charcoal to prepare their panel paintings or fresco murals, and many used charcoal in their drawing studies. However, some masters used charcoal alone or with chalks and ink to create stunning masterpieces.
Both of my drawings below are all charcoal and were done while I was a student at the Masters' Atelier of Drawing and Painting. They each took several months to complete.
Click on the image to view a short video showing how it was created.