It's such a lovely medium, so flexible and the most like paint of all the dry materials, capable of being both technically formal and atmospheric, loose and tight, and manoeuvrable in a way other mediums are not. But all it's luscious qualities are, of course, nothing but a hindrance and a distraction if they are used for their own sake or to hide lack of ability or vision.
I'm very wary of using charcoal, preferring pencil for most jobs involving form because if it's precision and use of line to make shapes. In other words, it's limitations simplify the process of looking and describing.
However, if I want to pretend to be a real artist, like;
Or on the rare occasions where I need to describe a projected painting and work out the tonal values in monochrome;
or come up with a design for a portrait;
Or simply have a ball and enjoy myself, I assemble the paraphernalia and get going. Sometimes to take a quick note;
Or to take a study a little further;
Or to do a more finished drawing for it's own sake.
I made a video of the drawing below and short clips are included. To watch a short video of the full process go to my website www.harry-holland.com/videos/
Setting the outline