FCSA logo

Back to History page
or Graham's other years:1999 - 2001 - 2003 - 2004 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016

Graham Scandrett: WORKSHOP, 16 & 30 Sept 2016

"Charcoal and Colour"

Week 1 - Week 2

Week 1: Charcoal over Colour, 16 Sept 2016
As usual there was a good turnout for Graham's workshop. He started straight in with a short introduction..

He is not one for stretching his paper. If he wants a wet surface he puts watercolour paper in the bath before hanging it up, for excess water to run off, and then clipping it to his board. Cartridge paper need only be wetted on one side. If you have to wet paper in situ a sponge is better than a brush.

Tonight he used 300 lb watercolour paper (although heavy cartridge would do). He wet the paper all over and then touched in areas of watercolour corresponding roughly to the colours in the photo he was working from. This had to be dry before he could get going with the charcoal so, to avoid waiting, he produced a dry sheet he had done earlier.

Remember, he said, you are translating your photo, not copying it. He then started putting charcoal into one dark corner, rubbing it in a bit and then removing some of it with his putty rubber where he wanted lighter areas . Where he needed sharp edges he used a charcoal pencil over the rubbed-out areas.

If you need to add more colour, be very careful not to paint into the charcoal (which will mix to form mud.

Then Graham stopped and told us to find a photo and get on with it. These are workshops, not demos, so we had been asked to bring paper, charcoal, putty rubber and colour (preferably watercolour or pastel). He wandered round making helpful comments while I wandered round taking snaps of people's work as the evening progressed.

See below for the complementary "colour on charcoal" week

Week 1 - Week 2

Week 2: Charcoal with Colour over, 30 Sept 2016
The materials this week were the same as before except that for the charcoal we needed only hard/compressed versions (eg Conté, not willow). Willow charcoal forms mud if colour, particularly watercolour, is put over it. You might get away with using willow but you would have to accept that it will be picked up and spread by the paint. You can test how suitable it is for being overpainted by seeing how much it can be smudged with a finger.

For his even shorter talk this week, Graham first produced a watercolour sketch he had done earlier and then a charcoal drawing on a heavy medium-surface white cartridge paper. It included some fine detail and lots of shading - enought to be almost a completed black and white picture.

He started colouring some remaining white patches with watercolour. When he began to put paint over areas that had been shaded in charcoal Graham was even more careful not disturb it by scrubbing/stirring. His paint was remarkably wet - you could see that when it had run it had carried some charcoal with it. He was able to mop off any excess with paper towel.
Then it was up to us.
Graham's example

and then our efforts

. . . and so ended another productive evening. Thank you Graham.

Week 1 - Top - Week 2

Back to History page
or Graham's other years:1999 - 2001 - 2003 - 2004 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016

Top of Page - Home - Programme of Events - Gallery - Contacts - FCSA Site Map