Charcoal landscape sketches

Making charcoal landscape sketches: lines & darkness

A challenge: to catch the atmosphere and richness of a landscape in charcoal on paper. You don’t have any colors and for the lightest parts of your landscape you can only use paper. For me, the two most important things when making charcoal landscape sketches are:

  • Where you put the clearest lines, the lines that capture your attention, create depth and make a sketch dynamic and interesting.
  • Where you put the darkest dark or the closest thing to pure black. The darkest parts of your sketch can create conrast and give your landscape the right atmosphere.

Ingredients of a charcoal sketchI think the most interesting sketches and drawings are never made with the goal to get a photorealistic result. In photorealistic drawings it’s a lot harder to discover the unique style of the artist. So, don’t worry about a little charcoal stain or a few lines more or less.

When making a charcoal sketch, you don’t need a lot. Here’s what I use:

  • Charcoal sticks of Willow, medium (5-6 mm) and thin (2-3 mm).
  • A4 (21 x 29,7 cm) drawing paper (at least 180 g).
  • A flexible eraser (not sure how to call it in English :-)).
  • Fixation spray to make the end result really stick to the paper.

Below are some charcoal landscape sketches I made. Good luck with your own artistic experiments!

Vulcanic lake on Sao Miguel, The Azores.
Lake on Sao Miguel, The Azores

 Freedom Beach on Koh Tao, Thailand.

Freedom Beach on Koh Tao, Thailand

The country side near Andernach, Germany.
Andernach, Germany

3 thoughts on “Charcoal landscape sketches

  1. Love the black &white. a reverse version could be nice, too. or a charcoal snow landscape. keep on.

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