Bethlehem Update

16 Mar

Here’s a little progress on the commission.  It’s getting there…the details are slow, and I spend a lot of time carving my charcoal pencils to a sharp point with an X-Acto knife.  I enjoy sharpening the pencils with a blade…it feels primitive and old fashioned, and I like that.  I like to use General’s Peel and Sketch pencils, because then I can have as much charcoal exposed as I like, while still keeping my hands clean.  It’s nice to have an inch or so of charcoal exposed so I can hold the pencil on its side and cover large areas of paper quickly.  I also like to smooth out the charcoal with blending stumps and tortillians to fill all the tooth of the paper.  I’m not yet sure if I’ll use white charcoal for highlights.  If I decide to use it, it will be a finishing touch.  If white and black charcoal get blended together, they create a dead, gray color that is difficult to remove, so I like to use the whites last and only on clean, uncovered surfaces of the paper.


Posted by on March 16, 2011 in All Artwork, Charcoal Drawings


4 responses to “Bethlehem Update

  1. janukke

    March 16, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Hi Jenna,

    it is so much fun to see this sketch develope! You are left-handed, right? That is why you start at the right edge?

    Ah, you are so very talented :o)
    My jaw is dropping at the brilliancy of this image. I cannot wait for more!

    It is also interesting what you say about mixing black and white charcoal.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers, Jana

  2. Lenore Busch

    March 16, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Yea Jenna. Looks so nice. I especially like the people on the steps. Great idea on the charcoal, making the lead long. All I ever got with charcoal was messy, haha.

    I’ll be watching………..Lenore

  3. Jenna

    March 16, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    Thank you very much, Jana! Yep, I am a lefty, and I am shamelessly proud of that fact for some reason, haha! 😉 🙂 So, that’s why I work from right to left. Charcoal is so messy it almost smears itself.

    Thank you so much for the kind comments. 😀

  4. Jenna

    March 16, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Thanks a bunch, Lenore!

    Charcoal is so messy…it takes a lot of erasing and touching-up as you go along. I’m glad you’re following along. 🙂


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