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.