This is a charcoal drawing of a 1967 Austin Healey, 3000 Mk III, it was my first attempt at drawing a car using charcoal. The fact is it was my first attempt at using a charcoal pencil. Most of my work up until this point when using charcoal, was much bigger drawings and mostly life drawings. Charcoal drawings are good to draw because you can get very good tonal definition. Although the charcoal does not give you the same subtle tonal variation, you can get with a graphite pencil. This is mainly because it is usually very black or dark brown, almost black, where as graphite is grey but never quite reaches a black.
The other issue with graphite is the darker, the tones and thicker the layers of graphite are the reflective they are. This makes them seem lighter than the they actually are, at different angles because of the reflected light. Charcoal does not present this issue, as it is courser, producing little or no reflective qualities. Another issue with charcoal is, it is difficult to make very fine precise lines, partly because the material it’s self is quite soft and powdery. This issue can be improved considerably with compressed, harder charcoal or some harder charcoal pencils which I did not have when doing this drawing. The wheel spokes and some of the fine chrome details, would have benefited greatly from having some hard compressed charcoal pencils, when doing this drawing.
Charcoal drawing-size can be an issue.
The car was drawn onto A3, 300gsm watercolor paper, using the smooth side of the paper, the quality of the paper was not a problem but the size was. It would have been better if it was draw on A2 sized paper. This would have given me a bigger drawing area, so that the fine detail would not have needed to be so small. It would have reduced the need for very fine detailed lines.
The 1967 Austin Healey 3000 Mk III, charcoal drawing above, was drawn onto A3 water color paper, also with a little photo editing in this image, using PC software. This amounts to amounts to the darker faded area around the car being added. This gives the impression of it being under a spot light.
Charcoal drawing-better detail with marker pens.
The Austin Healey, 3000 Mk III, drawing below is not a charcoal drawing or graphite pencil drawing. It has been created with various grey marker pens. Slightly larger in size at A2, on 180gsm cartridge paper, it looks better because of it. There are no reflections of light from the marker pens but they have very nice tonal variations, with nice fine details. The issue with marker pens is that they tend to bleed through the paper. This makes the lines thicker than intended but because this was drawn on A2 paper, it compensated for the issue. The marker pens produced a nice drawing, that I was pleased with at the time. There are a few minor issues with it now, after reflecting on it but over all, it is a nice drawing that I am still pleased with.
The grid drawing below is of a Ford Mustang Shelby, GT 500, in graphite pencil. It was used as a construction drawing and was later was filled in using marker pens. It shows how neat and more precise the lines can be using a graphite pencil. It can be compared with the first drawing using charcoal. The final drawing made from this also turned out well when finished in marker pens.
The point to remember when when drawing, is size, it is much easier to draw a very fine detailed drawing, when doing it on a large drawing area, than it is when drawing in a small area, so size dose matter and large drawings will also look very impressive, to the onlooker. If you are going to draw a charcoal drawing of a 1967, Austin Healey or any car with fine detail, then you will be best remembering, that bigger is better, size matters.