There are many artists who use charcoal pencils almost exclusively to create a drawing. They find it less limiting than graphite in the production of a wider range of values. Then there are those artists who use charcoals as a supplement to graphite pencils.
Charcoal was probably one of the first art mediums that early man used to create art. I can picture a prehistoric man using the charred remains of a camp fire to create murals on the walls of his cave.
These pencils are a much softer medium than graphite, and can produce a darker, richer tone.
That being said, the method in creating an outline for a charcoal drawing is very much the same as it is for creating a graphite drawing; and the shading techniques you use to create a lifelike 3 dimensional image are also very much the same.
I would suggest using a good electric pencil sharpener, and a sandpaper paddle to put a point on these pencils. Unless you are very careful, using a manual pencil sharpener may cause the pencil to break.
Charcoal pencils can be found in H, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, and 6B, and are widely available anywhere art supplies are sold.
They are sold in sets, or individually.
You should try out this versatile medium. In fact I encourage you to eventually try every type of pencil that is available...not necessarily all at once of course.
You should do some Internet research to see how other artists use charcoals. I for one am planning on creating more charcoal drawings in the future.
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