Richard Rochester -
All about charcoal and how to draw with it
Richard Rochester presented a real eye-opener on the history, techniques and possibilities of charcoal drawing with a short talk about the sources, manufacture and applications of this versatile medium.
This was followed by a stunning demonstration of a drawing of a boat in full sail across the water.
Starting with an outline drawing of the subject he proceeded to lay down a smooth background of soft charcoal, brushed and then rubbed into the tooth of the paper to give an overall mid grey on which to work.
Effects from differing grades of charcoal Laying down a grey charcoal background
This was followed by drawing in the darkest areas of the subject and working through to lighter areas, making use of a variety of charcoal grades and sizes.
Waves in the sea were drawn in using a smaller dark charcoal and then softly brushed over gently with a cloth to bring perspective to the drawing.
With a judicious use of different sized erasers varying from soft to hard he went on to introduce the light and dark areas of the sails catching the light to give the impression of a light following wind.
At the conclusion, the work, although unfinished, really impressed members and Richard was kept busy with many questions about this and his other work.
A fascinating and inspiring morning and if you’d like to explore more about Richard and his work, please go to his website www.richardrochester.co.uk
Later this year he has a book being published ‘Charcoal - Techniques and Tutorials for the Complete Beginner’ so if you want more guidance following his demo, keep your eyes open for this. Meantime, dig out that charcoal lurking at the bottom of your pencil box and experiment with some of the techniques he demonstrated - you might even produce a drawing for display at our August exhibition.