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Difference Between Charcoal and Pastel Drawings

Charcoal is a dry and natural black powder obtained by burning wood, peat, bones, cellulose, or other carbonaceous substances with little or no air. It is a highly porous microcrystalline graphite made of amorphous carbon. It is used as a painting medium due to its vibrant black tone. Charcoal can produce exceptionally brilliant or strong black lines, and explore higher contrast and allow to develop visually rich toned artworks.
The history behind the charcoal use as painting media is very ancient and as per evidence charcoal drawing can be traced back at least 30 thousand years ago. The modern charcoal drawing began somewhere in the 17th century. One of the first well known artists to utilize charcoal as a primary medium was Albrecht Durer, Robert Longo,William Kentridge, Dan Pyle etc.

On the other hand, The pastel painting style creates a painting with a velvety texture and a lot of lusciousness.Pastel Painting is a form of painting that involves the use of pastel sticks made from powdered pigment and binder.
The word "pastel" originates from the Medieval Latin pastellum, which means "woad paste," and the Late Latin pastellus, which means "paste." The word pastel first appeared in French in 1662 and originated in northern Italy in the 16th century and were used by Jacopo Bassano and Federico Barocci. Pastels have been used by artists since the Renaissance, but it gained a huge popularity in the 18th century when a number of well-known artists like Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt and Odilon Redon made pastels their primary medium.
Charcoal sticks are manufactured primarily of charcoal powder such as burned willow or grapevine, and a binding agent, such as wax or gum, for use in charcoal painting. Charcoal is a brittle, dry art media made of finely crushed organic ingredients held together by a gum or wax binder, or produced without binders by removing oxygen from the material during the manufacturing process.

On the contrary, The Pastels are made up of color pigments. The pigments are ground into a paste with water and a minimum of non greasy binder such as Tragacanth gum or Methyl Cellulose to make different types of pastels like hard and soft pastels, which are then rolled, pressed, or extruded into sticks. Pastels are mainly found in five different forms: hard pastels, soft pastels, pastel pencils, water soluble pastels and oil pastels.
Charcoal may produce exceptionally brilliant or strong black lines, but they are difficult to remove entirely. Using charcoal will allow Artists to explore higher contrast and allow to develop visually rich toned artworks. The charcoalpainting is popular among artists because of its versatile properties, such as a scratchy texture that leaves a less permanent impression than other visual art media. Also using white charcoal pencils or white powdered charcoal along with black charcoal is also provides more versatile output.

But, Pastel is used to create the luscious, velvety texture with a deep, rich and splendid glow paintings. Pastel painting can be done without the use of a lot of tools but just the pastel itself. In pastel pencils, the binders and pigments are already combined in the right proportions, making it a very portable sort of painting medium.
Charcoal is a dry art media and found either as powdered form or as stick form. It can be applied to practically any surface from smooth to very rough. In charcoal drawings, fixatives are frequently used to harden the position and prevent dust from being erased or rubbed on the charcoal.

In opposition, Particularly oil pastels are easily bendable and can be blended using a blending stump, a cloth, or one's fingertips. Compared to any other painting technique, pastel colors' ultimate color appearance is the closest to that of dry, natural pigments.
Charcoal can be applied almost any surface from smooth to very coarse, such as Papers, Woods, Canvas etc. But like the pencil sketching, the most used surface for charcoal painting is the paper. The quality of the paper used for charcoal might vary. For example, more charcoal is adhere to the rough texture paper and similarly for higher contrast , the charcoal is used with oil pastels.

Although, The surface where the pastel painting to be made, should have some degree of abrasion, so that the pastel particles can rest on the paper. The stick is dragged across a rough or toothy surface to create a pastel painting orsketch. For example, Laid Paper such as Ingres, Canson Mi Teintes, Abrasive Surfaces such as pumice, marble dust, or rotten stone etc., and velour paper are suitable for pastel paintings.
For their artworks, professional artists use various forms of charcoals such as sticks, crayons, powder, pencils, and so on. Sticks, sometimes known as compressed charcoal, can be firm or soft, and depending on their hardness, they can produce bright or dark lines. Charcoal powders are used to make patterns and pouncing, which is a process of transferring patterns from one surface to another. Charcoal pencils are made of compressed charcoal that is enclosed in a hardwood jacket and are commonly used for fine, crisp, and detailed sketching.

Instead, Because the medium is mixed and blended directly on the working surface, unlike other painting techniques, pastel painting can be difficult. As a result, there is no way to check the colors on a palette before putting them to the surface. Pastel errors also cannot be covered in the same manner that a paint error may be. Because pastels are not firmly adhered to the paper's surface, they must be handled with extreme caution. Pastel, on the other hand, adheres to the paper's surface and is easily filthy unless protected by a glass or a fixatives consisting of glue or gum solution.
The charcoal stick or powder used for charcoal painting is extracted from natural resources like willow or vine (typically grape vine), therefore it is non-toxic as well as it is vegan freindly type painting media.

Yet, The majority of the fixatives are toxic. Also many of the color pigments, such as brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds, are derived from toxic materials such as cadmium. Additionally, Pastel colors employ oil or fat as a binder and since some pastel colors also contain animal fats, all pastels are not suitable for vegans.
Painting with Charcoal, Origin and Ideas for ArtistsCredit to @pratiksha
Charcoal Painting
Painting with PastelCredit to @remy
Pastel Painting
NOTE: In this article, the term pastel or oil pastel refers solely to the oil pastel. Pastel colors are classified into several types including hard pastels, soft pastels, pastel pencils, water soluble pastels and oil pastel and so on. To know more about the all types you can check our other art articles here.

Article Details

Publish Date: 12/12/2021
Related Tags: charcoal graphite painting charcoal painting idea grahite color painting pastel painting grahite color pastel painting ideas pastel art for beginner pastel art for kids

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Most Asked Questions:

  • Q. How history is influenced by Charcoal Painting ?
  • Answer: Charcoal Painting is a new painting technique having diverse characteristics, that artists are adopting. The history behind the charcoal use as paint....Read More

  • Q. What is used to make Charcoal Painting?
  • Answer: Charcoal sticks are manufactured primarily of charcoal powder such as burned willow or grapevine, and a binding agent, such as wax or gum, for use in...Read More

  • Q. How is the popularity of Charcoal Painting among Artists ?
  • Answer: Charcoal may produce exceptionally brilliant or strong black lines, but they are difficult to remove entirely. Using charcoal will allow Artists to ex...Learn More

  • Q. Explain the difference between Charcoal Painting and Pencil Sketch ?
  • Answer: In Sketching a pencil is handled nearly like a brush, resulting in a paint like effect ......, On the other hand, Charcoal Painting is a new painting tech.... Know More

  • Q. Where can I buy Charcoal Painting (on Canvas) without commission?
  • Answer: If you are looking for best Charcoal Painting for commission free purchase, you can check here.

  • Q. How to sell Charcoal Painting online?
  • Answer: If you are looking for best place to exhibit and selling Charcoal Painting , you can try GranNino. GranNino provides free art exhibition and commission free art selling.

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