Artists, from early rock painters to Pablo Picasso and Roberto Longo, have loved the expressive potential of a soft charcoal pencil or crayon. Each charcoal sweep offers rich blacks and light feathering for preliminary explorations, lush landscapes, or photorealistic portraits.
There is a wide variety of artist charcoals on the market, each with its own unique properties and ingredients. Pressed charcoal is a soft block or stick, often made from burnt birch, clay, and black pigment. Charcoal pencils are similar to graphite pencils; they are often used to create clear and detailed drawings.
There are also tender coals made from burning willow branches and vines. Buying a charcoal drawing set is a good option as it gives you the tools for a variety of effects right from the start. We will help you find the kit that best suits your needs; view our picks below.
General’s Classic Charcoal Set
A popular pencil supplier offers several charcoal sets, but we love this one as it covers a wide range of charcoal types in a wide variety of grades and at an affordable price. It is suitable for experienced charcoal users and for novice ones as the attachments offer consistent quality and performance.
Highlights include eight black charcoal pencils (6B extra-soft to HB hard) that have little traction and blend well, two white charcoal pencils to create tints and highlights, and 10 squeezed charcoal sticks, including four sturdy oversized pieces that you can include their wider sides to effectively cover large areas. This charcoal drawing set will meet almost all of your shading needs.
Derwent Charcoal Set
If you love drawing with charcoal from willow and vines, take a look at the Derwent set. This charcoal drawing set includes both coals in addition to the harder coals. You will receive one thick piece of willow charcoal for intense marking and two long strips of grape charcoal that are perfect for looser strokes, as well as three charcoal pencils.
One is a darker variety that is slightly softer than General. And therefore it is capable of producing slightly cleaner lines that are less prone to smudging. The other two, brown and white tinted pencils, are great for adding subtle tones to your drawings.
Also, three blocks of compressed coal, which are nicely smudged and can reach great depths, are included in the charcoal drawing set. Please note that, unlike other brands, Derwent labels its charcoal by hue rather than a standard hardness scale.
Royal & Langnickel Essentials Charcoal Sketching Set
This is a great basic starter charcoal drawing set for those on a budget. While the tools aren’t made from the highest quality charcoal, they offer an introduction to many types of charcoal, and the low price means you won’t get too bad if you accidentally break one – which is likely if you’re new to charcoal.
The convenient tin box contains six pressed charcoal sticks of pleasant gray shades, three charcoal pencils without wood, which can create strong dark lines, and six pressed charcoal sticks that are soft and easy to blend and blend. You will also receive four tartar sticks for a more fragile and delicate shape, and three stumps for mixing.
Cretacolor Black & White Drawing Set
Made in Vienna, the implements in this charcoal drawing set will satisfy artists seeking more sustainable products. There is no rainforest and no toxins in their production, which does not affect the quality. Artistic charcoal comes in many forms, from three compressed black coals (soft, medium, and hard) to two white, square-ended charcoal sticks.
A highlight of this charcoal drawing set is the Nero Art Stick, an oil-based charcoal pencil that can create long-lasting deep black lines. This set also includes chalk pencils, oil chalk pencils, and pastels, making it an especially good choice for those looking to blend their drawings.
Faber-Castel Pitt Charcoal Set
Faber-Castel Pitt Charcoal is natural, which means it contains no additives, fillers, or binders, and is incredibly intense.
Faber-Castel Pitt Charcoal is natural, which means it contains no additives, fillers, or binders, and is incredibly intense. With this charcoal drawing set which includes three soft charcoal pencils for deep and dark strokes, you can experience great things in different ways, three compressed charcoal pencils that leave even deeper black spots, and eight different sized charcoal sticks.
You also get eight compressed charcoal sticks to work with. They are rectangular rather than round like most sticks, so they are more comfortable to hold. Made from a combination of charcoal and carbon black, they produce a unique black color that mixes very well.
A piece of burnt wood is perhaps the first artistic material that humanity began to use for drawing. Charcoal drawings are one of the first art lessons for aspiring artists, starting the path to painting.
Charcoal drawings teach you to see the main and secondary details in sketches for a future picture, build a general composition, use a paper background as a color, give excellent skills in toning, shading.
There are many drawings that can be considered full-fledged works of art and have high artistic value. Charcoal was one of the favorite art materials for sketches by Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci. Fine works made with coal were left to posterity by such masters of painting as Ilya Repin and Theodore Gericault, Edgar Degas, and Paul Gauguin.