Rule #4 – Light and Shade in Your Art Journal – Charcoal the ‘game-changer’ 🎨

This week I’ve had a bit of an epiphany and really love the latest addition to my art journal. Β Each week I watch Shawn Petite’sΒ ‘Crash The Stash’Β as well as other videos by this amazing mixed media artist and haven’t really paid attention to the way she uses a charcoal pencil to add light and shade and therefore give your piece an amazing depth.


I’ve been making my background and working out a theme for each piece and then starting to lay it all down. Β Here I wanted to achieve a really calm piece using these amazing Tim Holtz Distress Paints, Gesso and some textured paste. Β I also had some wallpaper samples and cut out the tree and birds which does give it a slight three dimensional look.


But look what happens when you use a charcoal pencil! Admittedly this is the finished piece and I have added some painted flowers and the text but wow – doesn’t it pop when you introduce light and shade? Β I knew it would but not by this much!


Making sure I kept to the same side of each drawing to give the impression that the light is coming from the right these images jump out of the page and I love, love, love them!

Definitely my favourite so far – I love the colours as well as the shading and have also added some details with my new Posca Paint Pen in cream to give it even more of a zing!


I don’t have any flower stencils and have been struggling to find some online that I like (and which come from the UK as the last time I bought something from the States I got stung for a whole load of import tax!) so I thought – I’ll have a go at drawing my own and then painting them (using my Dylusions Acrylic paints) and I am really pleased with the result.


And to finish off round the edges I used a block of charcoal and just rubbed it in to make it look a bit vintage and grungy! Β What do you think?

I love this Chinese Proverb and printed it out on paper twice and then mixed up the combinations with a light and dark background before laying it down with Matt Gel Medium. Β I even got to work with my charcoal pencil here too – there was no stopping me once I started!


In fact, I love this design so much, I think I might try to replicate it on a wooden or fabric canvas so that I can hang it on the wall! Β Whatever you have been doing this weekend, being creative in an art or bullet journal, I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have and I’d love to hear any tips and tricks you have using charcoal!

Jane πŸ’›

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