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Charcoal Painting on Canvas

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Charcoal or burnt wood has been used since ages to draw, the easy availability of charred coal being the primary reason. As charcoal adheres easily to canvas which has a coarser texture to paper, it becomes easier to blend and manipulate. Charcoal painting on canvas have a deeply poignant touch to them; binary in their colours, abstract art or the portrait is often what is made in such mediums, simultaneously giving it personality and taking away its originality as what is seen in colour in real life is reiterated as a black and white image. The first recorded use of coal as a form of art was paintings in caves, with probably the most famous being found in France. Many historians agree that these were created using coals of fire and not charcoal. It was widely used in the renaissance, too, often explored in the making of preparatory drawings. It was not until the end of the 15th century that the methods of refining coal paintings came into use.

The original fixative was a little simpler than the sprays we use today - the paintings were dipped in chewing gum. It wasn't until the 20th century that it became the media itself by any means - most artists considered charcoal as something to be used to outline the original paintings. One of the first known artists to use coal as a starting point was Albrecht Durer. With famous 20th century artists like Pablo Picasso and Henri Mattise introducing charcoal in their works, it only makes sense that their work was preceded with a history of popular works with charcoal. Mostly, vine charcoal is used while drawing on canvas as the charcoal dust sticks to the canvas and allows for more depth in the picture. A number of fixatives can also be used to preserve charcoal on canvas and pastel spray is used to add layering techniques and paint over original charcoal drawings. The tooth or the hold of the canvas holds prime importance as artists rush to find a balance between erasing and building layers as charcoal sticks better to canvas than paper. Thanks to the strength of the canvas you can build and wipe the layers almost permanently without damaging the canvas, although due to how well the black coals adhere to the canvas, it is much harder to erase than charcoal on fine dental or smooth paper.

Coal paintings look great on canvas. Canvas grains provide excellent adhesion between the coal and fabric, and it becomes a great vessel to draw complex ideas as well as a blueprint for painting over. Coal dust can be saved using a recyclable material- the paint brush should be used to remove any loose particles from the smudging area and removing loose particles this way might help make the drawing less smeary. The weight of the canvas should be between 60 and 90 pounds- the standard while choosing a platform suitable for charcoal painting on canvas and other dry media. Coal painting requires heavy paper to withstand the marking and extinguishing that comes with this facility, so canvas also translates well into the process. While the charm of charcoal on canvas artwork draws from great abstraction and an aloofness which is hard to replicate with colored paintings, it is even tougher to carry them out on a canvas.