Art in the Open Learning Programme

It is important to begin all projects involving new materials with a mark making activity. Charcoal is best used on cartridge or sugar paper. There are varying ranges of thicknesses of charcoal that can be purchased, but a medium size is usually best for the Primary classroom, as the thinner versions can break very easily.

Charcoal can be used very softly, or used to create thick and dark areas. Charcoal can be rubbed out using a Putty Rubber. Interesting drawings can be made by covering an entire sheet with a layer of charcoal, and then using a putty rubber, to erase a picture into the covered surface.

Using charcoal for an entire session can be a messy process and table covers and aprons are advised.

Charcoal Portrait by a Nursery pupil

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It is also advisable to use larger sizes of paper then is usual. This encourages bolder drawing movements, but also makes drawing a bit easier for pupils, as it is hard to create as much detail as they are used to making with a pencil.

Year 1 pupils use charcoal here to create drawings of crows

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