Compressed Charcoal

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Compressed Charcoal


Compressed charcoal is an expressive drawing tool that can be blended and shaded to create bold black marks and subtle gray hues in artwork. Comprised of powdered charcoal combined with a binder, compressed charcoal is available in a range of softnesses, depending on the ratio of charcoal to binder. Compressed charcoal is considered harder than willow or vine charcoal.


Available in charcoal sticks, blocks, pencils, chunks, and other forms, compressed charcoal can be used on paper for finished works — and on canvas to make preliminary drawings prior to painting. Because charcoal is a softer media that tends to smudge more easily, a fixative is recommended for sealing and protecting final charcoal works. Choose individual compressed charcoal sticks, or sets that include other types of charcoal and a variety of useful tools.