White Chacoal on black paper

I have a question for some of you more experienced artists and fellow students. I’ve been trying to do some work with white charcoal on black paper (and owl on a full moonlit night) and I’ve been trying to create a wispy ‘fog’ with white charcoal. I haven’t been able to find any powdered white charcoal so I attempted to crush and pulverize some charcoal from one of my pencils and then to apply it and spread, blend and work the white powder into the picture to make a foggy look. For some reason the crushed charcoal on the 'medium surface paper seemed to be ‘scratchy’ and I couldn’t achieve the look I was going for!
Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Take Care!

Hi Patrick,
This is because the “white” charcoal isn’t really charcoal and its held together by a binder. You won’t be able to produce the same consistency in the powder as organic charcoal. But, what you can do is hold a white charcoal pencil very low on the shaft and barely touch the surface of the paper as you make marks. Then use a blending tool to smooth the material into the paper. This should give you the look you’re going for. You can repeat this process to make the values lighter and lighter until you achieve the value that you need.


Matt. Could a chalk pastel have worked for this?

Yes, the pastel will probably work a little better, but the pigmentation may be different. Even a slight difference in color (even in a “white”) will be noticeable.

Thanks for the answer. :handshake: