Charcoal or Graphite Pencil?

Charcoal or Graphite Pencil?

When it comes to artistic expression, the tools you choose can significantly influence the outcome of your creation. Charcoal and graphite pencils are two quintessential instruments in any artist’s toolkit, each offering distinct characteristics that shape the artistic process and final results. In this blog, we will embark on a journey to unravel the differences between these two versatile mediums. Whether you are a seasoned artist or a curious beginner, understanding the unique attributes of charcoal and graphite will help you make informed choices and create captivating works of art. Let’s delve into the intriguing contrast between charcoal and graphite pencils.


Both charcoal and graphite are composed primarily of carbon, but they possess distinct properties that set them apart. Graphite is a crystalline form of carbon, known for its smooth texture and the ability to create precise lines. Charcoal, on the other hand, is a carbon-rich material derived from burnt organic materials, presenting a natural unevenness due to its granular components. This quality lends itself to easy smudging, allowing artists to effortlessly create shades and gradients that add depth to their artwork.



Graphite pencils have fine points, making adding intricate details to elements such as eyelashes, hands, faces, or lips easier. This precision lends a realistic look to the artwork. Graphite pencils come in different shades. For instance, the Brustro Artists Fineart Graphite Pencil Set of 12 ranges from 10B to 2H, catering to various shading needs. 



Charcoal pencils, on the other hand, differ significantly from graphite. It's thicker and creates darker lines. Charcoal pencils come in varying degrees of hardness: Soft, Medium, and Hard. The Brustro Woodless Charcoal Pencil set of 6 includes 3 soft, 2 medium, and 1 hard charcoal pencil. Many artists prefer medium or hard charcoal pencils over soft charcoal pencils for adding fine details to their artwork. Additionally, Brustro provides the Brustro Artists’ White Charcoal Pencil Set of 3 + 1 Pencil Eraser for those interested in working on black paper or combining it with their charcoal art or creating highlights. The Pencil Eraser comes with a brush on the back for dust removal. 




Shading: Achieving realistic shading with graphite requires layering—typically at least 3-4 layers for a lifelike effect. Artists invest time, patience, and effort to achieve the desired results. In contrast, charcoal allows for quick and easy creation of darker shades.




Blending: To blend graphite pencil artwork, artists often use tissue, Blending Stump, or Brushes. Tissue softly smudges graphite, the Blending Stump allows precision for gradations and Brushes like the BRUSTRO ARTIST’S HOG HAIR BRUSH SET OF 13 offer versatility. Artists often blend after each layer for a natural look.  For charcoal, artists use a finger for dark areas, Blending Stump for lighter ones, and Brushes for various effects. Not to mention, cotton swabs are handy for intricate details, Blending Stumps excel at preserving deep blacks, Brushes offer versatility in creating textures, and fingers are great for filling in white spaces.




Erasability: The ease of erasing mistakes is a crucial aspect of pencil artwork. To assist with this, Brustro offers a Slim Battery Operated Automatic Eraser, along with 22 Refills and 2 Eraser Holders. In addition to aiding erasibility, this eraser also serves as a highlighting tool, allowing artists to create negative spaces that enhance the realism in their paintings.



Kneadable Eraser: The Brustro extra soft kneadable art eraser is an indispensable tool for charcoal artists, often referred to as putty rubber and emerges as an essential companion for artists. This versatile tool excels when working with pastels, graphite, or charcoals. It possesses the unique ability to delicately absorb chalk, gently blotting and wiping the surface without causing harm to your precious drawing paper. What truly sets it apart is its malleability, allowing artists to sculpt it into any desired shape, ensuring precision work. Its significance shines when it comes to lightening, correcting drawings, and adding those vital highlights. This eraser seamlessly combines blending, erasing, and highlighting, making it the perfect partner for your charcoal and graphite artwork.



Still, wondering whether to choose charcoal or graphite pencil? The choice between graphite and charcoal pencils is pivotal for artists of all levels. Understanding their unique characteristics, from the precision of graphite to the boldness of charcoal, empowers you to bring your artistic visions to life. Whether you're crafting intricate details, exploring different shades, or experimenting with blending techniques, these versatile tools offer endless creative possibilities.

So, whether you're sketching, shading, blending, or erasing, embrace the world of charcoal and graphite pencils. Let your imagination run wild and create captivating works of art that reflect your unique style and vision.

Happy creating!



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