15 Bytes | Hints 'n' Tips | Visual Arts

Starting Out In Charcoal: Preparing for Paintings in Black and White


One really effective way to begin planning your next studio painting is to do several thumbnail sketches until you hit on something you like. After that, you might forgo heading directly into oil paint and do some pre-planning in the medium of soft vine charcoal. The reason for this is because soft vine charcoal is very workable, takes the eraser well, and is a joy to work with when making changes and adjustments. As a drawing medium, it is the closest thing I know to oil painting in many respects.

Read John Hughes’ Hints ‘n’ Tips article in the May 2015 edition of 15 Bytes.

An award-winning artist and teacher who has been painting the landscape both in and out of the studio since 1983, John Hughes maintains a studio in Taylorsville and teaches students in private workshops and in a course at Salt Lake Community College.

2 replies »

  1. Thank you John for using my work. I feel it’s a really good thing to see this kind of writing going on. This article is one of my favorites, as each publication of 15 bytes comes around. It always is a good presentation of theory and practice for the artist to consider in their own work. Great work John, and thank you Shawn for this publication.
    Tom Howard

  2. Although paintings are lovely, I almost always prefer the drawings or sketches that form the basis for an artist’s painting. So much energy and life in these sketches. Beautiful Tom.

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