The charcoal set that started it all - Castle Art Supplies 40 Piece Premium Drawing and Sketching Set

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I bought the Castle Art Supplies 40 Piece Premium Drawing and Sketching Set with an Amazon gift card from my dad and I was NOT disappointed. It helped me break into an entirely new artistic medium at a very low cost and the quality was incredible. I am STILL using this set to make artwork like this 👇

I have to say, if you're wanting to get started with charcoal but have no idea WHAT you need or where to start, this is a great set. Maybe I'm biased because it was MY first set 😅 but I have to say, if I'd have chosen a different set I can't be certain my progress would have been nearly as fast.

Three fabulous densities of charcoal sticks + charcoal pencils

Some people like a wide range of charcoal stick densities but I'm very happy with the soft, medium, and hard options that come in this set. I prefer to use soft and medium the most - laying foundational marks with the softest charcoal and adding darker tones on top with the medium for shadow. I prefer to shave my soft and medium sticks and then apply them with makeup brushes as though I was actually applying makeup. I find this gives the smoothest texture and nicest finish.

I use the hard stick to make more permanent and defining features in my artwork. Sometimes I'll use the charcoal pencils to help with this as well. The softer pencils are perfect for lines I want to smudge and blend, whereas the hard pencil is perfect for fine details.

So many helpful tools

Blending stumps, a file for your stumps, a kneedable eraser, a white eraser and a whole bunch more accessories are included in this set that make it pretty hard to beat, if you ask me. All that's missing are the soft brushes I also use, but you can pick up a great set of makeup brushes on Amazon or at a cosmetics counter.

 

 

 

Dry pastels add a touch of colour to charcoal drawings

I've played with the pastels that come with this set and I have to say I like them. The simple colours are actually a great accent to the muted greys of the charcoal and allow you to add some warm or cool tones without overpowering the simple style that charcoal is known for.

As with my charcoal sticks, I like to shave the pastels and use them as a power with my brushes instead of drawing directly with them, but either approach will work.

This drawing set comes with more than just charcoal

I think one of the things I love most about this set is actually one of the things I haven't yet used 😅🤷🏻‍♀️

Spoiler alert: It's the graphite pencils, sticks, etc.

I actually started this type of drawing with graphite using random pencils I found around the house. But all the smudging with my fingertips and cotton swabs was a little much for my sore hands so I decided to focus on the charcoal portion of this set and used brushes to keep the impact minimal on my achy EDS joints.

BUT I have played with them a little bit and I gotta say that they're really good. The weight of them in my hands is also something I actually enjoy because it helps me feel like I have more control over the pencil.

Great to use in a variety of ways

I usually use Strathmore 300 Series Charcoal Paper for my work but I've recently branched out to using this charcoal set on painted canvases and have found it works very well. Naturally, I find it's best to use a good fixative between layers and actually find that Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating works as a good varnish for these mixed media pieces, as well.

 

Professional tip - Use a variety of tools with your charcoal. Think outside the box. I love using my blending stumps and straight charcoal as well as the pencils BUT my favorite way to use charcoal is actually with makeup brushes 🤯

 

Get the Castle Art Supplies 40 Piece Premium Drawing and Sketching Set on Amazon today!

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