Taught my first ever pastel and charcoal class at Winscombe Art Group yesterday and loved it! The artists tried two different charcoal exercises during the session. The purpose was to encourage them to really think about the marks that they make and look in detail at light and shade to prepare them for colour pastel studies next week

The first technique is continuous line drawing, of which Paul Klee and Matisse were masters. You put your charcoal on the paper and draw a continuous line (without taking the charcoal off the paper or going back on yourself) to create a drawing. It really focuses your mind and makes you much more observant. These are some of my favourite Klee works. Love the mushroom cake!

The second technique is subtractive charcoal drawing, where you rub charcoal over the whole page, then erase the charcoal with putty rubbers and other differently sized erasers (a rubber on the end of a pencil is good for finer lines) to reveal your subject, focusing on the light. Have a look at the amazing South African artist William Kentridge's videos to see how you can use this technique to the max

Shown here are two of Winscombe Art Group's wonderful charcoal drawings from yesterday, a study of tropical fruit and an amaryllis. Huge thanks to Alison and Shirley for letting me show you their work

The artists gave me positive feedback and asked me to do more sessions in July. Roll on watercolour underpainting and pastels next Tuesday!