Sunday 27 November 2016

Nitram charcoal takes centre stage at Honister Pass

Nitram Charcoal, Nitram sharpening bloc with other black and white mixed media drawing and painting tools to include PanPastels, Rembrandt black, white and grey top quality pastels and Royal Talens Black and White Gouache. Great choices for expressive mixed media black and white outdoor and studio painting 
What an absolute thrilling week I've had again recently teaching a great art holiday at Higham Hall in The Lake District (near Keswick) this November.

One of the main highlights of the week was drawing and painting mixed black and white media in one of the most dramatic locations in the National Park - Honister Pass at the top of Borrowdale.

Working outdoors in such an inspirational setting at the top of the pass surrounded by the mountains was really fantastic. 

Margaret proving that big and bold is best using a large 25mm piece of Nitram Charcoal for her great mixed media drawing of Honister Pass. 

As a tutor what was even more inspirational was how intuitively everyone took to both my drawing and expressive painting techniques within their own work after my initial demonstration using Nitram Charcoal, PanPastels, Royal Talens Black and White Gouache and Rembrandt pastels in combination.

Everyone was impressed how easily Nitram Charcoal helped their drawings quickly develop with confidence - the quality of the media helping everyones ideas take shape with ease.

Veronica using Nitram Charcoal to add real depth to her mixed media painting - a superior charcoal enjoyed by all inspiring great creativity in every drawing

The different hard and soft, thick and thin Nitram Charcoal sticks were so easy to work with in lots of creative and exciting ways. I'm not usually an artist that advocates a lot of rubbing and blending with charcoal (preferring all my marks to do that for me one into the other) but Nitram Charcoal just encourages such an approach too! Such a lovely drawing media to work with!

Nitram Charcoal when combined in layers with other black and white media adds real depth to your work. Choosing a rough textured paper adds even more expression to your work too!

Canson 'Moulin du Roy' 300gsm (140lb) 100% rag content watercolour paper helped me to really 'let go' and interpret all the amazing textures surrounding us all at the top of Honister Pass. Many of my students in the group chose to use the same paper too - the results all round were fantastic.

Everyone's mixed black and white drawings taking shape - even in the early stages when using Nitram Charcoal!

With my own drawing and painting techniques these days I push and experiment with all my media a lot more. Its a high risk strategy that can result in instant success, very exciting and unpredictable outcomes from which to build an expressive painting full of visual interest or miserably fall flat on its proverbial there and then. 

At other times my painting approach fluctuates between quick intuitive marks band layers I built carefully. If a drawing for me looks too safe, wooden or what I believe to be predictable I'll tear it up and re-collage it back together again (my own that is!!).

The drawing I did at Honister Pass working alongside everyone between my group and one to one tuition for each and every student ended up as a re-collaged piece which I created for everyone back at Higham Hall studio.

Like Nitram Charcoal - I just don't accept second best with what I create. So for me, to destroy to recreate provides me with another opportunity to use Nitram Charcoal in this expressive mixed media drawing once more.

Anyone would say I did that deliberately  - any excuse to use Nitram Charcoal once again! Well, I'll keep you all guessing but one thing for sure, Nitram Charcoal, will, once again take centre stage in the creative process putting everything back together again perfectly!

Watch this space.

For further information about Nitram Charcoal visit


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