How to Draw Sand With Charcoal

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Charcoal makes a great tool when it comes to drawing things like sand. Learn how to draw sand with charcoal with help from an artist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Drawing Advice & Techniques
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Al Krakosky and I'm an artist. Today, I'm going to show you how to draw sand with charcoal. The first thing we're going to do is draw the sand in the foreground. So we're going to draw a curved line with our charcoal across the page and in the background we're going to see a mound so we're going to up and then down and one more mound in front of that. And our sun is going to be in the top left corner so there would be a shadow on the right side of each mound. So we'll draw a line separating our highlights and our shadows and on this mound, do the same thing on the other mound, a curved line and then we'll go in and start shading, following the shape of the mound. So we're going to go down to the right when we're shading here, just like that. Do the same thing on this side and the charcoal I'm using is soft vine charcoal. This kind of charcoal works best with sand. So we're going to blend these in. You can use a blending tool or your finger works out just fine. I'm using my finger here and as you can see it blends in nice and smooth. You want a nice soft look for the sand. We don't want any harsh dark jagged lines. Everything is soft and smooth. So blend in your shadows, and you can add a little bit of blending on the highlighted parts as well to add some color to it. And we'll outline our lines a little bit but charcoal is all about layers. We're going to add layers on top of layers on top of layers to get it perfect. So we'll blend this in a little bit more, we'll outline on this mound a little bit, add some more of the shading and blend that in a little bit. We can leave some of the darker parts. Then in our first mound we're going to put some curvy lines across the mound, just random curved lines and you're going to blend those in a little bit, add some color, add some texture. You can use any type of paper when you're drawing with charcoal but charcoal paper works the best especially when you're drawing sand because it has a nice texture to it. So we're drawing these lines across here and blending them in as we go. You see these things on sand, it's created by the wind. It kind of looks like it's been raked through. Then we'll go through in random spots and add in some shading and blend those in as well. So random dark shaded spots then blend in, just like that. Starting to look like sand. So we'll go over these again, like I said layers because when we blend in, everything gets lighter. So the parts we want darker we'll go over again and the last thing I'm going to do here, I'm going to shade some more of these spots in, a little darker in the shadows, adds more contrast and gives it more of a realistic look. And to help with the sand texture, you can add dots, small dots all around the sand, especially in the highlighted areas, almost like stippling, it gives a nice texture to the sand, a more realistic look. So we'll do that throughout randomly and we're done. And that's it. That is how you draw sand with charcoal. Thank you for watching and keep on drawing.

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