The “Art Set Pro” app, has lovely charcoal…

The charcoal in “Art Set Pro” is lovely to use. I’ve tried charcoal in other art apps, but they just haven’t quite got that chalky rich quality I want. *Now, in 2019, I’ve found the “Procreate” app, also has a great range of natural look and “feel” charcoals. The drawings below, I drew in the “Art Set Pro” app.

The smudge tools in this app are a part of what makes “Art Set Pro’ so amazing.

By the time I smudge and rub and draw around the charcoal, I sometimes feel like I have to go wash my hands!

Working in black and white, has long been my favourite way to create an artwork.

About Tonal Work

As a child I was quite fascinated by the black and white reproductions of artworks in our family encyclopedia set (that’s way back in the 60’s!) and would diligently copy – mostly faces – from them. It’s probably when my love of black and white tonal work began. I was also encouraged when I found that with grey lead pencils – as they were called – I could capture the many grey variations in the photos I drew from.

For years a trusty graphite (greylead) pencil and a “big jotter” –  a drawing pad my mum would often buy me – were hardly ever out of my hands.  Of course at art school I was thrown right into colour work. I loved it, and found my confidence grew. I soon realized the years of focus on graphite pencil drawing, were a big help in being able to “see” the underlying tonal values in my colour paintings.

Learning to see and render the tonal values in your drawing or painting can play a crucial part in it’s success.

Face 13b
I drew this using the graphite pencils in “Art Set Pro” .  Though I don’t usually smudge my pencil work on paper, I thought I’d give it a try here using one of the very handy smudge tools in this app.

The white paper in this app looks distinctly grey, (love the grain in this one) which isn’t so obvious when you use it in the app. I don’t mind it; you can lighten parts up with some white paint as I did here or with white conte, marker pen, oil pastel and so on…Also there is the option to bring in whiter paper from another art app.*Discovered you can make a whiter white than the one preset there. You bring in blank white page from another app (Ubrush Pro seems to suit best) then using the dropper, place it on the page and save the white colour made into the pallete – a very useful white to have.

I highly recommend when learning to draw, to look carefully at what you are drawing – a classical skill taught for centuries – and use a simple graphite pencil or one from an app, and just practice, practice and then practice some more. And use your pencil lightly and build on it from there and oh, remember to have fun!

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