Charcoal as a Medium for Contemporary Art Production

  • Chinezerem Adaeze Eze
Keywords: Charcoal, Art, Contemporary, Medium


Charcoal is said to be the oldest material used by man for drawing. Its use dates back to the prehistoric period. Charcoal drawing easily captures the light and shade effect; on objects and is easily applied and erased on a surface. In spite of these, charcoal drawing has not received the expected in-depth study it deserves by modern artists. Charcoal drawing is the type of drawing produced using the product of a wood "subjected to a slow-burning process that reduces it to carbon". This paper, therefore, aims at giving charcoal drawing the needed attention in art historical studies in Nigeria. The objective of this paper includes, proving that charcoal drawing could be considered as a complete art form. The methodology employed is this study is historical as well as analytical. It is based on the expressive theories, that, art is viewed as the representation of the inner part of the artist. The paper describes the types of charcoal used in drawing, the processes of their production, techniques and history of charcoal drawing as well as the analysis of some charcoal drawings. The study reveals that charcoal drawing is an end in itself, not a means to an end.