Working With Charcoal on Paper
When working with charcoal, I use smooth paper with very minimal texture to draw on. I am able to maintain a fluid rendering while building up the darker areas with layers of charcoal pencil and stick charcoal. I blend with a soft cloth and pull out the highlights with a kneaded eraser and pastel pencil. I use a glove when I draw to prevent any oil from my skin getting onto the drawing paper.
The richness of charcoal makes it an incredibly powerful medium to work with. The black in combination with the highlighted areas add an element of intense emotion to drawing. The wide range of value adds a 3-dimensional feel. This enables the viewer to experience the pure emotion of the piece as if they were there with the subject.
Working With Oil on Canvas or Panel Board
When working with oil paint, I use smooth canvas or panel board with minimal texture in order to achieve the highest level of detail possible. To save time when working on a large scale, I purchase a custom stretched canvas and apply 3 coats of gesso in between sanding each layer of gesso once each layer has dried. The end result is a smooth flat surface similar to a smooth panel board.
The fluidity of oil paint in combination with the slow drying time allow me to achieve a great amount of detail in not only the color, but also the rendering of my subjects. I enjoy working in oil as it is extremely easy to control. The combination of color and value range I use add a 3-dimensional feel and allow the viewer to experience the subject as if they were there with the subject.