Advanced Charcoal: Playful Hummingbird

Advanced Charcoal: Playful Hummingbird

This printable project teaches you tips and techniques about the expressive Charcoal medium, perfect for artists of any age! If you feel ready for a more advanced project, follow the steps below to create your own Playful Hummingbird.

Download this Project Sheet


Recommended Materials

This project works best when using the materials shown below. Please Note: These items are found in the ArtSkills Premium Artist Case. These items can also be found at your local craft store.


Varying Degrees of Hardness

Charcoal can be baked and compressed into different degrees of hardness. A pencil's mark will be lighter or darker depending on how the charcoal is baked and compressed. The softer a pencil's hardness, the darker of a mark it will leave; similarly, the firmer a pencil is, the lighter its mark will be. Use the chart below as a quick guide to your pencils' levels of hardness and darkness.


Using the Tortillon

A tortillon, also known as a blending stump, is used to "smudge" or blend marks made with graphite pencils. Push lightly to gently soften your marks, and smudge harder to blend them together seamlessly. Rub a graphite-covered tortillon over a white area on your page to create a light, smooth shade. To clean a tortillon, simply peel off the outer layer of paper.


Prevent Smearing

Charcoal is a messy medium. It smudges and smears easily, so it's important to keep your work area and your drawing surface clean and tidy. Keeping a paper towel or scrap paper under your drawing hand will help protect your artwork from your skin's natural oils, which can cause excess smearing and smudging.

Drawing the Playful Hummingbird

Use the techniques you've learned to create your own Playful Hummingbird. Download the project sheet and use it for an up-close reference as you draw!