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Art For Families - May 25, 2021

Today's art activity for you to do at home:

Charcoal Eraser Drawing

On Tuesdays at 11am we go "live" on our YouTube and Facebook pages with art for #families.

Today we will be using an eraser to draw with! After covering our page with charcoal, we will use an eraser and more charcoal to draw a still life we have set up to draw!

Don't forget to tag us on Facebook, Twitter @RedDeerMuseum or Instagram @rdmag #MAGsatathome with your creations! We'd love to see them.


Vine charcoal is a long and thin charcoal stick that is the result of burning grape vines in a kiln without air.

Willow charcoal is a long and thin charcoal stick that is the result of burning willow sticks in a kiln without air.

Compressed charcoal is made of powdered charcoal held together with a binder. Compressed charcoal comes in a range of softnesses however it is generally harder than willow and vine.

Kneaded eraser or putty rubber, is usually made of a grey or white pliable material. It functions by absorbing and “picking up” graphite or charcoal particles. It does not wear away and leave behind eraser residue.

Watch our YouTube for step-by-step demonstration!


You can download the instructions in a pdf format here.

What You Need: 11x14” sheet of drawing paper, piece of vine charcoal and compressed charcoal, 2-3 still life objects, paper towel (one piece wet to wipe charcoal off fingers), pair of gloves, kneaded eraser, aerosol hairspray.

Step 1. . Set up your still life in front of you making sure to show the shadows. Cover your work area with newspaper to keep it clean. *Charcoal is messy so keep a damp cloth nearby to wipe your fingertips!

Step 2. Start by filling your page with vine charcoal. Hold the charcoal on its side and rub all over the page but leave a boarder of white around the edges.

Step 3. Make a point with your kneaded eraser and “draw” a faint outline of the objects contour.

Step 4. Continue drawing in the lightest details with the eraser. *Use the eraser to draw in your mid-tones and press harder on the eraser to show your lightest tones.

Step 5. When you have all of the objects and the middle tones of the still life drawn in, go back in with the compressed charcoal and deepen the darker areas. *A wide range of light to dark is what you are aiming for!

Aerosol hairspray will help prevent some of the charcoal from coming off the paper. Hold the can 12” from the paper spraying continuously. This can be done multiple times!

charcoal eraser drawing


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