How to Teach Drawing Using Charcoal




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Introduction 0:29

Essential Materials

Types of Charcoal 6:54

Best Drawing Surfaces 8:56

Additional Tools and Supplies 12:03

Beginning Techniques with Charcoal

Qualities of Charcoal and How to Work With It 2:53

Beginning Projects

Beginning with a Grid Drawing 14:16

Moving on to Shading 11:59

Advanced Techniques with Charcoal

Intermediate Ideas in Charcoal 5:55

Moving From Charcoal to Other Media 6:04

Advanced Ideas in Charcoal 5:29

Drawing with Fire 7:12

Wrapping Up Projects

Critiques and Assessment 11:53


Conclusion 0:38

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How to Teach Drawing Using Charcoal

3 PD Hours

  • 1 Learn how to get started with various charcoal types and their qualities.

  • 2 Explore how to add new effects and characteristics to the drawings your students create.

  • 3 Immediately add depth and interest to your drawing curriculum.

Charcoal is a versatile and engaging medium that can sometimes be difficult to introduce to your students. In this Learning Pack, survey a variety of approaches for introducing charcoal types, qualities, and techniques. Gain specific ideas for lessons, critiques, and assessments all while exploring best practices and innovative ideas in charcoal drawing.

Connected National Visual Arts Standards:
Anchor Standard #1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Anchor Standard #2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Anchor Standard #3: Refine and complete artistic work.

Luke Nielsen

Luke Nielsen

PRO Facilitator and High School Art Teacher

Luke proudly teaches at his high school alma mater in Saint Ansgar, Iowa. His diverse background in visual arts, language arts, and sports science guide his character development and leadership courses as well as his junior high and high school visual arts curriculum.


  • Andrea St. John

    This was great! Charcoal is one of my favorite media. Thank you for sharing the techniques and how you present them to your students. Love the smoke!

    • Luke Nielsen

      Thank you. We love working with charcoal in my art room. I hope you were able to take something away from this Learning Pack, and let me know if you have any questions about anything covered in the modules.

  • lindsey puylaert

    Hi Luke thank you for sharing this great video! I’m an art teacher from Belgium. I’m not quite familiar with the material you used to create the relief hands. Drywell mutt? Can you explane what you meant by that? Regards, Lindsey

    • Tracy Hare

      Hi Lindsey-
      The material is drywall mud. It’s also called tape and joint compound here in the US. It’s used to seal joints of drywall together in interior construction. Hope this helps!