This past weekend, I took a trip out to Lake Sinclair, not only for some fresh air, but for some new art supplies. Charcoal is an easy toe-dip into the world of creating your own materials and pigments, and is virtually free.
Take a gander outside. You don`t even need a nature preserve or forest for this; some clippings from your neighborhood plants or sidewalk shrubs will also work. It`s wise to only take a few samples from any given plant, you don`t want to stress the poor little saps out too much. Gather a handful of cuttings, various thicknesses and species do in fact work-different varieties will produce different results and this is fun to experiment with.
Cut the samples to size, to lay in your tin. I tried to keep mine about Crayon sized. You can mix it up with some more green twigs, and some more dry ones.
Take your filled tin and make sure the lid fits snugly, as you don`t want to lose all your cuttings to the fire. Have a decent-sized fire built, enough that the flames are big enough to stay lit. With your tongs, wrench, or spatula, lay the tin on top of the flame.
Wait about 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of your fire.
Carefully remove the tins and rest somewhere where they wont catch fire or melt through somthing.
Let rest about 10 minutes.
Congratulations, you now have your very own charcoal!
Things to do With Your Charcoal:
I hope this was fun and that you give it a try, more tutorials like it will follow!
If you want to find my art and see more process and behind-the-scenes, follow me on Instagram, @lostinthewoodsart!