I thought it would be fun to do some drawing with the girls using only charcoal so I rummaged in my old drawing box and found some teeny tiny bits of vine and compressed charcoal that I had from about 20 years ago. They did the trick but I need to get some more. I had them draw with the charcoal only, using the sides and the tips and just filling up newsprint with different types of lines and marks, so they could see what the medium can do and how different it is from crayon and pencil. Then I had them smear with their fingers, cotton swabs, and tissue, and then erase to add white, highlights, and clean-up around the edges. We fixed them with hairspray and I was instantly transported back to drawing class—that chalky feeling on my fingers and black smudges on my face.
They weren't quite prepared for how messy charcoal drawing is and kept wanting to wash their hands in the middle, but I told them not to bother, and to use the extra charcoal on their fingers draw with. I could see them sort of click over into art mode and forget about the mess and just create. It was very cool. They were so proud of what they drew.
I would love to make some vine charcoal, has anyone done this? I didn't in school mostly because I preferred compressed charcoal because it can really go black, vine always left me wanting more. Regardless, I think it would be so fun to make some homemade vine charcoal, other than just burning the end of a stick and drawing with that.