|12" x 9" Charcoal and Charcoal Pencil on Paper|
The commercially available sketchbooks with toned paper don't quite do it for me. An ordinary sketchbook with white paper toned by hand as needed works better. Before each sketch, the side of a stick of charcoal is rubbed all over the paper and then blended to a certain degree with a dry paper towel (obtained from the men's room at the drawing class). That way I can control how dark the tone will be. From the resulting mid-tone darks are built up with charcoal pencil, and lights are made by lifting charcoal off the paper with a kneaded eraser. "White charcoal" might then be used for the brightest highlights.