Wednesday, 13 July 2016

art in the woods- hot charcoal and printmaking

Yesterday's art day on the Birtley estate was a great success! As well as the beautiful woodland, there was a charcoal burn in progress, which provided plenty of inspiration for drawing, as well as some wonderful fragrant woodsmoke.

I hardly had time to demonstrate techniques before my four enthusiastic participants had taken to charcoal sketching, and later monoprinting.

There are plenty of other interesting things to draw at the barn (especially if rain drives us under the awning as it did now and then). This is a special woodsman's chopping block with knobs for holding the wood whilst working on it. I love the organic shape of it, and the legs make it look as though the whole thing is about to run away into the woods..

Marcus produced this great drawing of the charcoal kilns, using the appropriate medium of charcoal.

Prints drying in the barn. Campbell chose to use a rust red colour to show the rusty metal of the kilns, and monoprinting is excellent for giving texture.

Tea at lunchtime was provided by the alfresco stove and kettle- it has a lovely taste of smoke, rather like lapsang souchong.

Monoprinting is a versatile technique which produces unpredictable results, and as soon as they had a go, everyone had different ideas for using it.

Lindsey (left) and me at the charcoal burning kilns.

And sometimes a photograph is all you need to record a natural work of art:          

The next art day is on Tuesday 16th August. If you're interested you can contact me on:


  1. Thank you my dear for a wonderful day...I still feel very creative today, long may that last 👍

    1. lovely to see you there! Hope to see lots more excitng arty stuff when I see you on Friday..

  2. Thank you for such an inspiring day in a magical setting. We hope to be back soon.

    1. thank you Marcus, so glad you both enjoyed the day. Maybe we could do adventures in coloured charcoal next time....

  3. Well done for giving everyone such a good time, Carol. Your workshops are special!x

  4. thank you, Jenny! I must try to do some more nearer home!


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