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Charcoal Workshop With Sonja Frenz

We met at the Peter Clarke Art Centre in Claremont on Saturday morning, 23 July in a studio that was very bright and sunny, despite the chill in the air outside. We were a comfortable group of ten ladies and we had a lovely time, both instructive and sociable, as Sonja showed us the way she “builds” a charcoal drawing.








We had a whole lot of different charcoals to work with, from the very soft, natural willow sticks, to hard and dark compressed charcoal, as well as charcoal powder and black pan pastel. We also had a few different kinds of erasers, including very soft putty rubbers, paper blending stumps and hard vinyl and electric erasers, which were also used for drawing and mark making, rather than getting rid of mistakes.










Sonja stressed the importance of paper quality, as the beauty of the medium lies in its many layers, added and removed, using all the tools at our disposal.

She had us all practice on scrappy paper, so we could play a little and find out exactly how each tool behaved and reacted with each new mark or layer, before we got to the good stuff. We all left itching to go home and experiment some more.







Thank you Sonja, for a very enlightening and satisfyingly messy finish to our 2022 winter workshop series! Thanks as well to Irene and Avril for making it all happen.

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