Drawing with Charcoal and P.J. Lynch

Once of my goals for this year (not reading or blogging-related) is to draw more, maybe even every day. I thought the Guardian's brilliant How to draw... series might be a good source of assignments, for days when the vague "draw more" isn't enough. Today's entry in the series is How to draw...with charcoal from Irish illustrator P.J. Lynch, who walks us through the steps of making this evocative drawing of a lighthouse using vine and compressed charcoal, white chalk, and a plastic eraser. I'm familiar with charcoal--it's one of the materials we use when drawing in the galleries--and Lynch has some useful tips, but drawing with charcoal is not my favorite. I think a B pencil is too smudgy! So I'm giving this week's assignment a pass, although I'd love to read Once Upon a Place, an anthology of stories and poems by Irish childrens' writers, edited by Eoin Colfer and illustrated, in charcoal, by P.J. Lynch. Each story or poem is set in or inspired by a particular place in Ireland: I wonder if any of our favorite places (we visited Ireland last summer) are there?

[The cover art for Once Upon a Place, also by P.J. Lynch, seems to have been done in watercolor. It's beautiful, and a very  different effect from charcoal, don't you think?]