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Learning tools for artists

Charcoal Fixative | Building Layers Charcoal for Density

Fixative is a fantastic tool for developing dense, rich blacks in charcoal. The wood used for our charcoal is willow, which is precisely baked for a consistent intensity, and provided in a range of sizes for thin or broad marks. By applying a field of charcoal, and masking an area before spraying Fixative, we demonstrate how well the fixed charcoal stays on the surface. This process is repeated several times, adding charcoal, masking an area and then spraying Fixative several times over. This shows how to develop charcoal into a dense, rich black. At the end, the area not sprayed with Fixative can be rubbed away, but the area of charcoal layered with Fixative is stable.