Sketch, charcoal pencil in Stillman and Birn Epsilon sketchbook
I do like drawing in charcoal - I know it's messy, particularly if you use your fingers a lot to smudge out those soft greys as I do, but it's lovely to use :>) and hands (and faces if you brush your hair back with charcoal covered hands) are washable.
This is the Stillman and Birn Epsilon sketchbook that I grabbed quickly. It has a smooth plate finish so I wasn't sure how it would work with the charcoal pencil - but the light and subject just cried out for charcoal. They worked beautifully together. The paper is heavy and though smooth, gripped the charcoal with no problems.
I hadn't gone through the book folding the pages flat (starting from the centre) - I should have, because then the book lies totally flat and I would't have had that central gutter.
The Derwent Charcoal pencil is lovely to use, giving dense velvety blacks but smudging to soft smoky greys or giving crisp dark line as needed.
The other tool I used was a battery operated eraser to draw back some lighter areas of hair - it's a lovely drawing tool.
I love the painterliness of charcoal. the ability to change from line to areas of tone and back again, the soft smudging, the hard lines and the range of tones
I'm really tied up with things at the moment but normal, regular posting will resume soon.