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Home > How to use Nitram Liquid Charcoal

How to use Nitram Liquid Charcoal

5th December 2019
How to use Nitram Liquid Charcoal
Broad Canvas

Charcoal is one of the most ancient ways to create art ever discovered, being a key component of cave paintings reaching back nearly 30,000 years ago. It is created by the intense burning of organic materials – most commonly wood. Most artists have tried using charcoal but you might be surprised how  many variations there are to try, along with just how versatile they can be.

Liquid charcoal is an innovative way to add a unique style to your work, which comes in 50ml tubes.

Paint with Charcoal.

Nitram Liquid Charcoal opens up a new world for using charcoal in your work – a new product that bridges the gap between drawing and painting. It is water soluble, meaning you're able to adjust the tonal values from very light to a deep and rich black. The viscosity is as almost as thick as oil paint, so you can try applying it in ways that ordinary charcoal won't be able to provide e.g. using a palette knife. It drys fast but is re-soluble if necessary, as well as being crack and smudge resistant.

View Nitram Liquid Charcoal 50ml tube here.

Charcoal's porous, carbon-rich structure provides a lot of surface area to each molecule, meaning that the pigment can be applied straight from the tube with stunning dark blacks as the result. Of course you can choose to be as gentle as you need, adding and removing layers as you go much like painting.

Nitram's Liquid Charcoal can be diluted and applied very thinly, allowing you to use an eraser as you might use with charcoal pencils and sticks.

Combine your painting skills with the expressiveness of charcoal. Find a good set of brushes which will lend itself to the thickness of Liquid Charcoal that you'll need. Once you've spent some time experimenting with this new and exciting way of working, you'll quickly discover your own style and techniques. You can always draw detail with charcoal sticks or pencils within the layers, to bring extra depth to your artwork.


Liquid charcoal is workable in both it's wet or dry states – and everything in between. Take an eraser to to where it has been lightly applied, or add thicker more dense brushstrokes to add intense contrasts. You can also revive already dried areas with water to re-work or embellish your art. Practice makes perfect of course, so take your time and make the product work for you.


We have a fantastic range of charcoal products and tools to compliment Nitram Liquid Charcoal; willow and tree sticks, blocks, batons and Derwent tinted pencils. Don't forget to experiment with masking liquid, erasers, chalk and other media that can greatly enhance your next masterpiece.

Purchase Nitram Liquid Charcoal here.


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