Life Drawing by Florent Farges using Nitram Charcoal

Watch as Florent Farges, a classically trained artist from France, creates this stunning
life drawing using many different forms of Nitram Charcoal. From the Nitram Soft Rounds (a great alternative to Nitram B) through to the Nitram bâton.

Be sure to subscribe to Florent’s Youtube channel for great videos in both English and French and visit his Website for more information.


Music : Coraçao que sente, Ernesto Nazareth.
Played and edited by Alexandre Sorel (used with permission of the author).
Buy the CD here :

More about Florent:

Florent Farges is an artist living and working in Dijon, Burgundy, France. At a young age, he was interested in the arts and made the decision to learn the techniques of the old masters. When he became a student, he realized that there was not an art school in France that would provide the kind of traditional teachings he was looking for. When he realized he had to be his own teacher, he started drawing from the pieces at the Louvre, copying Bargue’s plates and reading through books of the nineteenth century. Later in his life, he was able to join the London Atelier of Representational Art (LARA). Since then, he works on his projects, painting and drawing in Dijon, sharing his knowledge during workshops and on his Youtube channel.


To see more of Florents’s impressive work, please visit




Giuseppe de Nittis

At Nitram Charcoal, we always enjoy a closer look at an artist who breaks boundaries, which is why we’re taking a closer look at Italian painter Giuseppe de Nittis (1836-1884). Expelled from the Neapolitan Istituto di Belle Arti for his insubordinate innovation, de Nittis enjoyed a career as a revolutionary spirit who blended Academic rigor with Impressionist ingenuity. In addition to being a pivotal member of the Macchiaioli, the Italian response to French Impressionism, de NIttis created his own unique style that, had his life not been cut short in its prime, would have undoubtedly played a pivotal part throughout the course of 20th-century modernism.


Raised in Barletta, de Nittis’ early artistic talents resulted in his acceptance at the most prestigious art academy in Naples. His tenure there was short, though, as his unorthodox artistic techniques precipitated his expulsion in 1863. Undeterred, de Nittis embarked on a professional career, which proved so successful that it precipitated his move to Paris in 1868. Soon after arriving, de Nittis befriended members of the elusive Société Anonyme des Peintures et Sculptures, a group later christened as the “Impressionists” following their inaugural exhibition in 1874. De Nittis participated in that groundbreaking 1874 exhibition by displaying four works, and it was that exposure, combined with his promotion by prominent gallery owner Adolphe Goupil, that ushered the young artist into almost immediate artistic acclaim.


As de Nittis’ works on paper reveal, de Nittis thrived upon the nuance of nature. Embracing the Macchiaioli penchant for spontaneity of pose and immediacy of atmosphere, de Nittis imbued his scenes with a remarkable feel of freshness. At the same time, though, one sees through these works that the spirit of a draftsman was also alive and well in his works. Carefully planned line underpins many of his charcoal, pen, pastel, and watercolor compositions, all of which relay to the viewer an arguably ideal blend of composition and creativity. An advantage of these media over oils is that of relative spontaneity, which is perhaps why de NIttis developed a preference for the medium of pastel over the course of the 1870s. The deft strokes of color wrought with both speed and deliberateness both furthered de NIttis’ celebrity as an artist and brought the spotlight to the medium of pastel.



Unfortunately, though the 1870s witnessed de Nittis’ meteoric rise, the subsequent decade brought catastrophe. In 1884, shortly after the completion of his most monumental work, a triptych entitled Races at Aueteil (1881), de Nittis suffered a fatal stroke. Thus, at the young age of 38, the brilliance light of de Nittis’ career was dimmed. Fortunately, though, his works continue to be celebrated in museums and exhibitions around the globe, ensuring his legacy in the role of 19th-century painting endures.


Are you a fan of de Nittis’ work? Did you catch his last retrospective at Padua’s Palazzo Zabarella (2013)? Tell us here!





Atelier Artien Exhibition: Épure de L’Intime

Nitram Charcoal is always excited to hear of artists who enjoy using our products, but we are doubly enthusiastic when we hear of such works included in exhibitions! That is why we wanted to devote this blog to promoting an engaging new exhibition at the Atelier Artien in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil that opens this Friday, 11 November.

The show, entitled “Épure de l’Intime,” features the work of Marie Demeslay, a rising artist in the medium of charcoal. This show explores the boundaries of intimacy and examination as expressed in figure drawings and includes some of Demeslay’s most striking charcoal works, several of which were rendered using Nitram Charcoal.

The Atelier Artien is the creation of Edgar Saillen, an acclaimed artist with both a dynamic background and inherent talent as both draftsman and painter. Wanting to encourage other young artists, Saillen now devotes a substantial portion of his time to mentoring the members of his atelier, espousing within them the importance of indebted study and creative expression.

“Épure de l’Intime” is on view for a limited time, so make tracks to Montreuil if you can! For more information on the Atelier Artien, please visit the website. For more information on Edgar Saillen, please visit his website or stay tuned: he’ll be a featured participant in our upcoming “Contemporary Charcoals” interview installments!



After Experimenting with Various Drawing Tools …

Nitram bâton review by Nic De Jesus


“After experimenting with various drawing tools I have now settled on a handful that work for my practice. The Nitram bâton is one of them. The bâton’s simple, elegant design reminds me to slow down and enter the next phase of my work. It offers a completely different experience from when I start out — a more fluid and controlled execution while still retaining the original energy of the composition.”

– Nic De Jesus

Inspired by surfing and traversing the coastlines of his South African homeland, Nic De Jesus’ drawings reflect the complex relationship between land, sea and sky; harmony and tension. Nic is currently shaping cantos 3 and 4 of Mare Incognitum – a major body of work exploring his kinship with the ocean.He lives in Brighton, UK and continues to work along the English coastlines.

For more information on the Nitram bâton, please visit:
To puchase the Nitram bâton and Nitram Mignonette, please visit:


Revisiting Rembrandt’s Drawings

Posted On: October 24, 2016 — Written By:
Category Art Materials, Artists, Artwork, Charcoal Technique, Featured Art, General, The Basics

Nitram knows that Rembrandt van Rijn is renowned as one of the most significant voices of the 17th century, rivaling only the likes of Peter Paul Rubens for supreme artistic accomplishment during the Dutch Golden Age,. From the throngs who flock to Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum to see his famous The Night Watch (1640-1642) to the mystery enshrouding his innovative Storm on the Sea of Galilee (now infamous for its 1990 theft from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), an equally tantalizing look at the master can be achieved through a review of his extensive drawings. Rembrandt reveals through his drawings his inherent brilliance as both a classical draftsman and artistic innovator.

rembrandt_van_rijn_self_portraitSelf-Portrait, circa 1628-1629. Ink on paper – 12.7 by 9.4 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Born in Leiden, part of present-day South Holland, in 1606, Rembrandt enjoyed early training with some of the most prominent figures of early 17th-century painting in the Dutch Republic. Among his early teachers were famed painters Jacob van Swaneburgh and Pieter Lastman, both of whom instilled in the youthful protégé the need for indebted drawing study. Accordingly, such varied sketches and studies appeared even during Rembrandt’s preliminary years and helped to foster an unyielding desire within Rembrandt for direct observation of his sitters and subjects as well as a study of light, atmosphere, and modeling.

rembrandt_lying_naked_womanNude Woman Reclining, 1632. Black and white chalk on paper – 19.5 by 23.4 cm. National Museum, Stockholm.

Though Rembrandt’s acclaim grew exponentially – he boldly began his own studio at the young age of 21 – and large scale commissions dominated his time – take, as an example, The Night Watch, or more fully, the Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq (1642) – he nevertheless continued to devote substantial time to drawing. One could argue that this enduring practice was owed to Rembrandt’s inherently innovative spirit. Constantly contemplating the intricacies of the composition, Rembrandt probably found a freedom of expression in his drawings that was a refreshing contrast to the confined terms of his commissions. Supporting this suggestion is that a similar energy can be seen in his prints, which became a greater artistic focus for him following the growth of his studio. This parallel investigation perhaps fueled his drawings as a means of both compositional development and imagined experimentation.

rembrandt_jesus_and_his_disciplesChrist and His Disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, 1634. Pen and brown ink with gray wash, black chalk, red chalk, green chalk, white gouache,
pen and black in on paper – 35.7 by 47.8 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem.

While the end of Rembrandt’s career was the only tarnish to his otherwise sparkling legacy – many accounts also reflect that Rembrandt outlived the pace of his high-yield commissions such that he died in 1669 relatively destitute – his remarkable skill as a draftsman lives on in his paintings, prints, and drawings. It is in these drawings that the spirit of the artist resonates most clearly, reinforcing Rembrandt’s role as one of the most significant figures of the Dutch Golden Age.

rembrandt_abraham_isaak_drawingThe Angel Preventing Abraham from Sacrificing His Son, Isaac, circa 1634-1635.
Red chalk over black chalk on paper – 19.5 by 14.7 cm. British Museum, London.

Have you fallen for Rembrandt’s drawings? Which are most compelling – his ink or chalk studies? Tell us here!

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