A Nitram First: Charcoal Artist of the Year

Posted On: January 5, 2015 — Written By:
Category General

We are excited to announce what we believe to be the World’s First, “Nitram Charcoal Artist of the Year” contest. Founded by István Balázs, managing director of Art-Center Team Ltd in Hungary.

With this contest, István was able to search for talented artists and showcase the quality of work that can be made using Nitram charcoal. Artists from all over Hungary were encouraged to share their artwork and showcase their talent, with the requirement that the artists use Nitram Charcoal with a mixed technical implementation.

All participants and their families were invited to a ceremony at the elegant Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Kecskemét; a great backdrop and ambiance for the first ever Nitram competition.

The Top Three artists were also awarded unique trophies created using Nitram’s Bloc de Saule.

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Charcoal Art in the Digital Age

Posted On: December 29, 2014 — Written By:
Category General

These days, everyone seems to be talking about the impact of computers and social media—and handheld devices in particular—upon the human psyche and attention span. The general response seems to be measured in a feeling of helplessness in the face of an inevitable, undeniable force. Is it really so irresistible, though? After all, we are still in charge of our own thoughts and choices…right? We could simply choose to put down our phones and interact on an authentic, human level. Let’s actually experience our lives again, and absorb and appreciate our surroundings with deeper attention than just a rushed, cursory glance between texts. Looking back on our lives, is a screen all we want to remember? Will we have any memories? How many real experiences will we have sacrificed in the name of keeping up to the minute online? It’s time to look up and employ underutilized portions of our brains once again, re-triggering ancient neural pathways for the sake of our own mental and physical health. Read More

For Students: Protecting Artistic Confidence

Posted On: December 15, 2014 — Written By:
Category General

As an aspiring artist, what is your strategy for nurturing self-confidence? If you’ve never considered this issue before—and especially if you’re a younger artist—you may want to put together a solid approach now. Your sense of security in your own ability, more than anything else, will determine your lifelong feelings about yourself as an artist.
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Mixing matte and gloss

Posted On: December 8, 2014 — Written By:
Category Art Materials, Charcoal Technique, Nitram, The Basics

Charcoal and graphite can produce some interesting results with the combination of the matte of charcoal and the gloss of graphite. Charcoal produces a richer black than graphite and can be lightened by lifting color. It’s best used for rich, non-reflective darks when mixing with graphite or even a carbon pencil. Graphite produces a range of tones from a very light gray to very dark, depending on the hardness used. Unlike charcoal, the more layers of graphite you lay down, the glossier it becomes. Read More

Charcoal with Other Media

Posted On: November 24, 2014 — Written By:
Category Art Materials, Charcoal Inspiration, Charcoal Technique, Nitram

There are times when monochrome just won’t suit a portrait or landscape drawing, but it doesn’t mean the charcoal batons need to be abandoned. Charcoal is perfect for preliminary outlining and adding darker details. Charcoal works well with quite a few mediums, including watercolor, gouache, acrylics, conte, soft pastels (non-oil) and chalk, allowing you to use as little or as much as desired. Read More

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