Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about how to use this forum.

White Charcoal

I stained my first canvas with Geneva stain. I let the two coats dry. I started a foundation drawing with a Stabilo 8044. It works ok, but is difficult to do a detailed drawing. It can be erased, but only if you draw very light.

I would like to try a General’s Charcoal White 558, but I don’t know if it’s ok to use as an underdrawing.

Is anybody familiar with this pencil?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



  • edited September 13
    I use General's Charcoal White 558 pencil and quite satisfied however, I find that I use it lightly otherwise it interferes with proper adhesion of the oil paint in those areas. I often have a "kneaded eraser" to easily remove any that may be excessive including any apparent light dusting in surrounding areas. My final lines are easier to see and follow on my prepared stained canvas or panel while I am working on it.
  • Thank you for your help. I tried it a little bit. It’s easier to erase than the Stabilo. My main concern is the potential to cause problems with the paint. For now I will stay with the Stabilo.
  • The fewer marks you make on a stained canvas the better.  Dirt and dust on the surface reduces adhesion of the paint, and pencil marks are dust.  This contributes to delamination.
  • I thought the Stabilo 8044 wouldn’t affect the oil paint. All I have done is an outline, but it’s pretty detailed.
  • I do exactly the same as @Forgiveness - light coloured charcoal pencil, then kneadable eraser to remove any excess (Blu-tack works well too). You only need a very faint line. I used to use an oil-based coloured pencil, but I find the charcoal works much better.  

  • SummerSummer -
    edited September 14
    Drawing on a dried acrylic gesso surface and covering it with clear gesso to protect the drawing during painting is the best solution that I've read about on DMP.  A transparent foundation stain in either acrylic or oil paint can be added afterwards prior to painting.  Every other method, where the surface you are drawing on is oil based, requires practice and experimentation with the suggested tools here, choosing markers that work best for you.  Some people prefer using grids rather than draw.  Others only indicate a few marks using the proportional divider which can easily be done again if necessary once the painting has begun.  Hope this helps.
  • Summer said:
    Drawing on a dried acrylic gesso surface and covering it with clear gesso to protect the drawing during painting is the best solution that I've read about on DMP. 
    Oh, was that me? :)
  • SummerSummer -
    edited September 14
    @Richard_P ; Yes, that was your method.  I wondered if you would recognize yourself.  Great idea if working with acrylics to begin with to nail down your image then choosing to go forward with either acrylic paints or oils.  Losing my drawings while painting is the bane of my existence because my studio is mostly set up for oil primers and stains.  Oil based markers, pens, and pencils are compatible with acrylic and oil primers and stains but not the other way around.  Acrylics are faster drying so can retard the drying process if there is oil underneath it still drying causing cracking and so forth. 

    Using acrylic again.  I'm gessoing some of the pages in my larger sketch books with acrylic gesso primer, front and back, and drawing on those, then adding acrylic transparent gesso over the drawing, then staining/smearing with a transparent acrylic umber and painting finally with either acrylic or oil paint.  I believe Cesar Santos also uses this method occasionally.  For my serious paintings, though, it is oil everything all the way on aluminum with Rustoleum auto primer and struggling still to finding the right oil markers to keep the drawing intact while painting.  Using Stabilo 8044 but haven't tried the General's Charcoal White 558 pencil yet.  Getting a good TIFF image will probably be the most important thing when painting on fragile surfaces.  Summer

  • If Rustoleum is acrylic based then what's stopping you applying a clear acrylic gesso over the drawing on Rustoleum to protect it when you paint (if you need to wipe off, or worry about the drawing mixing with the paint)?
  • SummerSummer -
    edited September 14
    Thanks for pointing that out.  It should work and I'll try it soon if I can find a can of primer without petroleum distillates.  I have been using Rustoleum rusty metal primer with petroleum distillates, Mark's foundational stain, and Stabilo 8044 markers which is not ideal for me.  Rustoleum advertises acrylic primers.  I should be able to find them.  I will look again because what you say is perfect for what I am looking for which is Rustoleum Acrylic Primer.  I wonder if it is an automotive primer as well.  Thanks.
  • No problem :)

    Of course technically you don't need a metal primer if you are painting on dibond as it's a layer of white polyester over the metal. ;)
  • SummerSummer -
    edited September 15
    Haven't used the aluminum panels with the white polyester over the metal yet.  Have them on hand though.  They won't need a metal primer.  I need the acrylic Rustoleum for the brushed aluminum panels that are waiting to be primed.  Still experimenting with several brands and types of aluminum finishes.   
  • Oh I see. I think it's common here for dibond and other panels to be finished with a polyester layer..
Sign In or Register to comment.