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Charcoal can used in a number of ways through art, for instance making rough sketches and value studies for paintings and black and white illustrations. When completed, charcoal drawings must be sprayed with a fixative otherwise it would smear. Charcoal comes in various forms -- vine, compressed and powdered. Vine charcoal is created from burnt wood and comes in soft, medium and hard. Compressed charcoal is charcoal powder mixed with a binder to give it more stiffness and density, allowing the user to make darker and crisper lines and marks. Lastly, powdered charcoal is used for making value or covering large areas with one tone. It can be then drawn over to get the darkest dark and can be lighted and erased with the appropriate tools.
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