We humans use hands to do things. We make tools. And we are the ultimate tool users! Going back as early as 2.5 million years, our ancestors were already making stone tools for cutting and scraping. My miniature folding Leatherman knife Squirt in my  sketching tool gear is definitely their descendant.


But the first drawn marks on the stone walls were made with charcoal, earth pigments and lime, which were mixed with either spit or animal fat. In my sketching bag I have some descendants of these too: Derwent charcoal pencils, a chinese charcoal (a present of professor Jiahua Wu) and a sanguine Conte crayon, which is made of natural pigments and clay. In Naples I also bought a beautiful portuguese Viarco – Artgraf black carbon chalk, which is water soluble. I will call these my primeval – paleontological – sketching tools:) I sketched the above croquis of a nude with a charcoal stick at one evening live drawing class at Arts Gallery in Sheffield way back in 1993. One more recent try of the new water soluble Viarco Artgraph is a simple imaginary portrait sketch on a beautiful sicilian watercolour paper.

tanja simonic korosak_face_water soluble carbon