Since the beginning of the year I have been looking for an opportunity to try out this technique! I learned it while at Varsity and it is one of my favorites. You begin with a sheet of white paper. You then take a paint brush and food coloring(We used Teddy Dye this time) and quickly cover the page in a wash of color.
While the papers dried we spent a lesson playing with charcoal. The learners enjoyed the hands on nature of the medium. They were pushed to experiment with the smudging properties of willow stick charcoal and introduced to the firmer lines of compressed charcoal.
The next lesson, the original papers were dry. When I did this lesson in college, we did a figure study. I had been preparing to stand for the class myself but was spared this task by our gracious student teachers who posed for the time required. The learners began by roughing in the forms using willow stick charcoal. They then used compressed charcoal to create the really dark patches. Finally They used a paint brush and a little bleach to make the highlights. The bleach removes the colour from the dye/food coloring making some nice, white, highlights.