I love the look of charcoal and oil paint, so I decided it was time to try it out for myself. I found an old mangled photo yesterday, and it was the perfect subject, a fountain I'd snapped a picture of years ago and kept around just in case. This is the finished (at this point, we'll see I suppose) product.
This was the first layer. I painted over the charcoal with some flake white diluted with lots of solvent. I took photos along the way so I could look back and figure out what to do differently next time.
I like this stage best, with the lighter background and sharper drawing, but unfortunately the charcoal would never stay like this and has to be painted over to stay on the canvas. However, I did experiment with drawing on top of a wet glaze, and the charcoal came out fairly defined and stayed put, so I'm going to try that a little earlier next painting (as in the second layer rather than the forth, like this painting), and I think I'll get better results in the end. Even though this is a painting it looks very much like how I sketch, layering vine charcoal and then compressed charcoal for depth, contrast, and definition. That's probably why I like it so much.