A few weeks ago I went down to Somerset, MB, which is sort of the middle of nowhere. It was a middle of winter as well, and there was nothing much to look at but some really beautiful trees, devoid of leaves and covered in snow. I wanted to draw it when I got back, and started right out on this charcoal drawing. It looks nothing like the trees in Somerset. It turned out really dark and twisted. It reminds me of the Disney forests in Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast. I like the dark fairy tale feel, but I think at some point I'll have to retry the original idea.
I used masking fluid to keep the highlights really white, vine charcoal for the majority of the drawing, and compressed charcoal for the really dark blacks. I love the look of vine and compressed charcoal together. I started using it way back in my first semester of art school to add depth to my drawings: