"Work for your self first. You can paint best the things you like or the things you hate. You cannot paint well when indifferent.
Express a mental opinion about something you are sensitive to in life around you. There is a profound difference between sensitivity and sentimentality." ~ John Sloan Gist of Art
As others have said: art is made by an artist, not fancy materials. I have seen quite breathtaking work done in charcoal on newsprint. Personally I seldom use anything other than computer printer paper, which is cheap and easier to draw on than most cartridge paper available here in Dark Africa. A century or two ago, artists very frequently used whatever paper they could get hold of, and it didn't prevent them from making very nice drawings and watercolours.
The disadvantage of today's very cheap papers is that they are not pH neutral, and will not last, so they are no good for drawings you intend to sell or want to last more than a decade before cracking and yellowing. But they are still perfectly good for learning how to draw.
Don't know, I've never squirkled.
But, it sounds like something really nasty you'd do with a squirrel. . .
Hopefully not related to gerbiling...
Vir: Get some laid charcoal paper or Stonehenge paper to use with vine charcoal-- try Winsor & Newton vine.
Laid charcoal paper? If the paper got laid it might be pregnant by now.
Silly jokes aside, my impression is that the OP might benefit from burning his own charcoal and using it on bits and pieces of cardboard torn out of old boxes. I.e. get completely away from any and all formal "art materials" for a while and learn to just experiment and play around a bit. I think any and all materials have their own limitations or irritating aspects, and one of the tricks of art is to learn to overcome these or even use them to your advantage.
Our remote ancestors made the most charming and striking art using nothing more than bits and pieces of charcoal and earth pigments on cave walls. Leonardo would probably have gladly sold his own grandma into slavery for access to even our cheapest and humblest materials today. I don't think it is a good idea to get too obsessed with materials until one is quite advanced in art.
Of course, it is partly my own biases speaking, as perpetually cash-strapped amateur... ;-)
That's how we did it at Angel Academy of Art. You can use the resulting charcoal dust too, to rub it over large surfaces (use a small makeup sponge). With the super-sharp tip, you stipple/fill in all the gaps, and draw small details. Yes, this takes a long time, but that's how we did it.
dude, any paper works fine, even printer paper. it's all about your drawing skills. even though i don't like the the texture rough paper gives off, if you make the right marks it'll look right regardless, it doesn't matter what you're drawing on. when you get good at drawing then you can worry about that type of stuff. oh yeah, and bump down the image size please.