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White Charcoal is a misnomer, the term refers to the production process of the extruded ‘lead’ which is bound with gum Arabic without oil. If mineral oil is added it’s a pastel. If wax is added it’s a crayon. If it’s bound with clay it’s a chalk. Given that the company that invented it wanted to distinguish their products from conte, pastel, chalk and crayons they decided to align it with compressed charcoal which, when of high quality,is more expensive to make because of the binder.

White charcoal is similar to that of compressed charcoal and it comes as sticks or pencils. White charcoal, sometimes referred to as white pastels, offers another way to define highlights in your drawing. There are different varieties of supplies that can be used as White Charcoal. White pastel pencils are one option. My favorite white charcoal and the favorite of many artists, is General’s. They are made of Calcium Carbonate mixed cation processwith a binder inside a pencil. Alternatives to this would be white pastel – like CarbOthello, Wolff, NuPastel, Lyra, or Conte. Just beware as some of these options may become waxy (think crayons) when used so you’ll want to test it.

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