Magic Hour – charcoal drawing

“The sounds of sea breezes, waves coming ashore and seagulls squawking overhead slowly fade away; I look to the horizon and wait for the brilliance of a setting sun.  There is magic in this hour ~ “  by Mary

Magic Hour, a charcoal drawing (8×10) was drawn on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper using a mixture of soft and hard charcoal.  In 2015 I painted this scene in oil pastels (you can see the painting in the gallery above) and recently thought it may respond well to charcoal.  I was looking to capture the contrast of dark and light that shows itself during the early evening, when the sun sets and colorful light rays bounce off the water.  It is a special moment to watch unfold ~

Thank you for visiting – have a beautiful weekend.

Please don’t take my images – my art is copyrighted.

Please don’t copy or use the image without receiving my permission first – see disclosure on the right panel.

About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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73 Responses to Magic Hour – charcoal drawing

  1. Novus Lectio says:

    Would you check my last post “next sunday” please ? I’ll be happy if you can make it .

  2. Novus Lectio says:

    I have a charcoal pencil, which is soft at times and very hard some other time. I can’t use it as I do with the graphite ones. I’m pretty sure that my pencil can’t draw THIS drawing, are there many kinds of charcoal pencils?

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for your compliment and thoughts. There are charcoal pencils and charcoal sticks that are hard and soft, as well as numbered to distinguish the (as graphite) value ranges. Soft charcoal will allow you to smudge, smear and blend, and can be erased without leaving marks behind while creating interesting marks and overall atmosphere to a drawing. The harder sticks/pencils usually will be permanent in once laid down, or difficult to erase. The best way to figure out what you have at hand, is to take a piece of scrap paper and make swipes of the charcoal, using your finger or a piece of cloth, smear the charcoal that you laid down to see what you can and cannot do with the mark. Take a charcoal stick and make marks on it side, on the edge – in other words experiment on scrape paper and see what interesting things develop. There are a lot of useful youtube videos out there that can help you to learn the medium. Best wishes and hope you have fun – it’s a great medium to draw with.

  3. Nayana Nair says:

    You drawing are so beautiful, you are so talented.
    I envy you. 🙂

  4. roseherczeg says:

    There are so many of these beautiful views along the beach here in Ponte Vedra.. you have captured the feeling of a day at the beach! I just love your work, Mary!

  5. Hempmaster77 says:

    That’s such an amazing charcoal drawing should have entered it in the shades of grey competition I bet you would do great!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for your very generous comment and compliment, always appreciated. I have not heard of the shades of grey competition, I enter very few but am intrigued. Thank you for your confidence in my work and suggestion – I will look into it.

  6. Much magic in your drawings 🙂

  7. Such great textures. Beautiful.

  8. June martiny says:

    Mary I love this charcoal drawing. The walkway free me right into the water. Awesome. June Martin

    • Mary says:

      Hi June, great to see you! Thank you so much – I love your response to the piece – it’s such a compliment when a drawing can take your imagination to a special place.

  9. I love both of these pieces Mary.

  10. mihrank says:

    Mary – this is just beautiful and magical…

  11. It could be the beach where I live north of Liverpool – which I have painted and drawn on numerous occasions. It seems strange that this is an evening scene on your side of the pond as this is what we get as we face out west and watch the setting sun. Great tonal work again, Mary.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Graham – it was a great scene to work with. You right on the direction of sunset, for this drawing the scene was actually daytime, but with charcoal it was easily turned into an early evening sunset. Thanks for being present and looking at my work through your artistic eye, I really appreciate it. Have a great week ahead.

  12. dorannrule says:

    Once again I can almost feel the sand between my toes and hear the gulls’ happy calls.

  13. Wonderful … I love this and all your charcoal drawings!

  14. Espirational says:

    You captured it! Beautiful!

  15. I of July says:

    On point. From the path to the horizon. Excellent Artistry *****

    • Mary says:

      Appreciate it Heath – thank you for bringing your artistry in words to your response. So glad you enjoyed the drawing, it was an interesting one to do in charcoal.

  16. Christy B says:

    It looks wonderful in charcoal, Mary! Happy weekend to you too 🙂

  17. Antonio says:

    a very interesting post….congratulations!
    have a nice day,
    happy mother’s day for tomorrow (if you are mother)

  18. Madhu says:

    Absolutely magical! I would never have guessed that wasn’t a photograph, if I wasn’t seeing it here. A beautiful weekend to you too Mary.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Madhu, so happy to see you. Thank you for your wonderful response to the drawing, it really means a lot. Hope you have a beautiful week ahead.

  19. Superb as ever. Great composition, execution, and introductory description

    • Mary says:

      Hi Derrick, thank you so much for your kind and generous comment! I’ll bet you guys have seen your share of beautiful and magical sunsets while at the sea – can imagine the beautiful photographs you must have hidden away among your collection.

  20. ladyfi says:

    You’ve certainly captured the magic!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Fiona – now if the scene only had a twinge of your soft colorful sunsets, the magic hour would become a memory for a long time.

  21. restlessjo says:

    I can just picture myself, ankle deep in sand. Lovely, Mary! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    • Mary says:

      Your description of experiencing the sandy beach path is awesome, love it Jo! Thanks very much! Hope you also have a great weekend.

  22. debiriley says:

    Mary. wow…. so by now, you know I LOVE these!
    you fill the paper with atmosphere, …. Feeling… and bits of your own self sparkle through. this is the magic, of a creative Artist. You.
    I must say, you are one of the exceptions who is so skilled and Brilliant at being able to use photographs that one would never know. one always Feels your love for the subject in these charcoal/graphite works of art. Well Done!!!!!! cheers, Debi

    • Mary says:

      You know your words Debi and response has made my day, no week! There is nothing I feel more than the ocean and its pull. Something very special about capturing that feeling it brings about when just watching the magic wake up. Have a great weekend!

      • debiriley says:

        my pleasure, Mary, I’m glad! I think it is So Important to let others know these things.
        many times, we ‘assume’ others know that we Appreciate & like it, like them, appreciate what they write….
        but they don’t.
        OH, wishing you a wonderful weekend too!! cheers, Debi

  23. Amy says:

    Through your beautiful drawing, I feel like I was there watching the waves and enjoying the magic moment! I love the oil painting very much. Thank you, Mary for sharing with us! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Amy for your kind words, your lens has captured many a fine “magic hour”. I also wanted to thank you for taking time to go into the gallery to see the painting, means a lot. Both very different, but each fun to develop with different mediums. Have a wonderful weekend.

  24. Resa says:

    Fabulous charcoal that does capture magic hour.! I’m a huge fan of magic hour! When I shoot my gowns, I always try to get a few shots in at magic hour. Many a time I’ve been on a shoot where the director is determined to shoot a scene during magic hour. We either end up scrambling to finish the previous scene, or waiting for it to descend upon us. It’s always worth the effort!
    Have a wonderful weekend, Mary!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Resa, thank you for going all out during the magic hour. I could feel the excitement and rush in your words, must be a thrill to work on getting the shoots during this special period. I hope you have a beautiful weekend – thank you for always being so supportive and encouraging in your comments!! BTW, are you creating a new gown?

      • Resa says:

        I am creating a new gown TY for asking! Of course, it will take awhile, as I am just in the shopping phase for 3 ideas I have.
        In the meantime, I will be making Tenesa an Honorary Art Gown in a soon to come post on Art Gowns.
        If you haven’t seen Tenesa, she is a Graffiti gown on my GLaM blog’s most recent post. Hope your weekend is turning out lovely! 😀

        • Mary says:

          Oh so good to know and looking forward to seeing your creation. BTW, also appreciate Resa that you came in from your Glam blog, most times I miss your postings and have no idea why they don’t hit my Reader. I will check out Tenesa!! Have a nice weekend!

  25. I agree, there is magic in that hour, Mary. But you know what? There’s magic in your painting…this is stunning! After being stranded today when my car broke down, I feel as though I’ve stepped out onto the beach. I love this!

    • Mary says:

      Oh my goodness Jill – that is a horrifying thought and situation to be in. I hope you are okay and that there was a happy ending to your ordeal. Thank you so much for your kind words and I’m so glad that seeing the scene helped take your mind of your troubles! Have a beautiful weekend ~ the beach is calling you! Happy Mothers Day!

  26. Jet Eliot says:

    Your goal to express the light/dark contrasts on this scene have definitely been reached, Mary. Wonderful drawing.

  27. Wonderful description of sunset and lovely art.

  28. roseelaineblog says:

    Loving this drawing, I can almost feel the sand under my feet 😊

  29. Everything you said in your opening quote can be experienced in this beautiful image. Stunning work. Hope you enjoy a lovely weekend…janet 🙂

  30. The title of your post made me think of Walter Anderson and his life and love of the Gulf… Your post and the image both suggest that you share that same love and affection…He would have stepped into your image, walked to the shore and rowed out to an island!

    Happy weekend to you as well!

    • Mary says:

      Such beautiful feedback Lisa – I must be in step with Walter Anderson. Thank you for the link, I’ll be looking him up. The sea is a magical place ~ I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  31. I’m bound to have a beautiful weekend after seeing this exquisite drawing, Mary. Hope you have one too.

    • Mary says:

      Dear Sarah, it’s wonderful to see your post – I hope that this is good news. You have been in my thoughts. Thank you for your beautiful response to the drawing – always so appreciated!

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