I enjoy creating trompe l’oeil pieces, and I’ve found that combining charcoal and graphite are the most effective means of creating two-dimensional works that truly “fool the eye” with their three-dimensionality. Each has definite, individual characteristics that play specific roles in my drawing process. For example, charcoal tends to produce dense, flat-looking dark areas, while graphite takes on a shiny appearance. As a result, graphite tends to pop forward, while charcoal recedes. So if you’re looking for the right medium to achieve a specific effect in your drawings, try either graphite or charcoal.