contact information

We're Here to Help!

We look forward to helping you with your inquiry. We respond to email messages in the order that they are received, and will respond to your email as quickly as possible. Thank you for your feedback.


Smile Create Repeat
PO Box 1693
Cary, NC 27512

Find us on Facebook


Name *

Bedford, NH

Art supply subscription box stuffed full of awesome by artists for artists, kids and adults. Available to help you get back into art or to give as a creative gift.


Filtering by Tag: charcoal

Draw with a charcoal sword. Sharpen your vine charcoal or charcoal pencil like an artist

Tony Luongo

First be careful and if you're a kid get your parents help.

Of course you can use a pencil sharpener, artists use pencil sharpeners, but that's no fun. Won’t it be more fun to draw with a sword of charcoal? Here is how I do it.

Hold your pencil or charcoal stick pointing away from you and with your other hand grab your blade and slowly–cutting away from you–cut a piece off. Continue to do this all around the cylinder to make a nice point. That’s it. The trick is to know how deep to cut so you don’t break the point.

Another way to sharpen a charcoal stick is to use a sandpaper block. Rub the charcoal in small circles to wear down the stick to create a fine point. The lower the anger you use the longer the point can be. Be careful not to breathing in the dust. You can save the powder and use it.

Have you done this before or do you have another technique that works great?

A Portrait of a Portrait

Tony Luongo

Each are 12"x16" Acrylic on Illustration board

Each are 12"x16" Acrylic on Illustration board

Portraits that I create are not photos that I then take into Photoshop and apply a filter, then color it in with paint on a canvas. In order to create these works of art, that you will smile at every time you walk by, I have spent decades practicing and hours and hours working in my studio. Sometimes fighting with demons of doubt. "I can’t do this." "Why do I think I can?" Then all of a sudden, through perseverance, faith and hard work, I make a mark and shivers run through my body. I’ve done it.

11"x14" Charcoal on paper

11"x14" Charcoal on paper

This reminds me of a great little story I heard about Pablo Picasso. I'm not sure if it true or just a fun little tale.

A woman came up to him at a park while he was sitting on a bench sketching. She was so excited.

“You’re him. You're Pablo Picasso.”

He humbly nodded.

           “Would you draw a portrait of me,” she asked him. “I’m such a huge fan and would be so honored.”

He said OK and she sat down. He then got his charcoal and paper and just looked at her. For 20 minutes he just stared at her without touching his supplies. Then as if snapping out of a trance he grabbed his charcoal made one careful gesture on his paper and proclaimed he had finished. The lady looked at it and was amazed. She was so amazed.

“It looks just like me. You captured my very soul. I love it. How much do I owe you?”

“That will be $5000.”

“What?”, she exclaimed in astonishment. “It only took you 20 minutes.”

“No ma'am, It’s taken years of practicing to be able to make that mark.”