Here I am minding my own business, trying to stay focused on portraits and figures and along comes another technique to try. I swear I'm like my dog. I send her into the kitchen to get a toy and she comes back 20 minutes later with...a sock. I digress.
This is a technique I found in the book "Strokes of Genius".(I apologize that I don't have the book anymore and can't remember the artist who taught this.) It involves pure charcoal powder and water. You also need watercolor paper. I used cold press, 300#, but you can try anything.
Warning: THIS IS MESSY, YOU'LL WANT TO WORK OUTSIDE.
Dip your brush in water and make strokes on the paper. While it is still wet, sprinkle a heavy layer of charcoal powder all over the paper. Quickly pour a bucket of water over the paper. The areas where you made the brushstrokes will lose the charcoal while while the other areas will have varying amounts of charcoal left. I tried this about 10 times and each time got a completely different result.
After it dries, spray it with a fixative. I'm working on painting over some of these and the result is kind of interesting. I'll show them later.