Opus Resource Library
Practicing Tradition with Nitram Fine Art Charcoal
Opus Resource Library

We spoke with Jerzy Niedojadlo from Nitram Fine Art Charcoal to learn the story of Nitram – how he crossed the sea to learn and work with the original creator of this once-defunct, near-mythic charcoal. Jerzy upholds the practice and techniques of Nitram's unique process.

Thanks to his efforts, these fundamental art supplies are more widely available for the everyday artists' practice.

Watch the video below to hear the story of Nitram!

Read below for an overview of the Nitram Fine Art Charcoal products we carry at Opus Art Supplies.

Nitram Fine Art Charcoal – The Collection

Nitram Fine Art Charcoal is part of The Collection – our carefully curated selection of art supplies with special stories, such as the story of Jerzy & Nitram above!

About Nitram Fine Art Charcoal

Nitram Charcoal differs from other varieties of charcoal, such as vine, willow, or compressed charcoal. With Nitram Charcoal, you'll enjoy a wide array of tonal values and rich, deep blacks. This charcoal has it's cell structure preserved, meaning less breakage and dust when drawing or sharpening.

drawing with Nitram Charcoal Batons Moyens
The wood cell structure is still visible in Nitram Charcoal sticks.​​

Unique Charcoal Products from Nitram

Nitram Fine Art Charcoal also creates a range of unique charcoal products, including large format charcoal blocks, charcoal accessories, and paintable charcoal.

Nitram's large format Maxi ​​Baton de Saule and Bloc de Saule.
A tin of Nitram Powdered Charcoal.
A tin of Nitram Powdered Charcoal.​​

Large Format Charcoal

For artists who work in the large, Nitram offers charcoal blocks like the Maxi Baton de saule and Bloc de saule. These blocks are both much larger than your average vine charcoal sticks. The size of these blocks can help with creating bold, gestural marks as well as covering wide areas.

Charcoal Accessories

Art tools can help your quality of life while working on your art practice – two of such from Nitram would be the Nitram Stylus and Nitram Baton. Both are designed to hold charcoal sticks of 6mm and 4mm sizes, respectively. They both provide a comfortable, consistent grip for your drawing, especially when working with shorter, worn down pieces of charcoal.

The Baton is designed to give you a longer reach so that you may work farther back from your surface. This assists you in seeing the big picture.

In the Nitram Charcoal Starter Set, you'll find the slim version of Nitram's sanding block. Since the Nitram Fine Art Charcoal sticks are very durable, they can be sharpened using a sanding block to achieve a fine point. This shape can be instrumental in the predictability of your marks or shading, as well as working on fine details.

Painting with Nitram Liquid Charcoal
Painting with Nitram Liquid Charcoal​​

Painting with Charcoal

For the painters or charcoal artists looking to expand their art practice, why not try painting with charcoal? Nitram's paintable charcoal options are made from the same charcoal process as their standard blocks, but then ground to a very fine, smooth powder.

Nitram Liquid Charcoal is a water-soluble tube paint with a consistency similar to an oil paint. Using water will give you the control to adjust values from subtle gray tones to deep blacks.

Nitram Fusain Aquarelle is the only watercolour made with Nitram Fine Art Charcoal! This a highly pigmented watercolour paint made from the fine charcoal powder with natural ingredients and no additional colorants. Like traditional watercolour paints, Fusain Aquarelle can be used to create washes of delicate transparent layers.

Nitram Powdered Charcoal is a tin of the same fine powder used to create the Liquid Charcoal and Fusain Aquarelle. Paint this powder directly onto your working surface using a brush or paper stump. With this velvety smooth powder, you can create beautiful shapes and tones without fear of any lumps or sharp grains marring your paper.

🚩 Note: This powder is very, very fine, so please take precautions to prevent inhaling this charcoal particulate.