Working with Charcoal
Charcoal drawing can be incredibly messy, so be careful where you decide to work. Charcoal dust gets everywhere—all over your hands, on your paper, and on the floor. Use a soft brush to flick particles off your drawing. Disposable dust cloths (the ones with a static charge) are great for cleaning as you go. Clean up smudges around your paper with a kneadable eraser as you work.
When beginning charcoal drawing, it is a good idea to work large. Charcoal tends to be soft and crumbly, and it can be frustrating if you try to work too small before you are familiar with the medium, as you will be trying to get too much detail out of it.
Use a wall, table, or drawing board and large sheets of butcher's paper for your first drawings. When preparing your drawing surface, it's a good idea to attach several sheets at once so that the sheets underneath cushion your drawing.
If you can, stand back from your drawing with your arm nearly fully extended, with the elbow slightly bent, so that you can comfortably reach the top and bottom of the page. If your drawing is on a table, work standing, leaning on the table if need be. You want to have maximum freedom of movement.