A crop of Clare Turlay Newberry's April's Kittens artwork, charcoal. Click through to enlarge.

Charcoal is graphite on paper.

Charcoal can take multiple forms: compressed charcoal, which is powdered carbon bound in wax; a charcoal stick dried in a kiln, producing a dusty effect that can be easily blended and allow for painterly techniques; and charcoal pencils, similar to a graphite pencil, in which the charcoal is bound in wood and can be sharpened to a fine point, allowing for detail and hatching.

Cover. Click through to enlarge

Crop. Click through to enlarge.

Crop. Click through to enlarge

Clare Turlay Newberry:  April’s Kittens

Charcoal was used in these black and white illustrations of a mother cat and her three kittens. School Library Journal deemed these "beautiful drawings, so real one wants to pet them. Clare Newberry's enchanting illustrations reflect her fondness for cats." Newberry noted, “I had loved cats all my life and had always put them into drawings and in 1934 I began studying them seriously.”

She also added, “My greatest problem in cat-painting was making the fur look real and it took a good deal of experiment before I developed the watercolor technique used in Mittens, April's Kittens, The Kittens' ABC and other books. It is a very difficult and time consuming method as I have to repeat the paintings many times to produce a satisfactory result."

"Clare Turlay Newberry (1903-)." Something About the Author, edited by Anne Commire, vol. 1, Gale, 1971, pp. 170-171. Something About the Author,