ArtGraf is a graphite medium made by Viarco, a family owned company in northern Portugal.  The product is distributed by Global Art Materials.  This is a water-soluble graphite.  It can be used to draw and paint with.  I’ve also seen it referred to as
watercolor graphite.

ArtGraf Tailor Chalks, which comes in six different colors- Sanguine, Ochre, Sepia, Brown, Dark Brown and Carbon Black.

Tailor Chalk

ArtGraf comes in tailor chalks, a tin, pencils, sticks, a huge bar, and putty.  I find putty fascinating, odd, and really messy, but I’m sure people make awesome art with it.  Check out this quick putty video.

This post will feature the tailor shape, which comes in six different colors- Sanguine, Ochre, Sepia, Brown, Dark Brown and Carbon Black.  They can be purchased individually, or in a set of the six colors.  My local art store sells this product. So do many online retailers – Amazon, Cheap Joes, Wet Paint, etc. It’s easy to find. The sets seem to range from $50- $60. Individuals are priced at $8 plus.

The set comes in a cork holder (sorry for the glare).

ArtGraf Tailor Chalks, which comes in six different colors- Sanguine, Ochre, Sepia, Brown, Dark Brown and Carbon Black. front of packaging
Front of Package
ArtGraf Tailor Chalks, which comes in six different colors- Sanguine, Ochre, Sepia, Brown, Dark Brown and Carbon Black. back of packaging
Back of Package

The size and look of the Tailor Chalk.

ArtGraf Tailor Chalks, which comes in six different colors- Sanguine, Ochre, Sepia, Brown, Dark Brown and Carbon Black.
ArtGraf Tailor Chalks, which comes in six different colors- Sanguine, Ochre, Sepia, Brown, Dark Brown and Carbon Black.

The swatch of all six colors is done on Strathmore 400 Series Watercolor paper.  The top of the swatch is dry with lines draw directly with the graphite.  The bottom portion I used a wet paintbrush, and then scribbled over the wet portion directly with the graphite. It has transparent wash capabilities. It is said to be erasable once dry, but it didn’t erase very well for me.  In my research I’ve been unclear if erasability is only for the type in the tin or stick.  It seemed to be a general claim for all of the forms in which it is sold.

Color swatches of ArtGraf Tailor Chalks, which comes in six different colors- Sanguine, Ochre, Sepia, Brown, Dark Brown and Carbon Black. on Strathmore 400 series watercolor paper

This is a messy medium if you pick it up with your hands.  A wet brush can be used to pick color directly from the graphite block. It works very well for that.  I have a little fun getting messy with art sometimes.

ArtGraf Tailor Chalks, which comes in six different colors- Sanguine, Ochre, Sepia, Brown, Dark Brown and Carbon Black on hands
Messy Dry
ArtGraf water soluble tailor chalk, black carbon on fingers
Messy Wet

This stuff is very water-soluble.

The inspiration for the example below came from the teabag art of Ruby Silvious. I used a square Bee Paper Company Big Black Bee Bogus Pad– say that three time fast😉. This paper is like using a paper bag.  The AftGraf was applied dry, wet and also with a brush. A Pigma Micron pen was used for the finer line details, and the white is Gelly Roll pen.

Painting using ArtGraf Tailor Chalks, which comes in six different colors- Sanguine, Ochre, Sepia, Brown, Dark Brown and Carbon Black.

Below, I used it wet lifting it directly from the graphite with a brush and applying it to the paper. I also dipped the block directly into water and applied it to the paper, splattered with a brush, dry onto wet paper, and dry on dry paper.  The blue-green color is Daniel Smith Cascade Green watercolor.  The rest is all the ArtGraph colors on Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media paper, it has a very slight tooth.

Painting using ArtGraf Tailor Chalks, which comes in six different colors- Sanguine, Ochre, Sepia, Brown, Dark Brown and Carbon Black.

To show how water-soluble and also how vibrant it can be, this weird example is on supper smooth Yupo Synthetic Paper. I applied the Sanguine and Ochre ArtGraf dry and used a spray bottle, and then also used it to draw onto the wet paper, and splattered with a brush. There is also a bit of Holbein Brilliant Gold Gouache used. This piece is dry, but it still looks a little wet and fluid with all of the movement and layering going on.  It was supposed to be a sun mandala. After it pooled at the top of the page, I discovered that my desk is not level. They can’t all be winners. I’m still showing it because of the process, and it gives you an idea of the versatility of the medium.

Painting on Yupo using ArtGraf Tailor Chalks, which comes in six different colors- Sanguine, Ochre, Sepia, Brown, Dark Brown and Carbon Black.

I wish there was a blue.

I love watching the 3:41 minute video of this guy using the Carbon Black Tailor Chalk.

Here is a 3:56 minute video from Wet Paint featuring this set of six.

In this 5:09 minute video, she makes a beautiful painting with the graphite that comes in the tin. She also shows lifting and erasing.

This is an ongoing series of watercolor and art supply reviews.  That was a little cameo appearance above- I’m beginning to work on posts for Daniel Smith Watercolors. There is a lot to cover, and you should see one very soon.   I’m thinking about doing a post or two on watercolor/sketch journals, and possibly watercolor brushes. Would those be of interest?  Your comments are appreciated.

Happy sketching and painting!

Posted by:Jessica Seacrest

Hi I'm the Doodlewash Supply Blogger and offer biweekly reviews of various types of art supplies, watercolors, and helpful tips. I approach artistic expression with a light-hearted point of view. I love to see, and support others opening up to, and embracing their creative process with any medium or creative expression.

47 replies on “DOODLEWASH REVIEW: ArtGraf

    1. Thanks Laura, I’m glad the review was helpful. The good ‘ol Amazon wish list. Mine is long. I will admit that it is mostly books though😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve never seen this before! But I love the colors. Maybe this summer I will check these out. I love the chalkiness of them.. And Happy Birthday, Jessica!!! 😘💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy all your reviews. Would definitely like to read a review on watercolor sketchbooks. I have taken to binding my own so I have good paper. I enjoyed seeing what you did with ArtGraf. Your combination with paint is interesting. I have the same set however have only played around with them briefly. Thanks for posting the links to the videos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How nice that you are binding your own books Carmel! I’ve always wanted one filled with Arches paper, but haven’t got around to binding my own. Thanks for casting your vote for a watercolor sketchbook review! I hope you enjoy using your ArtGraf🙂


  3. …. so many different and new products in the art category. Seeing this demo makes me question whether there could possibly be any toxic side effects from getting powdered pigments so thoroughly on one’s skin and presumably in ones lungs. and….YES….reviews of art journals and brushes would be most helpful to us all! Thank you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are correct sir, so many products out there! It can be overwhelming. Every once in a while I get on a kick with a certain medium, but always come back to watercolor. I just love it, it’s ease of use, and it’s easy & quick to clean up. After I read your comment, I remember having the question of skin contact pop-up in my mind. I think after watching the putty video. Thanks for your vote on the journals & brushes! I will work on them.


  4. Thanks for this review – and the link to the amazing tea bag art. I am looking forward to your D.S. reviews because I have only recently “graduated” to artist quality watercolors and those are my choice. Water color brush reviews would be great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comment and sharing this Ellie. It definitely helps me to know the interests of the people reading my posts. I’m going to keep you in mind while I am writing🙂. You picked a great brand for your “graduation.” It is my favorite, and I hope what I share will be helpful to you🙂. And thanks for the vote on a brush review!


    1. Hi Debi, thank you for your comment. I love your abstract paintings! Optical, Mountain in Blue, Ocean at Rest, Fire in the Sky, all so lovely! I love seeing all the different mediums you are using. I’m feeling inspired by your page🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thank you Jessica! Even though I began as a ‘ purist only Watercolorist’ I like to mix it up!
        I will keep on visiting you at your place, it is super awesome!! 🙂 cheers, Debi

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jessica, I love your reviews as you’re so inventive and playful. You show a great range of possibilities and everything looks tempting. I’ve never heard of this product and may give it a try, based on what you’ve presented here.

    Would so appreciate a review of journals as I’ve only used them for dry sketching. Nearly bought a journal last week but with so little info at the time, passed it up. So, still working with individual sheets or large pads of paper, which I sometimes cut.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sharon, thanks for your comment. I will definitely do a review on journals. I’ve tried a lot of them and think it would be helpful to people. There are so many out there! It can get confusing. I hunt for reviews all of the time. I also cut up paper to work on smaller things. I like to paint small. I aspire to make a giant painting one day… I have the sheets of watercolor paper waiting. Happy painting to you🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo, birthday money- the best excuse for new supplies, hehehe! I just did a quick journal painting with this, it is so enjoyable and versatile. It’s fun to see it bloom on the page in the water. Thanks for your comment Monica!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Always awesome reviews Jessica! I love your sketches!❤ I know this product and tried something similar once I know it gets messy did you try to experiment to use them like a watercolor using a wet brush over it?🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carolina🙂. I used it all the possible ways. Just got done doing another quick sketch with it and it was a lot of fun. I love watching it bloom in the water.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mike and thanks for your comment. I’ve found this to be versatile and I enjoy it. Nice thing is you can try one tailor chalk and not make a big investment.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Roger and thank for your comment. I love space art! I think this would be fantastic for it. I would love to know how it works out for you if you try it. Have fun with your eyes on the skies.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the review of this product. It looks really beautiful; you’ve done a lot of tests! It reminds me of the Inktense blocks by Derwent. This product also leaves lots of mess on your hands when you use them wet, or on wet paper.
    Would love to read reviews of journals. I find it hard to find good ones; so I usually use loose sheets , or make my own sketchbooks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Corrine, I’ve been thinking about the Inktense blocks too🙂. At some point I will review them. And thanks for your vote on journals! I love that you make your own!


  8. Again the art has no boundaries, your site is very interesting, I subscribe now.

    I am the webmaster of a new website, our goal is to support independent artists, if you are interested you are welcome and feel free to leave a comment.

    Very good luck to you.

    The OTD team


  9. Hi Jessica. I am catching up on my blog reading and am happy you introduced this new-to-me medium to us. It looks like a lot of fun to play with, so now I see going to go watch the videos you suggested. I would love to see a post on sketchbooks and brushes, too! Thanks . . . Carol

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Jessica, I was so impressed after reading your review on Saturday, so I have bought some Artgraf, really excited, it was a problem to find a supply in the uk, and difficult to find a company that would ship to the uk…at a good price, eventually I found buying direct from Portugal was the best option. Can’t wait to have a play, I would love the putty too. I already have a liquid pencil, which I love, so this will be great in combination. I already have some ideas, just need the set to arrive. Can’t thank you enough for the intro.😀😀😀😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow Rebecca, good for you! I hope you have lots of good creative adventures with your new medium! Have you ever checked out Jackson’s Art in the UK? I’ve been on their site a few times and they seem to have an outstanding selection of supplies. They have so many chalk pastels that it’s overwhelming to decide. I’d like to know how you like the ArtGraf once you try it. If you ever get the putty, I’m super curious about that! Do you have ideas for it? It seems like a wild and playful medium. You are adventurous, I love it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, jacksons is good and SAA, I could not find the whole set in the uk, and I really wanted those earth tones, I have also purchased Derwent xl graphite, just because I wanted a blue ( I plan to do some horses with them, and the blue is vital for white horses, shadows, etc. I could not find any great reviews, demos, but they seemed OK, so I will see when they arrive too, I am sure they will work together ok, and they are water soluble. I had no plans for the putty, just looks fun, and I like that you can shape it, to a point, or cover a large area quickly.

        Liked by 1 person

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