Alison Lambert is a contemporary charcoal artist who produces large scale portraits using willow and compressed charcoal and ripped paper. Lambert uses her materials in a way which form expression and emotion and create a great impact on the audience. “She furthers her attempts to explore more deeply the elusive theme of human subjectivity and to intensify the emotional charge which her later drawings of human heads began to display”. The large scale of her work is almost overpowering and too extravagant because she uses so much compressed charcoal on huge surfaces increasing the power of the work and allowing her to make such expressive pieces. I am really fascinated by her work because I too like to exaggerate lines and tones to create dark punchy charcoal artworks on a large scale. The way she overlays ripped crumpled paper means she is able to redo parts of the work and change and develop her ideas as the work continues.
Lambert carries out a complex and effective process in order to complete her artwork which has been documented in the Emotion and Expression book of Alison Lambert. She starts by smearing charcoal over a sheet of paper and then using ripped paper and white pastel to highlight parts of the portrait. The build up of paper creates a great deal of texture and charcoal and forms an emotional atmosphere to her work.
I was introduced to Lambert during my Art Foundation year during a one day project and immediately fell in love with her style of art and the texture she creates using the charcoal. I aim to continue to use her as inspiration as well as other artist throughout my artistic career.
 Emotion and Expression, Alison Lambert pg9, p3. Essay author: Alan Dyer