A lot of us received charcoal and conte crayon at the Christmas gift exchange. Let me inspire you to use it. As I walked by the art shelves the other day, Tom Feelings' The Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo caught my eye. As soon as I opened it I was blown away by the amazing composition, command of value, and emotional impact of his gray scale paintings.
You can request a copy for yourself from http://catalog.hcpl.net/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=1P9519720029D.249795&menu=search&aspect=subtab13&npp=60&ipp=325&spp=60&profile=webcat&ri=&term=&index=.GH&term=middle+passage&index=.TH&term=feelings&index=.AH&term=&index=.SH&aspect=subtab13&x=41&y=2#focus