Prior to buying this, I had been using some homemade powder, produced by shaving charcoal blocks with a penknife. The problem with this is that you end up with quite large inconsistent grains, which scratch and mark your paper with lines which do not erase very well. This Cretacolor powder is very very fine and soft and is great for achieving smooth shading and covering large areas fairly quickly (use a paper towel to do so). I also mixed some with water and created a kind of ink, which can then be erased into once dried or used with a damp brush to move it around. The tub may seem quite small but a little goes a long way. I would definitely buy more of this in the future.
I use this for mixing with water and creating shading effects. Without the water, this charcoal is not as good as other charcoals as it does not bind well to the paper....it just keeps moving around.....My charcoal pencils are much better for creating different values on the paper.
But mixed with water this charcoal gives really intense blacks and gives a range of values and also gives really cool effects that you could not get otherwise.
For value for money, it will last a very long time and is much cheaper than other companies that sell smaller amounts.