Charcoal Drawing

There are some things that never get old even with the passing of time. Fads will come and go, but there will always be something to appreciate about them and charcoal drawing is one of those.

For this, we’re going to need the following:

  • Sketch pad
  • Cotton buds / Cotton balls
  • Regular pencil
  • Charcoal pencil/Charcoal sticks
  • Eraser (preferably the kneaded kind)

For starters, we’ll prepare the sketch we’ll be working on. If you’re the talented kind who can sketch portraits with ease, you can just go and draw a rough sketch of your preferred subject using your regular pencil. If you happened to be sleeping when the skies opened up and showered mere mortals with drawing talents, on the other hand, you can do it the easier way by tracing photos from magazines or photocopied pictures of your desired subject.

When your sketch is ready, we’ll move on to the charcoal painting process by identifying the so-called dark areas of the human face. These usually include either side of the hair right next to the jaws and cheeks, the thin line between the upper and lower lips, the outer corners of the eyes, half of the nose and the eyebrow areas just a bit above the nose. Doing this is important because the work we’ll be doing in those areas will give our painting its defining silhouettes.

Next, we’ll whip some strokes on the areas mentioned above using the charcoal pencil. The strokes don’t have to be particularly heavy, but they should be heavy enough to be distinguished from the lighter lines of your sketch.

After that, we’ll get some cotton buds and rub the pencil strokes on the dark areas lightly to smudge them a bit. If you want the smudge to cover a wider area, we can use some cotton balls, but if you want to control the area that will be covered by the smudge, we can stick with the cotton buds.

From one area, we’ll work our way to the other sections of the portrait until we’ve got all the dark spots covered. Once we’re done with the smudging part, we’ll finish the rest of the painting by tracing our sketch so the lines we’ve made earlier will be more pronounced. We can also fill in the rest of the painting by shading the spaces in between the lines.

When all of these are done, we’ll add some finishing touches to the painting by using a rubber eraser to erase certain parts where shading has been done to give them a sparkly look like what we did.

And that’s it! Our finished charcoal portrait. Make sure you don’t forget to put your signature somewhere on the paper. Who knows, it might actually command a high price someday. ^_~