Charcoal Drawing of a 3/4 Face

This week’s Let’s Face It lesson was taken by Ivy Newport and was about using charcoal to draw a loose portrait.  Charcoal is a medium I am very comfortable with.  I used it more than any other material when I was attending weekly Life Drawing classes back in Argyll.  Of course, at life drawing I tended to draw the bodies and avoid drawing the faces so just being very familiar with the material did not mean I would find the lesson easy.  I decided to draw within a time limit in an attempt to keep me loose and also because I only had the time in which I had brownies baking in the oven free for art time.  Nevertheless, the drawing got tighter than I would have hoped.  I think that because I was not working from a reference image (which Newport was doing in the tutorial) I had to lay down too many “finding” lines to construct my charcoal sketch and that led to it being too much about line and shape than it being about light and shade.  At least I managed to create a softer face than my last effort for his course.

Week 13 - Charcoal Three Quarter Portrait


10 thoughts on “Charcoal Drawing of a 3/4 Face

    • Thank you. Yes, I am pretty happy with the eyes and the shading. I just wish I had kept the line work to a minimum. I went in a bit too heavy with my finding and placing lines. Not a bad drawing, just not what I was aiming for.

  1. I understand what you are saying – and checking out the line work on the previous face I agree, this is much lighter – so improvement is showing 🙂 I think it’s really hard to move from light to shade seamlessly once lines are laid down – there is a whole technique for doing it though which has always challenged me. I like your strong faced women!

    • I’ve always been able to pull a figure from light and shade so I’m hopeful I can do better with a face. I just need to not be so heavy handed with my finding lines. Thanks as ever for your lovely comment.

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