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Submitted on
August 1, 2008
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Tutorial:drawing with charcoal by Cynthia-Blair Tutorial:drawing with charcoal by Cynthia-Blair
for those of you who are interested in seeing how I draw a male portrait in charcoal, step for step.
(this one is Alex Suarez, who I drew recently) sorry I didn't have the room to get into detail about how I handle certain things like (eyes, lips, noses, beards, stubble, winkles, etc.) there wasn't enough room in this one.

this is my first tutorial, so forgive me if the gray background is not consistent (as it should be). If you have any questions at all, ask away. I'll be happy to help.

download size is the best for viewing
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jane-beata Nov 7, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Hello :)

Your work has been FEATURED in an article Artist's Toolbox: Pencil, Graphite & Charcoal. Thank you for sharing it with all of us :heart:


Novvaik Jul 16, 2013  Student General Artist
I did not no you did tutorials...
Astrikos Feb 7, 2013   General Artist
Your wonderful tutorial has been featured here
Consider giving the article a :+fav: :heart:
Cynthia-Blair Feb 17, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I did! Thanks for featuring it! :hug:
Astrikos Feb 17, 2013   General Artist
My pleasure!
Cynthia-Blair Mar 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! yeah, he's such a nice guy, too. :D
Hapuka Aug 6, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great tutorial, although I have few questions. Do you recommend using fixative after going over the image with white charcoal? Also if you want to black out the background at what stage of drawing the image would you do so?

Thanks =D
Cynthia-Blair Aug 6, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I use fixative before I add the white, and very carefully afterward. I usually end up adding some more white after fixing it, because the whites tend to turn transparent.

If I were blacking out the entire background (like the ref photo) I'd do it near the end, and I'd possibly use black gouache or maybe even black acrylic. I know using the gousche, you can draw very soft black charcoal over it and create some great subtle black on black texture. You can probably do this with liquid acrylic, too. I suppose you could use charcoal to black out the background, I just happen to like a variety of textures in a piece. And I'd want the black to drop out, as it's not the focal point.
Hapuka Aug 6, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for your reply, I was working on a piece while I was asking the questions.
I ended up finishing the piece and the white did go a bit transparent, fortunately for me it was a light coat. =D

Nice tutorial and tips!
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