OCAD Studio: Charcoal Portrait Part 4

This series of lessons will walk you through the complete process for drawing a detailed portrait in charcoal paper.

In this session I will be laying in the major halftones in the lights

  • Work from the darker hafltones to begin with. These are the tones closest to the shadow edge.
  • That way you will preserve the luminosity in the lights and avoid over modelling the drawing.
  • Work in large flat planes of halftone as much as possible.
  • We want to develop a general impression of the form first – before adding details later.
  • You should ultimately end up with tone everywhere except the lightest areas.
  • However the tone must gradually darken towards the shadows – don’t go too dark in the lightest areas!


  • Toned paper
  • Charcoal
  • Kneadable Eraser
  • Sanding Block
  • Sharpener
  • Drawing Board
  • Easel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *