OCAD Studio: Charcoal Portrait Part 3

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 developing variations in the shadows.

  • Begin by laying in a darker tone of the darkest parts of the shadow.
  • This can be laid in fairly roughly – as we will be refining it throughout the session.
  • Then once you’ve darkened the general shadow tone – you can use your easier to introduce reflected lights.
  • These reflected lights will give form to the shadows (just like halftones give form to the light areas).
  • Continue this process until you have added all the obvious variety within the shadows.
  • You will have a chance to refine things further later on in the drawing.


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

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