How to Draw a Charcoal Self Portrait

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How to Draw a Charcoal Self Portrait
7 Steps
Supplies
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1
Load your picture onto an online site or email account then view using your tv and Internet connection.  I use my Xbox 360 and Internet explorer and an email account.

Load your picture onto an online site or email account then view using your tv and Internet connection. I use my Xbox 360 and Internet explorer and an email account.

2
Using vine charcoal, lightly sketch the basic planes of the face using mostly straight lines.  The straight lines will help you capture vibrancy and emotion that is essential to a good portrait.

Using vine charcoal, lightly sketch the basic planes of the face using mostly straight lines. The straight lines will help you capture vibrancy and emotion that is essential to a good portrait.

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3
Now "knock back" some of the value from the vine charcoal using your chamois cloth.  Leave just enough to use as a guide with darker charcoal.  Now use your 2b charcoal pencil to lightly create lines.

Now "knock back" some of the value from the vine charcoal using your chamois cloth. Leave just enough to use as a guide with darker charcoal. Now use your 2b charcoal pencil to lightly create lines.

4
Lay in a background value in order to set a gauge for the remainder of the drawing.  You typically want the background to be dark but not the darkest in your rendering.  Follow up  with shadow shapes.

Lay in a background value in order to set a gauge for the remainder of the drawing. You typically want the background to be dark but not the darkest in your rendering. Follow up with shadow shapes.

5
Continue to build structure of the various planes of the face.  The start of shadow shapes is a dead giveaway to the artist of a plane change.  Each plane change will read as a different value.

Continue to build structure of the various planes of the face. The start of shadow shapes is a dead giveaway to the artist of a plane change. Each plane change will read as a different value.

6
Continue to push tones using the 5-value system and refining edges to create depth.  Use sharp edges to make forms pop forward and fuzzy edges to make the forms recede.

Continue to push tones using the 5-value system and refining edges to create depth. Use sharp edges to make forms pop forward and fuzzy edges to make the forms recede.

7
You can continue the process of rendering your drawing for as long as you wish.  In the great words of Paul Valery, "An artist never really finishes his work.  He merely abandons it."

You can continue the process of rendering your drawing for as long as you wish. In the great words of Paul Valery, "An artist never really finishes his work. He merely abandons it."

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