Online Charcoal Portrait Course


Out of stock

Online Virtual Class

Out of stock



Online Charcoal Portrait Course

Online Charcoal Portrait Course

6 morning course 
Dates to be announced
Cost = £270

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Course Outline

Use of Charcoal

Learn how to use different types of charcoal to achieve a broad range of value and subtle detail.  Each type of charcoal has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s about knowing where and when to use it.  We will also be discussing brands and the problem with inferior products.

You will be shown how to use;

  • Willow Charcoal Initial construction and lay in of the masses.
  • Nitram Charcoal For the rendering stages subtle tones and details in the light areas.
  • Compressed Charcoal To extend the value range of natural charcoal in the shadow areas.
  • Sharpener How to Sharpen Nitram and Compressed Charcoal correctly and why it is so important to keep these materials sharp.

Use of Erasers

Charcoal is a very delicate medium; the dust sits on the fibers of the paper and can be easily removed by the slightest touch. Ordinary erasers are to cumbersome, resulting in heavy-handed looking work.  To remove the charcoal a variety of erasers are used ranging in sensitivity, depending on how much or how little charcoal needs to be removed.  We will also be discussing which brands to avoid that can make dirty marks or cause smudging which can be critical while rendering the light areas.

You will be shown how to use;

  • Craft knife The strongest eraser I use is a craft knife to score the paper revealing the highlight.
  • Pencil Eraser Useful for picking out highlights and sharp edges.
  • Kneadable Eraser This eraser can be manipulated into a variety of shapes for picking out detail or softening tones.
  • Brushes The softest eraser.  What brushes to use to remove the minimum amount of dust from the surface of the paper.
  • Paper The pros and cons of choosing textured or smooth papers.

Portrait Subject

For this workshop we will be using a reference photo of Maddie. Everybody will work from the same reference Louis when he demonstrates each step of the process for the class to follow.

Click to view students work>>>

Click below for a free download of the Charcoal Portrait Steps.

Free Download

Aim of Course

The online charcoal portrait course originated due to demand from an how to article on “Charcoal Portraiture” in the Artists & Illustrators magazine.

This course will teach you how to use the materials involved in making a short charcoal study as discussed in the magazine article. Most people avoid using Charcoal because it makes such a mess but with the right knowledge and experience you can achieve some beautiful results!