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Charcoal Drawing Lessons

Learn how to draw with charcoal.
Skip to Charcoal Drawing Lessons on: Techniques | People | Landscape | Animals | Still Life
The Secrets to Drawing
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28 Lessons | 5.5 Hours | 26 Ebooks

CHARCOAL DRAWING TECHNIQUES


You can draw - A how to draw webinar
Think it takes talent to draw? In this webinar, you'll see that it doesn't and that you CAN draw anything that you wish. Drawing exercises are included.
How to draw basic forms with charcoal
Learn how to use highlights and shadows to create the illusion of a light source and basic forms in this tutorial on drawing with charcoal.
How to draw water droplets
Learn how to draw realistic water droplets and how light behaves within a transparent object.
25 Days to Better Drawings - Value
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In this module, we're introduced to the element of art, value. Learn its importance to drawing, proper terminology, and blending techniques.
25 Days to Better Drawings - Shadow and Light
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In this module, we'll learn how to use value to create the illusion of light and form in a drawing.
25 Days to Better Drawings - Drawing Basic Forms
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Learn how to draw basic forms by starting with simple shapes. Create the illusion of form through the use of value and tone.
25 Days to Better Drawings - Texture Study #3
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Learn how to create the illusion of texture found on highly reflective surfaces. Practice concepts learned with a drawing exercise.
Basic drawing techniques
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Basic drawing techniques including blending, hatching and cross hatching, rendering, and more.
The Secrets to Drawing Charcoal
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Learn the basics of drawing with various forms of charcoal.

PORTRAITS / FIGURE


How to draw with white charcoal on black paper
Create a high contrast portrait with white charcoal on black paper in this lesson.
Reverse Drawing
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Create a drawing by concentrating only on the highlights. This challenging drawing exercise forces us to recognize shapes of value and their spatial relationships.
Sketching with Charcoal - Portrait Demo of a Young Girl
Learn how to sketch with charcoal in this lesson that features a portrait of a young girl.
Charcoal portrait drawing lesson
Learn how to draw a portrait with charcoal by modeling the form before developing the details of the face and head.
Powdered Charcoal - Portrait Sketch Lesson
Learn how to tone paper with powdered charcoal and draw a portrait sketch with traditional charcoal.
How to Draw with Charcoal - Lesson
Learn charcoal drawing techniques and how to draw a skull in this lesson that features the use of white and black charcoal on gray paper (2 Videos).
Portrait Drawing - The Skull Frontal View
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A look at drawing the structure of what lies beneath the face and head - the skull (frontal view).
Drawing the skull-profile view
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A continued look at drawing the skull from a profile view.
How to Draw Basic Facial Proportions
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The basic facial proportions and spacial relationships of the features of the head.
The Planes of the Face - Drawing Lesson
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A look at recognizing and drawing the planes of the face and the head.
The Eye-Frontal View - Drawing Lesson
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A look at drawing the eye from a frontal view using a step by step approach of observation and application of material.
How to draw the eye from a profile view
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A look at drawing the eye from a profile view using a step by step approach of observation and application of material.
How to draw the nose from a frontal view
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A look at drawing the nose from a frontal view by placing basic shapes and adding shading / value to create the illusion of form and texture.
How to draw the nose from a profile view
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A look at drawing the nose from a profile view using basic shapes, then developing the value to model the form and create texture.
How to draw a realistic mouth and teeth
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A look at drawing the mouth and teeth using a structured approach of observation and application of media.
How to draw a realistic ear - drawing lesson
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A look at drawing the ear using a step by step approach of defining specific regions through thoughtful applications of gradations of value.
How to draw a portrait with the grid technique
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Learn how to draw a realistic portrait using the grid technique. Develop the value within the scene with graphite and white charcoal.
How to draw a portrait with a triangular grid
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Learn how to draw a realistic portrait using a modified grid. This technique greatly reduces the number of preliminary lines but ensures an accurate drawing.
How to draw a portrait with toned charcoal - lesson series
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Learn how to tone paper to create a portrait sketch using powdered charcoal in this recorded live lesson.
High contrast drawing lesson - white charcoal on black paper
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Create dramatic light with white charcoal in this recorded live lesson.

LANDSCAPE


How to draw an old tree
This ultimate guide covers the basics of drawing trees. Four lessons are inlcuded. Lesson three teaches you how to draw an old tree with charcoal and sepia tones.
Landscape Drawing with Charcoal Lesson
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Use vine and compressed charcoal to develop a drawing of a landscape in this three-part lesson series.
Landscape Sketch with Charcoal Pencils - Lesson
Take a look at drawing with charcoal pencils in this tutorial that explores a landscape sketch. How to sharpen charcoal pencils is also covered.
Landscape sketching lesson - Conte
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Watch and learn how to draw a landscape using conte in this full length video demonstration.
How to draw water with calm waves with charcoal
Learn how to draw water with calm waves in this free video demonstration.

ANIMALS


Mixed Media Drawing Lesson - Great White Shark
Combine a variety of black and white drawing media to create a realistic drawing of a Great White shark.
How to draw a realistic bird with graphite and white charcoal
Learn how to draw a bird with basic shapes and render the image with pencil and white charcoal.
How to draw an elephant with white charcoal - lesson
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Learn how to draw with white charcoal on black paper in this full length video.

STILL LIFE


Marbles with Graphite and White Charcoal
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Learn how to create the illusion of reflection and transparency with graphite and white charcoal while developing a drawing of five marbles.
Charcoal Still Life Lesson Series
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A detailed look at drawing a still life with charcoal. The emphasis of this lesson series is on creating the illusion of texture.
How to draw glass with white charcoal - lesson series
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White charcoal pencils are used on black paper to create the illusion of glass.  Recorded Live Lesson.
Charcoal Rendering Still Life Lesson
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Use a kneaded eraser to erase out highlights in the creation of a charcoal rendering still life. Recorded Live Lesson.
How to draw cloth with conte - lesson
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Learn how to draw cloth or drapery in this recorded live lesson.
How to Draw a Rose with Charcoal
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Watch and learn how to draw using mostly the eraser to create a rendering of a rose in this full length video demonstration.
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More On Charcoal...

All of the tutorials on this page involve charcoal drawing.  Charcoal is burnt organic material, usually wood.  It comes in many different forms including pencils and sticks.  Softer charcoals are called vine charcoal, while harder varieties are called compressed charcoals.  Most charcoal is black although some manufacturers add white pigment to create white compressed charcoal.  Vine charcoal typically makes lighter marks that are easy to erase, while compressed charcoals make darker marks that are harder to erase. 

Charcoal can be used on many different surfaces.  Charcoal is sometimes used when making a preliminary drawing for an oil painting on canvas or panel.  For finished drawings, charcoal is typically used on textured drawing papers.