Live Lessons: "House Portrait" - Graphite Pencil

Graphite pencil house portrait
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This lesson series features:
9 Hours of Instruction
9 Videos

About This Lesson Series...

A nine-part lesson series on drawing an accurate house portrait with graphite on textured charcoal paper. Learn how to layout the house using comparison techniques and create convincing textures with graphite. Each step of the process is presented with instruction along the way.

Resources for this Lesson...


Photo Reference

Finished Result

Here's what you'll need...

  • Charcoal Paper
  • Graphite Pencils
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Ruler

Lesson Discussion

  1. Interesting to see the diligence doing the bushes. Sometimes, it seems, family & friends would have you think your “compulsive” and it is good to see here that it is more like diligence. I think it helps keep self-doubt from hampering the learning process.

  2. Hi Matt, I just wanted to tell you that I sent you an email about 3 weeks ago but didn’t get a reply from you yet so I sent you 2 additional emails regarding my 1st email last week and they are really important! Did you get them by any chance? Before, you were usually faster in replying to emails so please let me know …… Thanks!

    • Hi Nikki,

      I replied to your email and was wondering if you got it, since there was no reply back. The last email from me was sent on February 15. I’ll send it again, but you may check and see if you received it.

  3. your camer light is slightly too on your page and we cant see your lines very well ,, just food for thought ,, but … your fantastic ,, regardless

  4. It was disappointing for me to find (a first too) that your feed kept buffering. I have downloaded some updates but I can’t figure why suddenly, I begin having problems with the HD. This laptop is supposed to be HD. I will look forward to the last half hour of #5 when you add it to the others. Thanks for this opportunity to see you work a house portrait. And, I love your ruler. So much potential for parallel straight edges. The 4th session you lost your little ruler and I was going to suggest that it went back to the sewing room. Come to think of it, I might just go get one. 4 straight edges close together. Useful. 🙂

    • Hi Margaret,

      Thanks for the comments. If the feed is buffering for you, you may be suffering from an inconsistent or weak internet connection. It likely has nothing to do with the computer 🙂

  5. Matt, While digital painting might be interesting to watch, it’s not something I would spend time doing.
    Continuing to enjoy all your lessons – live and taped – over here in Tunisia!

    • Hi Janie,
      Charcoal paper has a unique texture – it is a laid paper. This unique texture works well for developing certain textures like the trees and bushes in a house portrait like this. It also gives the finished drawing a unique look. Just because the paper is labeled as charcoal paper doesn’t mean that you can’t apply other drawing mediums to it.

  6. I am learning Photoshop. It would not replace traditional art for me but I find I really enjoy learning what it can do. I was especially surprised to find the artwork that was possible using the “brushes”. I would find a Live Lesson quite interesting. It seems to have potential as another learning tool in working value, light, & color.

  7. you were right when you said that the final result worths the effort. it’s outstanding and precious lesson! Thanks for your careful teaching!i drew along with recorded lessons and I finished it today. I love it so much ^^

    • Hi Patricia,
      The videos are set to play in high definition by default. If they are freezing on you, then you’ll need to turn the HD off. To do so, scroll over the video and click on the “HD” icon. Although your internet connection may be stable, streaming in HD requires a fast connection as well.

    • Hi Beverley,

      I prefer to work at a slightly tilted angle. By doing so, it prevents any distortion that may occur from looking at the drawing on a flat surface.

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