Ostrich with Charcoal

Live Lessons: Ostrich with Charcoal

This lesson series is presented for free during the Coronavirus pandemic. Learn more here.

About This Lesson Series...

In this lesson series, we draw an ostrich with charcoal on textured and toned Ingres paper with a variety of forms of charcoal including vine, compressed, and charcoal pencils.

Lesson 1 (1:14:23)

In lesson one, we draw the ostrich using a modified grid system and then begin loosely adding values and tones with vine charcoal.

Lesson 2 (1:03:10)

In lesson two, we switch over to charcoal pencils and begin working light and dark values to create the illusion of form on the head and the texture of the body.

Lesson 3 (1:03:24)

In lesson three, we continue with this approach of pushing the lights and darks as we work down to the face and beak, taking care not to push the contrast too far.

Lesson 4 (1:16:10)

In lesson four, we finish off the head and develop the textures on the neck, completing the drawing.

Resources for this Lesson...


Photo Reference

Photo Reference with Grid

Finished Result

Here's what you'll need...

  • Canson Ingres Toned Paper
  • Charcoal Pencils (White and Black)
  • Compressed Charcoal (White and Black)
  • Vine Charcoal
  • Blending Tools
  • Kneaded Eraser
  • Ruler or Meter Stick


Ostrich with Charcoal — 11 Comments

  1. I was just about to start to have a look at a charcoal live lesson, as I’ve not done one yet,I know I’ve been around a while but charcoal & pastels I’ve not attempted, plus I’m in the middle of a few projects, another dog portrait for a friend, it’s all practice.
    I’m doing a while charcoal piece as well cos I happen to like them. I probably can’t post it or up on forum because it’s a star wars character, one of my favourites.
    I remember I couldn’t send in my Spiderman cos of copyright.
    I might even try and get to the 2nd live one 😁

Lesson Discussion