Category Archives: Charcoal

Contains all my charcoal drawings

Portrait Study

Head Study
Portrait Study

Portrait Study. Charcoal on smooth newsprint (Pro Art). The reference was a Russian academic figure drawing.

It took me a few hours to complete, multiple sittings.  I started out blocking the overall head. I then rough-in the features, no measurements (that is why my proportions are always off 🙂 ). At this stage I am using vine charcoal. It gives me  great flexibility in the beginning; I can make a mistake and it can easily be corrected. The early stages are the most scariest for me when doing portraiture, because it does not look anything like my reference. Whiles I am drawing, I always feel like I should just trash it and start over. This drawing was no exception, however I hung in there despite that overwhelming feeling to start over. After I am happy with the placement of the features, then I go over the drawing with a 2B charcoal pencil,  solidifying the features and darkening the darks.

I left the ears undone, blocking-stage. His mustache  needs more tone, to pop out more from this face. I will do that, but it won’t be reflected in this post, though 🙁 Already took the picture  and uploaded it. Also,  the width of his head can be smaller.

The biggest thing I have learned is to measure, check, measure, check, measure, and for good measure, Measure! LOL.

It took some time, but the drawing came together at the end with mistakes and all.  At least I think so.

Let me know what you guys think.

Ruben’s St. Sebastian Study

Old masters's Copy
Old master’s Copy


Charcoal, White Chalk and Graphite on watercolor paper.

I have been working on this study on and off for a while now. Decided to come back to it today for about 30 minutes.  I swear I have redrawn that head at least six times! The only part that is drawn in graphite is the head, which  I did today, again. 🙁