Morgan Freeman “Unforgiven” – charcoal portrait drawing

Good evening!

Just completed another western portrait drawing of Hollywood actor, Morgan Freeman, from the movie “Unforgiven”. Hard to believe it’s been well over twenty-seven (27) years since that movie was made. Hope you enjoy.

MATERIALS USED: Fabriano Artistico hotpress 140 lb (300 gsm) water-color paper, nitram charcoals, kneaded eraser, white charcoal pencil.

Here’s the reference photo I used. As you can see, the shadows really conceal quite a bit of detail and I really didn’t want to simply copy the photograph, so I took a bit of artistic leeway and decided to focus on the facial image versus trying to replicate the photograph.


I used the Nitram HB charcoal to lay down the base for both the face and the hat.  I then used the B charcoal to go over the darker areas and worked the charcoal into the paper via layering.


For the shirt, I used mostly the H charcoal and a kneaded eraser. For some of the darker lines on the shirt, I used a 2B Generals compressed pencil.  Once I had most of the facial area complete, I went to work on putting in the beard and facial hair.

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The drawing is currently FOR SALE if you are interested. If you have purchased over $500 worth of art from me in the past, I give my returning customers a discount on all new drawings I offer.

Have a great night!


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