“The Look” charcoal portraiture

I ran out of my normal drawing paper, so I decided to try a smooth skin portrait drawing using Strathmore 300 bristol vellum to see if my method of charcoal drawing could create a decent rendition of smooth skin.  I utilized a friend and instagram follower of mine for the subject.  It was very challenging drawing on a vellum surface.  

MATERIALS USED: Strathmore 300 bristol vellum, nitram charcoals, primo euro-blend charcoals, Wolffs carbon pencils, a softened blending stump and hard vinyl eraser (for highlights in the hair)

Vellum ended up having to be layered a bit more than usual but it really never altered the outcome except in one detail: straight lines.  The coarse surface doesn’t actually let you create fine smooth lines, so one has to be creative in order to render the small, loose hair that appears in the drawing.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  Not exact in every detail, but not bad either.


2 thoughts on ““The Look” charcoal portraiture

    1. Thank you, Michael.

      I only wish I had done this piece on my favorite drawing paper – Fabriano Artistico. Because I believe with the smoother surface, I could have rendered better detail and crisper lines. However, I kind of like the rough edges, as they appear more aesthetic. Have an awesome day!

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