Course Curriculum

Week 1: Constructing your portrait - In my first lecture, I’ll give an introduction and class overview that will put you squarely on the path toward creating successful portrait drawings in charcoal. I’ll take you through the process of constructing your portrait with an understanding of the planes and three dimensional nature of the head to create a sense of life on a two dimensional page. This will act as a foundation on which you can render portraits that have both believability and artistry.
Week 2: Advanced construction - For week 2, we’ll build on the foundation laid in week 1; I’ll do further demonstration drawings that show how to approach a variety of subjects both young and old, male and female.
Week 3: The values of light and shadow: Rendering form with light - It’s time to bring light and shadow into your drawings! In this lecture, I’ll take you through a simple process that will give clarity to your portraits through turning form with light.
Week 4: The values of light and shadow: Rendering form with shadow - Now it’s time to turn your attention to the shadows. In this lesson, I’ll take you through a simple process that will give clarity to your portraits through turning form with shadows.
Week 5: Demonstrating the portrait from start to finish - Welcome to the halfway point! It’s time to put everything we’ve learned to the test as I demonstrate the portrait drawing process from start to finish.
Week 6: Designing with edges - The design of edges can have a profound impact on the clarity and depth of your portrait. In this lesson, I’ll show you how to use edges to create both a sense of depth and artistic emphasis in your drawing.
Week 7: Designing with Light - How does skylight affect your portrait as opposed to direct light? How do you juggle the complexities of multiple light sources? For week 7, we’ll answer those questions so that we have a full arsenal of lighting possibilities to create different moods and character in our subject.
Week 8: Building a likeness, drawing on toned paper - This lesson will center on how to find the likeness and character of your subject without getting lost in the nuances of anatomy. We’ll also take a look at alternate materials and techniques including chalks on toned paper.
Week 9: Portrait composition - A strong portrait demands that consideration be given to its composition. Even a quick classroom study can gain a sense of artistry through compositional design. This week’s lesson will show you how to put the final touches on your portrait and how compositional principles can give your portrait a greater sense of presence.
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