with Hetty Easter
Online Class

Drawing Children: Charcoal Portraits

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Learn how to draw a charcoal portrait with artist Hetty Easter as your guide! Explore the expressive properties of this versatile medium as you choose a reference image and begin to block in a loose outline. Use bold lines, softly shaded areas and value shifts to convey mood and create lifelike dimension. Then, learn simple techniques to draw the head, ears, eyes, mouth and nose with realistic proportions. Discover tips for successfully sketching children of all ages and add contours and nuance to your portrait with charcoal's painterly effects. Find out how to depict a spectrum of skin tones and various hairstyles and discover instrumental mark-making skills to conquer challenging areas like teeth and accessories. You'll finish this class with a beautiful portrait and a range of valuable techniques to add to your artistic repertoire.


  • intermediate
  • 7 episodes
  • 2h51m

Included in this Class

1. Introduction to Charcoal

1. Introduction to Charcoal

Meet your instructor, Hetty Easter, as you discover a variety of charcoals, erasers and blending tools that will help you bring your drawings to life. Next, Hetty offers professional tips for taking photos that capture the unique characteristics of each child, including techniques to capture flattering light and natural poses.

2. Blocking In Values

2. Blocking In Values

Select your favorite reference photo and set to work blocking in the values of your portrait. Hetty helps you determine the mood of your piece as you analyze ways to bring out the child's personality and highlight key features in the setting. Next, you'll train your eye to identify various values as you block in areas of shadow and light and start to sketch significant facial features.

3. Placing Features

3. Placing Features

Transition from value into form as you learn how to draw children's heads and faces, starting with the largest shapes and working your way toward more specific details. Hetty shares valuable tips for identifying and sketching accurate proportions, including ways to train your eye to see what's really in front of you instead of what we are trained to assume. You'll learn how to create realistic eyes, noses and mouths as you gain a better grasp of working with shadows and contours.