WEEK 10 – Charcoal Still Life

Hi Class!

The charcoal simple forms you brought were great! You had barely been shown how to even use charcoal, and you were already doing a great job. 🙂


Charcoal tips:

  • Start with graphite — when you have the basic form drawn, erase enough so we don’t see the graphite too much — then start shading with charcoal.
  • GO SLOW. “Build up” your shadows. Start light and keep adding where you want shadows to be darker. Make sure you leave “transition” areas light enough. The color of the paper should become your “light midtown” that transition into your highlight areas.
  • Review the videos I posted last week.
  • Notice in the charcoal examples below that pencil strokes aren’t bad. It’s ok to show them :).
  • Q: WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? THIS IS HARD AND TAKES FOREVER. A: We are doing this because shading is how you make simple shaped come to life. It’s how things look REALISTIC. If you can shade and highlight something, you can make almost anything look REALISTIC. And it’s not so much HARD as it is TIME CONSUMING, right? If you don’t rush it, you won’t have much to erase.
  • Put on some music, or your favorite movie or TV show. Go slow and enjoy the time you spend drawing. 🙂


  • Choose a simple object
  • Take a picture of it next to a window (so it has light and dark areas).
  • Print your picture.
  • Bring the object and the picture with you to class on Wednesday.
  • If you cannot print your picture for some reason, please email it to me and I will print it for you.



Kedan charcoal progress

Naomi charcoal progress

images Unknown Unknown-2 images-1 images-2 images-3 images-4

If you want to be extra challenged:


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