what do you think??

by manoozo

i drew this one, but i don't know how to make it more sharp....i mean,i think i over did the softening the edges, and i don't know how to fix it...can you help me???

and another thing...
how do you draw a 3/4 face??

Hello Manoozo -

I like both drawings very much. I do see what you mean by the soft edges. I do have some advice for this.

First, decide to make each object a different value. For example, the hands can be light gray, the pottery can be medium gray and the table can be bright white. Your current drawing has all 3 subjects pretty much the same value, a light/medium gray. Only the background is dark, which is nice because it adds some depth to your drawing!

Second, the problem with outlining objects in charcoal is that they tend to look like cartoons. However, when you don't outline them they become too soft around the edges, right? Well, not really, if you know how to make a sharp edge without using an outline! Here is what to do: try this technique out on a scratch piece of paper first - 1. Draw a 5" inch circumference circle using charcoal, make it medium dark - 2. place a piece of paper covering half of your dark charcoal circle - 3. holding the paper down tight against the page, use an eraser to remove most of the exposed charcoal - do you see the sharp line?

Wherever backgrounds meet objects you can use this technique - if the object is curved you will have to be careful to erase along the curve yourself without a piece of paper.

As for 3/4 portrait drawing - one day I will post a lesson about that, but until then I recommend a lesson by my affiliate partner Christopher Sia. He has created a home study course that will teach you all about portraits, including 3/4 poses. It's not free but the price is reasonable - You can check it out by clicking here.

If you'd rather see it done for free, here is a link to a great youtube video on the subect: Drawing a Head 3/4 View.

Best wishes and happy drawing!

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nice but still...
by: manoozo

thanks for the advise elizabeth :D
but in my drawing i used 4Bpencil, and charcoal (the one that can be erased) and the charcoal eraser, so the problem is i can't get many degrees of the color , and i don't know how!!!
so you see, i couldn't get the background any darker, and i couldn't control the degrees ....what do i do with that???
i am also afraid of using hard charcoal because it can't be erased...
what to doo?!!!!

Charcoal and Pencil Values
by: Elizabeth

First, charcoal and Pencil really don't mix well. I recommend choosing one or the other for any one drawing (not both).

Second, you are correct about pencil not getting dark enough. Even if you use a 9B pencil or even an ebony pencil you will never be able to get to black. The darkest pencils will only go to a very dark gray, but not to black.

Finally, the dark charcoal does erase, just not completely. But it isn't permanent like ink or paint. Why don't you give it a try? It can get really really dark like you want. I think you should try out the dark compressed charcoal - just don't put it anywhere you want white paper to show (that means don't draw with it in the highlights). But anywhere else is OK as you will still be able to erase at least to a medium dark gray anywhere you use the dark compressed charcoal.

Good luck!

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