I sketched this face portrait from June Biagioni’s ‘Drawing in the Soul’ online class using charcoal pencil and pastels. This is an exceptionally good class and I am enjoying every minute of it. If you would like to learn how to draw portraits then I really recommend this class.

Face portrait

This was my first attempt at using charcoal and I really enjoyed using it, much to my surprise. I find charcoal messy but I used this method of catching the charcoal crumbs that inevitably fall away as you are drawing.

Tape along bottom of easel

I used a table easel and I taped double sided tape on the lower edge which is slightly tilted up to create a channel. The tape attracted the falling crumbs and they stuck to the tape. This meant that there was no mess left on my worktop and no charcoal crumbs were inadvertently smudged on to my drawing whilst I was sketching. One of the reasons I have always avoided charcoal is that I don’t like the mess. But this solved the problem nicely.

I took some photos of the progression of this portrait from start to finish and then made it into a quick little video for you if you would like to see how it evolved.


I was really pleased with this sketch and felt I had made a huge stride forward with my portrait drawing. Now I just need time to practice more.


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  1. Beautiful! I do like using charcoal but it is messy. I will have to try the way you did it using the table easel. I really enjoyed seeing the progression video too! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Do give that table easel idea a try. There was no mess at all. I was amazed at how well it worked.

  2. Great to see your process Lesley! And I’m so happy that you are enjoying the course. Your work is awesome!

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