Practice Drawing, Beard in Charcoal

This drawing was only done for the purpose of practicing a full, scruffy beard using charcoal.

Practice Drawing, Beard (7×5) Strathmore Sketch paper – using brick, compressed and vine charcoal.  Both a click eraser and kneaded eraser were used for pulling out fine beard hairs and a camel hair brush was used for blending.  I brush the entire surface with charcoal first so a high value of color was used then throughout as a base for the beard and face.  Five layers of charcoal were drawn and blended to develop the fluffiness of the beard.  I think the fluffiness was accomplished because of the many layers of different values, but would have liked to see more squiggly lines for some of the beard hairs laying on top.

It was a good practice.  The next time I draw a beard I’ll do it with a more meticulous way of managing the lines and strokes.

Thanks for looking ~ click on the image for a larger view.

Practice Beard

Reference photograph from Vee Rolliard of pmp was used.


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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36 Responses to Practice Drawing, Beard in Charcoal

  1. Aquileana says:

    Truly neat Mary! Happy weekend to you ⭐ Aquileana 😀

  2. Painting for Joy says:

    Yes Charcoal is an amazing medium and you are an expert at it! The texture in his beard is wonderful Mary and brings life to the portrait!

  3. Gallivanta says:

    Gosh, how tricky it is to do a beard.

  4. Now that is a very proud owner of a beard Mary! It seems he’s really comfortable to display it or pose for the purpose. Lovely texture accomplished here, layering is the very key technique to arrive and achieve a desired result and you done it well!

  5. Looks good and scruffy!

  6. It’s fun, isn’t it to work beards! Great job, Mary.

  7. aFrankAngle says:

    The more I see charcoal work and read your descriptions, the more complex it seems. … 5 layers? WOW!

  8. Healthy A-Z says:

    Oh, Mary, what a great work in charcoal. I felt the need to pop over and check in on you. I have missed seeing your art. Hope all is very well in your world. Sending a hug…

    • Mary says:

      Wow Cyndi what a great surprise to see you! I’m not on facebook, so I haven’t gone on to see what you have been up too – wish you were still working your blog. Thank you so much, you have can see I’ve expanded a bit, but still continue painting in oil pastels (although the past month it’s been drawing). Big TX hug back to you!!

  9. kerlund74 says:

    Wow, that really is good!

  10. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Oh, what a jolly soul he appears to be! Why am I thinking sailor man?

    I actually love the beard as it is…(and that says something because I am not a beard-loving girl!) What I really notice is the top whiskers of the beard and how they do seem to pull from the face. I really think you did well with that!

    • Mary says:

      Hi A! Thanks very much – poor guy is a farmer, but since I cropped him you can’t tell what he is wearing or his surroundings. Thanks for your thoughts and noticing the top layer of whiskers, that’s exactly what I was after. Have a great evening.

  11. Miss Mary,
    one of my favourites of yours for your capture mood and character here.

    Big Hugs

    uncle john

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Uncle John for your nice thoughts on this exercise – I like figuring things out and this one worked, still more practice but I’m happy with how it’s coming along. Thanks again ~

  12. Another milestone in technique of rendering texture with charcoal…very good, Mary

    • Mary says:

      Hi Cynthia, hope you aren’t too snowed in – here it’s coming down pretty good up in your neck of the woods. Thanks very much for your thoughts on this one. It’s not exactly technically on spot with the face features, but the point of the exercise was working toward a respectable beard. Thank you – can you believe it’s February already?

  13. The beard hair looks so real, Mary. Amazing! 🙂

  14. Beard sounds extremely challenging!!! …but not for you it seems, my dear Mary! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi Marina – hope you had a good day at the studio. Enjoy listening to your music. Thanks on my beard, just a little project of practicing for a future piece. I liked the technique. Have a great week.

  15. cmartzloff says:

    I think you captured “beardness” very well this way. There’s a lot of feeling and communication of texture in your rendering.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Catherine, thank you so much for your artistic eye on this one. The beard doesn’t quite fit his face, but I’m more interested right now in the texture and fullness of the beard. Thanks for your thoughts I think I’ll be using this technique on a future drawing. Have a great week.

  16. Very good! You get better everyday Mary. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Karen – never fails to amaze me how much nuance there is to drawing w/even the simplest of subjects/objects. That’s why it’s a work in progress for many of my pieces. But I do enjoy the whole process, drawing is a very calming interest for me. Thank you, do appreciate your encouragement.

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