Here's my charcoal portrait demo for The LA Academy of Figurative Art done at our Comicon booth. I appreciate all of you who came out and were willing to stand and watch amid the throngs of people and sights. It was a good time and I enjoyed meeting you.
Once the demo was over and I could stand back and take a good look at the drawing, I saw several things I needed to touch up. I took the time to do so and I think the "before and after" might be instructive for any burgeoning artists out there. Here's my thinking: a charcoal drawing is nothing more than black dust on paper so you have to fight hard for clarity of form and depth. To that end I added more translucency in the hair for a stronger feeling of toplight, I grouped and simplified the shapes of light and shadow and I used softened or lost edges for greater depth. Oh yes, and the nose was too long. That last 10% can make a world of difference.