Weekly Art Challenge: B&W Charcoal Portrait

The weekly challenge for the next 7 days is to draw a black and white portrait of your favorite tv show character (non-cartoon) using charcoal.

If a portrait sounds daunting, don’t worry, there’s a simple process we can follow! We are going to use something some artists refer to as “The Grid Method.” Before you run away at the thought of rulers and lines, I’m here to tell you that I’ve alredy made you a printable grid for this Weekly Art Challenge. Now there is no reason for you to shy away! Keep reading and join me this week.

What you need to do:
1. Search for a good, large portrait shot of your favorite tv show character (non-cartoon) *link opens in new window

2. If you have an image editing software, open your portrait in the software and change it to a black and white photo. (You don’t have to do this step.)

3. Print your large portrait image on 8.5 x 11 paper. (The standard at home printer size paper.)

4. Download and Print your grid image on a separate sheet of paper.

5. Trace the printed grid onto your printed portrait.

6. Trace the printed grid onto your drawing paper (8.5 x 11).

7. Now draw the portrait with charcoal sticks, pencils, erasers, tortillons, and soft cloths. (This is the fun part! If you need supplies, check out the blick art supplies link on the right hand side of the site.)

8. Tah-dah! You’re done! (Don’t forget to erase your grid marks on your drawing paper when you’re finished.)

If you’d like to draw the same image as me, you can skip steps 1-5 and just download and print the picture below. I’m going to draw Lady Mary from Downton Abbey. Yes.. I’ve watched season 1 twice now because it’s the only season on Netflix. I may have to go out and buy season 2… shhh! 😉


founder and admin of Artist Rage. Illustrator, painter, and sometimes crafter.

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