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The Beauty of Black & White

A Charcoal Portrait Workshop

In this online workshop we’re going to create a beautiful, layered profile portrait in charcoal.

Charcoal is a wonderful art material, thanks to its versatility and ease of use. You can create many different looks and effects: from soft and smooth, to more grungy and textured.

In this 1.5 hour workshop we’re going to explore a variety of charcoal techniques, which are fun and interesting for both beginners and more experienced creatives.

Originally recorded for Let’s Face It 2019 with Kara Bullock, I am thrilled to share this charcoal portrait workshop with you now.

And since this is a self-study class, you get instant access so you can start whenever you like.

I hope you will join me!

The most colorful thing in the world is black and white. It contains all colors and at the same time excludes all.  VIKRMN

Various charcoal supplies & techniques

In this workshop we’re going to use different types of charcoal, such as charcoal pencil, vine/willow charcoal, and charcoal powder. We’re also going to combine charcoal with other materials, like water and gesso. And I’ll teach you various ways to work with charcoal, including drawing, painting, layering, and creating texture. This will provide you with a host of techniques which you can incorporate into your own style.

You will see me create the portrait from start to finish, in real time, so you can follow everything that I do in detail. I’ll also show you a system that I use to draw profile portraits and to get the proportions right.

What will you learn?

In this workshop we’re going to explore various techniques, which can of course be applied to any charcoal portrait that you want to create in the future. Some of the things that we’ll cover:

  • Sketching out a tilted profile face
  • Working with various charcoal supplies, including willow or vine charcoal, charcoal pencil, and charcoal powder
  • Combining charcoal with other materials, like gesso and water
  • Working with various erasers and other optional tools
  • Drawing with charcoal
  • Painting with charcoal
  • Creating texture
  • Building up the portrait in layers
  • Working with tonal values
  • Creating the hair
  • Various ways to assess your work in the final stages

Workshop outline

We’ll start by sketching out the tilted profile. I’ll show you how I do this, and what system I use to get the proportions right. We’ll work from reference photos that you can download and print out, to use for your own drawing if you like.

Then we’re going to create the first layers of the portrait, using water, gesso, and various charcoal supplies. We’ll focus on creating the larger value shapes, and adding texture and movement. In these initial stages we’ll be both drawing and painting.

In the later stages we’ll shift to only drawing and focus more on the details. We’ll create variation using line and texture, and add light and softness where we want it. I’ll also discuss various ways how you can assess your work when it’s in the final stage.

During the whole workshop you will see me create the portrait from start to finish, in real-time, so you can follow everything that I do.

The total time of the workshop is 1.5 hours. All videos and the reference photos can be downloaded and are yours to keep forever. You will also receive a downloadable PDF-document, with images and a step-by-step overview of the process.

What will you receive

1.5 hours of video lessons

1.5 hours of video lessons, recorded in high-quality and real-time.

Step-by-step PDF

Downloadable PDF with photos and step-by-step instructions.

Downloadable videos & materials

You can download all the videos and other materials, so you can keep them forever.

Lifetime access

You get life-time access to the course website, so you can do the workshop in your own pace.

List of supplies

This is an overview of the main supplies that we’ll use (the links are examples). A more detailed list with some additional tools and alternative options will be available after registration.

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.  ERICH FROMM

Sign up now!

Self-study workshop
Start directly after purchase
Lifetime access
All videos & materials can be downloaded

€ 29

Prices in Euro will be used for the actual purchase.

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.  PABLO PICASSO

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve never taken an online course. How does it work?

Once you sign up, you can use the login and password that you chose for your account to access the private website of the class. Since this is a self-study class, all videos and materials are available right away on the website.

Lifetime access, what does that mean in practice?

You get lifetime access to the workshop. In practice this means that the course website (including all videos and course materials) will remain accessible to you for as long as this workshop is being offered for sale. If this workshop at some point in the future isn’t going to be offered for sale anymore, you will have 6 months to download all videos and course materials if you want to keep them forever.

Can I download the videos?

Yes, you can download all the videos and other materials of this workshop.

Is there a dedicated Facebook group for this class?

There is no dedicated Facebook group for this class, but you are invited to join my personal Facebook group Juna Biagioni’s Art Atelier. It’s a great place to ask questions, share your work, and meet new art friends.

Can I get feedback from you on my work?

The self-study class does not include in-depth feedback on individual work. However, I am always available in the Facebook group if you have questions about supplies or other course related topics.

I have never worked with charcoal before. Can I sign up?

It’s no problem if you have no previous experience with charcoal. All techniques will be explained and shown in the videos.

I feel a bit insecure about my art and not ready to show it to others. Can I participate without joining the Facebook group?

Yes, you can definitely participate without joining the Facebook group. However, you can also join the Facebook without having to post your work if you don’t want to. The group is private and provides a safe environment for all participants of every level. It’s also a place where you can get support, ask questions, and meet new friends.

I don't have a Facebook account. Do I need one in order to do the workshop?

You don’t necessarily need a Facebook account to follow the course. The workshop website is a dedicated website that you get access to after you sign up for the class. The Facebook group is optional. However, if you do want to join the Facebook group but don’t have a Facebook account (yet), you can also consider creating a Facebook account just for this workshop alone.

Do you work with a reference photo in this workshop?

Yes, we will be working with reference photos in this workshop. They will be available for download from the class website.

Can I get a refund after purchasing this course?

Due to the downloadable nature of this course, no refunds are given after purchasing this course.

Can I give this course as a gift?

Certainly! Just contact me by filling in the form below and I’ll be happy to help.

How can I contact you?

You can contact me by filling in this form.

Practical Info

Click here to read the practical information before purchasing the workshop.

Access to the course

Once you have purchased your course, you return to a confirmation page with an overview of your registered courses. When you click on a course you should be already logged-in to the course site and have immediate access to the classroom.

If at any time you need to login to the site, you will need your username (the email address that you used to sign up for the course) and the password which you chose when you signed up. With your username and password you can always access your courses by clicking on ‘Login’ at the top of this website.

Practical requirements

This course will be presented online, so you need a web browser. I recommend Chrome or Firefox. Make sure your browser is updated to the latest version.

You will get the best results if you use a laptop or computer. You can use smaller devices (like a tablet) as well, but then the layout may change slightly.

If you want to download the videos, you need space on the hard drive of your computer, or an external storage like an external hard drive or a USB stick.

Other requirements:

  • A high-speed internet connection to be able to download the videos or watch them online.
  • A basic understanding of IT, like reading emails, watching videos online, reading PDF documents, and navigating websites like Facebook. If you’re having trouble with some IT related stuff some help can be given, but in-depth IT guidance cannot be given.
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