In class this week Robert Liberace demonstrated his soft charcoal technique using tinted paper. Rob has a very confident and energetic way of working. He quickly blocked in the form using vine charcoal. Using a large brush he stabilized the background layer of charcoal by smoothing it out. As he continued to build up the image he added shadows using a soft velvety charcoal. Turning his attention to more detail he used a kneaded eraser to pull out highlights. He also used a paper towel to pull out highlights and lighten areas of the drawing. The darkest darks were added using "Char-koal". The finished drawing seen below has a very painterly quality, not unlike John Singer Sargent.
Charcoal demo by Robert Liberace. Photo by Marie Dauenheimer
Finished charcoal drawing by Robert Liberace. Photo by Marie Dauenheimer
Charcoal portrait of Henry James by John Singer Sargent.