Creating a believable 3D image in charcoal - BASIC | Emma Woodthorpe | Skillshare

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Creating a believable 3D image in charcoal - BASIC

teacher avatar Emma Woodthorpe, Illustrator. Author. Artist.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Tools

    • 3. Shading Basics

    • 4. 3D Principles

    • 5. Starting your Image

    • 6. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Welcome to this class!

My name is Emma Woodthorpe and I am an artist and illustrator, and today I'm going to be talking you through the basics of creating a believable 3D image using the medium of charcoal.

The basic skills learned here will help you develop your skill and confidence through to more complex pieces of art, making your 2D drawing appear 3D.

I do take feedback on board, and have already changed my class thumbnail image in response to feedback, so please do interact with me through the community tab or through the reviews!

For this lesson you will need:

  • Fine Grain Cartridge paper - suitable for charcoal,
  • Charcoal sticks, 
  • Charcoal Pencils ranging dark, medium, light, white charcoal
  • A paper stump,
  • A putty eraser,
  • a cotton wool ball, or a piece of toilet roll.

*ADDITION* Even though I don't mention it in the class, you might like to invest in a fixative spray to make sure your work doesn't smudge in your sketchbook. You can buy them specifically for charcoal, but you can also use hairspray if you have it to hand. Whatever you use make sure it is in a well ventilated area and wear a mask to protect yourself.

Let's get going!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Emma Woodthorpe

Illustrator. Author. Artist.


Hi I'm Emma Woodthorpe, also known on the internet by my business name Embers & Ink! I'm a freelance artist and illustrator based in Sheffield (UK). Using my background in Art and Literature I'm  currently writing and illustrating children's books!

I work in multiple media and have created a range of art using many mediums ranging from charcoal and pastel through to acrylics and oils to pencils and watercolours - and many more!

Find out about the Children's books I've created on my Author Website and follow my Author Instagram page @emmawoodthorpe for regular updates. You can find me on YouTube where I post weekly videos exploring my art and life as a full time creative. You can also join my exclusive gang over on Patreon where I offer a range of exclusive con... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi there. Welcome to the skull share. Listen, today we're going to be going through steps to create believable three D image in charcoal . Together, we will explore the tools we're going to use get to grips with some basic shading skills and three D principles, Then bring that all together to create the basic three D image. To practice these new skills throughout the class, you will be able to pulls on. We watched sections at your leisure. You can also joining with the other students on deferred your progress to the cost project . So let's get started and see what tools we're going to need. 2. Tools: So let's have a look at some of the tools we're going to use during this lesson. Firstly, I'm probably most importantly is the type of paper that you're going to use. Charcoal requires at least fine grain paper, such as a cartridge paper. If you use a smooth paper, you may find that the charcoal does not a dear to it, as well as with a fine grain cartridge type of paper. I use the daler around me fine grain cartridge paper you can see along the top. Everything that it suits before here is the symbol for the charcoal or past ALS, so we know that it's going to be suitable. The type of work were going to be doing next is the charcoal. The charcoal I'm using here is a stick charcoal or a willow charcoal. It comes in many different sizes and thicknesses, from the thickest through to the thinnest. When you buy packs of willow or stick charcoal, there will often be a range of sizes within the PAC. These options give you freedom, depending upon what withdrawing in the detail that you want to get next. Some paper stumps. As you can see, the papers. Stumps comes in varying sizes. Often the have sizes types upon them. I tend to use just a big fat one and a small thing. One, maybe another one just for detail be sent to us. I use, and you will need these for shading on blending the charcoal. The next tool that we're going to use is a pretty rubber. You can see they are malleable. You can use them us that they expand rubber. Or if you want to get some fine detail in a race fine point, you could mold it into the shape that you want and use it accordingly. You may also find the addition of charcoal pencils useful. You can buy these individually or in a pack, and you can get them in a range of shades from dark to media. And then light can also get tinted chuckles, and the white ones are often useful to add final highlights. You will also need a pencil sharpener. Do a job lending. You may also find it useful to have some cotton wool balls, awesome soft tissue. But of course, the most important tool is your hands. You'll be using these to blend and they're the most effective tool for doing that, Really. So without further ado, let's get started exploring our tools. It's very important that you do take time to explore your tools. If you don't know what they do, you're not going to be able to use them effectively. I like to start each project with a two minute warmer, but I give myself this time to experiment with my tools and get warmed up, ready for the project ahead. So this is what we're going to do, just pick up. So your tools, you just get going. Don't be scared to try and have a go with new things. There's no plan to this. That's just experimentation. Don't worry about getting your hands dirty, either. - Why don't you go ahead and share some of your mark taking with class? Break that area that say that everything's got to be perfect. It doesn't Sometimes we just need to have a bit of fun. 3. Shading Basics: So before creating our final Three D image, we're going to get to grips with some shading basics, some basic three D principles. So next we're going to explore some shading basics. Get yourself piece of the fine grain cartridge paper that we were using earlier to practice the shading basics on I'm just using Back of my mock making. So what is shading? Shading is basically a way of adding values or tones onto your piece of work. Shading works on a Grady and system. Get yourself piece of charcoal, the thickest piece that you've got at the bottom of your sheet push very hard, not so hard that it snaps chard and create a block Philippine pushing harder. She comes filled in all of that white. Next we're going to do is create a block shape. Phillips here not pushing quite so hard. You still see some of the white three there very lightly above that 1,000,000,000 but like to still Perry lightning with that, fill it in. Hardly touching. You might want to swap. It's one of your centerpieces very lightly, and with your finger or with a paper stone. You can shade this in. Start with the darkest and then work your way up the lightest. I'm using a clean finger for each block because I don't want Teoh. Have you so smooch? Look, until it fades into nothing. The value has gone from darkest through to the lightest. With charcoal, you can add darker values in once again once you've blended all of those coolers in together on allotting darker values on top of dark values. Already attend to use a paper stump because the charcoal that's accumulated on the end off the paper stump will help. To keep that depth of cooler may want to use your Cornwall, but just to take some of the excess charcoal off the get basic idea of values from dark through delight. When you were using these values or tones in your chuckle drawing, you'll be using the darker parts to indicate shadow the lights of parts to indicate parts of your shape, which are near the light source. If you could do the same, their charcoal pencils starting with the darkest pushing the hardest. No, the block on top with your darkest pushing a medium amount in the books, just with the very lightest shading you might find that pick stunt is a bit better for shading the pencil and is your finger, but we'll try with the finger first sort fingers. Just stop me smudging The dark charcoal is on that finger into the lightest ones might use it in a second from the bottom of this much, always it together. Once again, you can get your darkest pencil like we did with the charcoal and just feeling the darkest values. And once again you got the values going from darkest through delights of ST of the Whites To show how you're putting over ants, highlights and values running all the way down this toe, try again with the pencil when you're using pencil the pencil. A D is better to the paper, so you may find that it's beneficial to use pencil when you want it darker. But bear in mind if you're going to going in again and using a pretty Robert ad highlights , it works much better with the stick charcoal, and it does with the charcoal pencils. As I said earlier, you use the values of the shading in your picture by using the darkest values or the darkest shades to indicate areas of shadow on the lightest shades from the lightest values to indicate the areas that are closer to the light. You can see this indicated well in this photograph here. This is an image called the Bill by Wesley Cooper, and you can really see the areas that a darker, further away from the life to such was underneath the bill. Underneath the top of this ridge of the top part of the bill in the areas where the light is coming in, touching it first are lighter. The top of the bill, the top of the feathers, the individual feathers that are sticking out which are catching the light. However, you can also use values to show distance. You might want to bear this in mind with your future art. This image here is called The Nature Hurricane Ridge by Monty Nagler, and you can clearly see that the darker relevance trees on and the slightly like two trees behind or in the foreground, and the tones are the values that lighter the further into the distance you go. So knowing the basics of value and shading can really useful tools, the taking of artwork forward, so have a go at playing around with shading and the values using the tools that we've been exploring. Why don't you post up your progress with the class? Next, we'll be exploring some basic three D principles before bringing together all of the skills that we've used to create a believable three D image. 4. 3D Principles: Now we're going to look at some basic three D principles, which are going to give the illusion that R two D flat shape is a three D fat shape. And we do this by using our shading techniques, playing varying levels of darkness or tone to add depth to our average. We have the highlight to indicate areas of the shape touched by the light. Then we introduce the mid tones through to the core shadow, using the darkest tones. We also have a reflected highlight to create the illusion of light bouncing back from the surface. Then we have the cast shadow, which is darker and more intense, close to our shape, fading to lighter tones, the further away we move. So now let's get a clean piece, fine grain cartridge paper, bring together everything that we've learned in these lessons to create believable three day charcoal, she 5. Starting your Image: so the first thing that we're going to do to create a background toe onto which we can create our image. And it means that any highlights that we add afterwards have a greater intensity of white or a light tone compared to our background. Well, I've done here is to stick my piece of paper down onto the table just to stop it moving around. You don't need to do this. It's completely optional, but it does create the nice border once you remove it. So let's get going. I've got a big, thick piece of charcoal. I've already used this. You can see that he's got a flat egx. No, I'm going to do is just to rub this. No. And then what you going to do, going to use your hands and rub it in if you want, so you can use a cotton bud, but I like Theismann's. It's no even just go over again. Now the next step is draw a circle. You can either do this freehand, or, if you want to take the pressure off, you could draw around a template, something such as a jar. A little tip. If you're charcoal isn't the shark as you would like rubbish. Looking down on a piece of paper, maybe get around to smooth the edge off when you begin drawing your circle. Started both the piece of paper and move from the shoulder and just do like movements. Remember, we're going to shade in this instead of Don't worry, if it's not one continuous piece of the line like this, I use the template for this one. The next thing we're going to do start shading in. I'm having a look at my reference piece here on this piece. I could see that the light is shining onto the object here and I won't have the same kind of effect. So when I'm shading, do much in the light is hitting this part here. I'm going to leave that piece with a lighter tone, so begin shading lightly. Remember, you can always add more intensity toe a lighter toe, so build your tote up Gradually my darkest day. Every reason to be down here The light is coming this way is going to be casting a shadow one to this party. The ground is going to be here. So the most intense parts are going to be from the ground round onto this side. Better in mind when you shading. Okay, At the moment, what we're doing is putting in the mid tones with your finger or paper stone. Just begin to blend by and see how it looks. You might find it difficult getting right to the edge off this image with your fingers. Feel free to use paper stone. Take your time with this. There's no bush. I can see that. I've begun the shading with some light amid tones, but there's little definition between the background on the foreground. So what I'm gonna do it should keep working it pressing a little bit harder to try and get deeper mid tones. The closer to the core shadow that I get working in a surf look. Shape around the light source blended. Keep lending it and see how it goes when you're blending as we did for the background, you work in circular movements. It means that you don't get a sharp line around the area that you're blending, although do be careful when you're reaching the out limits of your circle horse shape. Get your paper stump. Just Teoh. Just have been a shading. Those bits in the mid tones are better there than there were before, but I am going to work into it just a little bit more. Do you use one of my smaller paper stumps? Just what I lose any of the intensity of midterm. The charcoal distended transfer T fingers close, so you should paper stunt toe workouts, any jacket lines that you might have on the outline of your shape. Then where if you make a mistake, chuckled is very figuring. I need to work that highlights of it more socially with a relative between Finger Rosen, that charcoal off. Okay, what I'm going to do now He's handsome, deep mid tones and core shadows with my charcoal pencils because they do give you a deeper intensity so I could see from a reference image that I got deep amid toes here, the closer I get to my outer edge. No, I did those in my reference image with a charcoal pencil very lightly with my darkest charcoal pencil. I'm just gonna work around in a circular fashion following the outline. My shape, I work in a circular. Patton. The closer I get to my lighter, mid tones just so I don't have that lying dividing them. Bo. Where the excess from times time. Okay, so before we get too carried away with that going, Teoh work on my shadow. I want to get when you use that piece because it's not too big. Small on this big, big enough now the light is coming from this area. So is don't is cast a bigger shadow on this part off the image. It's like they greet each other. You can see in this image that there is some shadow above the baseline off your shape. This creates the illusion that the shadow is behind the three D image. So I'm going to go both the baseline to my shape. Do create a little bit of shadow away from the place that your shape is touching the surface because you want to create some shadow coming from this area of your shape, but not too much. Get paid system from land. Got it. Now, towards the edge of your shadow, you wanted to start to thin out or have someone like to tone so, so much time with your finger just until it kind of disappears and then once again, and you're going to get your chuckle pencil or a darker piece of charcoal and create a darker core shadow closer to the image. - Okay , Quite like how that looks just a bit more core shot around here. Yeah, Yeah, it's better. I'm going to leave a section here that I'm not going to call a rain or shade in with my charcoal pencil because I'm going Teoh on the highlight there to create the illusion of a reflected highlight. I might just handsome pencil around the edge. Leave that area pre pencil. - Okay , now, the last thing to do is to make highlights even lighter. I want to do this with our Pussy river. If you put your robe is dirty and has charcoal already on it, you can clean it by stretching it. And then before me, it It's a good idea to do this just to keep your room clean on the areas that you're going to raise sharp. So first of all, I'm going to make a bollant pointed edge with my pretty river. I'm not going to rob a big area around because I already have a lighter tone there to indicate highlight. But in the middle of that zone, I'm going to put my razor just to create an even higher highlight. If it's two uniforms, you can get your finger trying white some of the charcoal first. That's much around it. Just to blend those edges in more, you can get the particle per game just lightly, lightly smudge in around that core area. Remember, if it doesn't work, he can get your paper stump and the residual charcoal on there. You can use that just to shade around again. Charcoal is very forgiving, so be kind to yourself. I quite like that It's OK after much need, this bit lightening up mid tones. Let's be like to around the miss much the mines will. Okay, last thing to do is to get your putting rubber. I'm mold it into a blunt inch, and with this, you're just going to create reflected highlight, not by rubbing just by patting Rob. You might take too much of the highlight off and again if you find that it is too light, which I think that probably is because it's lighter than the highlight this city finger or pay the stump, just blend in and there we have it believable. Three D image using charcoal 6. Final Thoughts: So there we have it Believable. Three D image in charcoal. Don't forget, the charcoal is a very forgiving medium and you can always hear about or re hand shadow and be kind to yourself. Experimentation is the key to any successful ought. Don't worry if something doesn't turn out right straightaway. We learned through all mistakes, so just keep trying and keep going. I hope you've enjoyed this lesson. And I hope you found it productive. I would love to see your progress. So please keep me updated in the last project below. If you like this video, please generous and recommend it to your friends until next time. Happy drawing.