Draw an Expressive Portrait in Charcoal | Siobhan Twomey | Skillshare

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Draw an Expressive Portrait in Charcoal

teacher avatar Siobhan Twomey, Artist, Illustrator, Instructor

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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

9 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. Charcoal Portrait Drawing Introduction

      1:47
    • 2. Materials for this Class

      4:23
    • 3. Important Landmarks of the Face

      5:46
    • 4. Phase 1 Blocking In

      7:15
    • 5. Phase 2 Blocking in the Hair

      6:26
    • 6. Phase 3 Adding Highlights

      7:13
    • 7. Phase 4 Re-Stating the Darks

      8:05
    • 8. Phase 5 Final Pass

      4:30
    • 9. My Thoughts on this Process

      4:01
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About This Class

In this short class you will learn how to draw a dynamic and expressive portrait in charcoal. Follow me step by step through the process of drawing one portrait, and together we will explore the creative, expressive qualities of charcoal: from the rough, basic block-in phase through to the final finished art work. You'll also learn how this way of drawing is the key to unlocking your own unique drawing voice, and your own drawing language. 

Through careful observation you'll learn how to naturally and intuitively find the landmarks of the face, and be  able to draw them easily, without complex construction or detailed measuring. Eventually this method allows you to draw freely and responsively.

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An expressive portrait can be a striking and powerful artwork. It allows you to weave your own impressions of a person into a drawing that fully represents the subject.

Plus, it's fun! :) It's great to get messy with charcoal and draw with the FREEDOM of not having to make a photo-quality image. I hope you join me today :)

Meet Your Teacher

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Siobhan Twomey

Artist, Illustrator, Instructor

Top Teacher

Hello, I'm Siobhan :)

My background spans the disciplines of drawing, painting, filmmaking and animation. I studied Film in Dublin, and at the Tisch School of the Arts, at NYU in New York. I later studied drawing and animation. Since 2005, I have worked in studios in Vancouver and Dublin as a professional background artist and environment designer. I've also worked as a storyboard artist, concept artist, and I have directed a number of short animated films. My studio practice revolves around portrait painting and figure drawing, for commission and gallery exhibitions.

All in all, I've worked for 20 years as an Artist, Illustrator and Animation Professional. 

My passion is to teach others the whole spectrum of Art Skills that I’ve learned and develope... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Charcoal Portrait Drawing Introduction: Hi there. My name is Siobhan. I'm an artist and an animation professional. Today I'm going to teach you how to draw a striking and expressive portrait in charcoal. [MUSIC] In this class, I'm going to walk you step-by-step through the process of drawing an expressive portrait from start to finish. You'll work alongside with me using the photo reference that I'm using and together we'll develop this portrait from being a bunch of messy marks to being a polished and finished artwork, or you can simply watch the process and apply this technique or this approach to drawing to your own work using your own photo reference. This is a short and focused class on drawing expressive portraits. I want to give you a proper understanding of this way of drawing and the confidence for you to be able to take this approach and draw anything. Not only will you have fun drawing a portrait in an intuitive and expressive way, but through this process, I think that you will learn that the way you use your marks and your pencil can actually unlock a language of drawing that's uniquely your own. If you're ready to join me today in this class, I'm going to take you on a journey through the creation of one drawing and explain my process step-by-step from start to finish. I'll see you in class. [MUSIC] 2. Materials for this Class: One of the key aspects to express a drawing of any kind is the materials that you use to make your drawing. What kinds of drawing materials or drawing tools that you use will really affect the kinds of marks that you can make. In this class, I'm working with charcoal on newsprint paper. But I wanted to point out that there are actually a couple of different kinds of charcoal. I've got a couple of different sticks of charcoal here and I just thought I'd take a few minutes to explain the difference between each of them. This charcoal here is from Conte a Paris, and this is called Willow charcoal or it's sometimes called Vine charcoal. Willow charcoal generally comes in very long sticks like this. It's a wonderful drawing tool to make very delicate, fine marks, and you can also get quite deep nice dark tones output as well. The thing about Willow charcoal or Vine charcoal is that, since it's so light, you can move it around the page a lot and it's great to work with for details. The other side of the spectrum is something called compressed charcoal. Compressed charcoal looks a lot different to Willow. It's much denser, it's heavier, it instantly leaves charcoal all over your hands whenever you handle it, and it makes a lot more of a darker mark on the page. Even by just pressing quite lightly, you can build up a very dark tone. The third kind of charcoal that I've got here is a charcoal pencil. I think this is probably made up of something like compressed charcoal only it's in a pencil form. If you're used to drawing with graphite pencils, maybe working with the charcoal pencil will suit you. The last thing I wanted to point out is I'll be working with a kneaded eraser. Now, a kneaded eraser is easy to combine. It's probably the best thing to work with because you can shape it and turn it into an actual drawing tool if you wanted to. It works really well with Vine or Willow charcoal. It can erase it out quite easily. I will say it's a little bit harder to erase compressed charcoal. Sometimes it tends to smudge it if compressed charcoal is layered on quite thickly, but you can still definitely erase out lighter areas very nicely. I generally like to work on newsprint paper, which is a very soft smooth paper and it works excellent with charcoal. This is my setup for this class. I'm going to be looking at the reference image on my laptop screen. I'm going to record the drawing from above. I just wanted to mention that I often prefer to draw standing up and you might find that a better way to draw as well. When I'm standing up, I feel that I've got a better view of my work and I also crucially have better access to my energy which is an important part of dynamic expressive drawing as well as to have try and put your own energy into the work that you're doing. Experiment yourself at home if you find it easier to draw sitting down, that's totally fine. But be aware that if you draw standing up, you might get more expressive marks. Before we get into the drawing process, what I want you to do as a warm-up exercise is take a piece of paper and see if you can practice drawing tones with whatever drawing tool that you're using, and work out what's best for you in terms of getting a dynamic range of marks. Try to practice different kinds of sweeping marks. Avoid joint, close, tight, and small and try move your whole arm when you draw almost like you're moving it from your shoulder rather than just moving your pencil just from your wrist. Please drop the comment in the discussion tab and let me know what drawing material you're using. Is it a pencil or is it stick charcoal? Then when you're ready, join me in the next lesson and I'll go over the landmarks of the face that we need to look out for when we're drawing a portrait. 3. Important Landmarks of the Face: [MUSIC] In this lesson, I'm going to go over the general proportions of the head so that you know what to look out for when you're approaching drawing a portrait of any kind, but specifically drawing the reference image in this class. Since this class is all about expressive and dynamic drawing, it's essential that we understand that we're not trying to get an exact photo likeness or photo quality in our drawing. We really want to be able to almost interpret our reference or our subject matter. I don't want you to be tied down to rigorous measuring or concrete construction lines. Instead, I want you to be able to draw with more access to your own feeling and intuition and really draw your response to what you see. In other words, I don't want you to conform to join any predetermined template. However, with that being said, there is another side to expressive drawing, and that is how you observe or how you look at your subject. It's all very well to talk about expressive dynamic marks. But really, you've got to be able to use those marks in service of what you are observing. We do need to give very careful consideration to our subject and to what it is that we're looking at. For me, a good knowledge or understanding of the structure of the human form is very important when I'm drawing. But I often find that beginner drawers get stuck into anatomy way too early when they're learning to draw. It can actually stop them from developing how they draw. The same can be said for learning to draw in cubes and ovals. It is very useful from a design point of view. It's not all that useful when you're drawing from observation, because it tends to make things look generic and to not leave much room for expression or uniqueness. The way I'm going to approach the drawing in this class is to look out for the features or the landmarks on the reference image or the subject, and then understand where to place them on my page. That's really important. It's a subtle distinction between drawing a template and understanding what to look out for. For example, if you've been told, say, that the face can be broken down into something like three equals thirds, that doesn't actually apply to every face and really you should have that rule in mind, but always test it out on the subject that you're looking at. Another example is on our reference image here. You can see if you look at it straight on that, the ear is actually very, very low in the overall shape of the head. Normally, you might think that the ear needs to line up with the bottom of the nose. But you have to be careful because in this instance, our model's head is actually tilted and that's why the ear appears much lower. These are clues and landmarks that I want to look out for in order to make my drawing be expressive but also match the reference. Here are the main things that I look out for when I'm drawing. The first thing that I look for is the size of the forehead, from eyebrows to hair. The location of the eyes just underneath that. Then I look for the direction of the nose and the direction of the eyes. Usually this is a T-shape in this instance, because the model is turning and tilting her head slightly, we get a T-shape like this. Once you've identified that angle, you can work out the distance from the nose to the outer cheek and from the nose to the inner cheek, or this cheek over here where the hairline is over here. Then I will look for the location of the ear, which is always super important as I've just said. Because the ear is located fairly low on the overall shape here, it's a really good indicator of the tilt of the head. Then lastly, I look for the distance from the chin with the bottom of the face to the nose, and will locate the mouth in about halfway in there. Without drawing any details or without trying to draw angles and measuring, I'm using a very large, lose line to map out these landmarks that I've identified. [MUSIC] You can certainly use this map if you like as a guide for your own drawing. But I really would encourage you to try and intuitively find these landmarks or these features of the face through your own mark making and through your observation. It'll go so much further for you if you can try and loosen up and work this way, instead of trying to rely on a set guide or a set template. In the next lesson though, we're going to start the process and I'll show you exactly how to approach this drawing step by step. 4. Phase 1 Blocking In: [MUSIC] In this lesson we're going to start the drawing, so grab your pencil or your charcoal, pull up the photo reference, and we'll get started. [MUSIC] The very first marks that I'm going to make on the page are really just simply going to approximate an overall shape. I tend to use these very round circular motion. It helps to get a sense of the overall volume. What I'm doing is I'm looking at the reference image and just moving the charcoal to try and match my eye movements. I'm trying to find where I think the top, the bottom, and the sides of the head are. Now very lightly. I will indicate where the shadow on this side is and the big mass or the big shape of the hair, which eventually will be the darkest area. Now, at this point I've almost got a readable shape. Now, I'll just lightly mark out some of the shadow areas where the eyes are. They don't have to be exact. I'm simply just blocking in some shapes and then I'm going to block in or outline the nose, especially around where I think the bottom of the nose will be and similarly, a little bit of shadow to mark some areas around the lips. It's important to note that I'm not drawing fine details of any of these features. I'm simply blocking in sections of shadow. Instead of drawing the actual shape of the mouth, I'm going to just mark up where I see the darkest areas. That's usually the shadow under the top lip and the shadow under the bottom lip. Now I'm going to work a bit more back into the nose and play some of the dark areas around the nose to give it a little bit more definition, but I'm still trying to be less precise, more focused on just the shadow shapes. Really you don't have to worry about drawing them as anything specific right now. Using just messy marks is totally fine for this phase of the drawing. For me anyway, this approach works. I like to focus on the shadows of a shape rather than the actual shape itself. Now make sure to do this work extremely lightly at the stage. The compressed charcoal gets very dark very quickly and you don't want to start out so dark that the drawing then becomes unworkable later on. Try as much as you can to make your charcoal or whatever drawing tool you're working with, try and make it be as large as possible in this early phase. There is plenty of time later on to go in darker. Now I'm going to focus on the darks around the eyes. Now it might look like it's detail, but what I'm aiming to do is just simply jot down or mark up where these dark areas are. Again, I'm avoiding drawing the eye as a whole or a conceived shape because I know that if I do that it's going to look really off. Instead what I do is I just mark up where these really dark spots are usually, like the pupil of the eye or iris, and the corners. As you can see, that earlier blocking in of the shadows around the eye area it's not as prominent as what you first might think. That first blocking in is just a guide to know where to place the eyes. Then when you start to draw on top it actually gets quite knocked back. Don't be afraid to use your charcoal to add shading areas as guides. Now I'm going to start to go in a little bit darker with a bit more confidence. I feel now that I know where the elements are and they seem to be in the right place, so I can start to commit to this now. Slowly add a few more darks where they need to be around the eyes, again still without drawing eyes, just simply staging and restaging these little areas of dark tone [BACKGROUND]. The whole phase or the whole path took just a few minutes. It's the most important phase. Those few minutes have actually placed everything where they need to be and it already it looks it's coming together as a drawing. Just to recap, your first pass draw as lightly as possible, block in the overall shape, find the top, the bottom, and the sides first. Then work on adding shading and dark areas across the features. Avoid trying to draw features in and not themselves. In the next lesson we'll take this to the second stage and we'll start adding in those details. 5. Phase 2 Blocking in the Hair: [MUSIC] In the previous lesson, we just blocked in the overall shape of the head, as well as the features of the eyes, the nose, and the mouth. I'm just making a couple more adjustments to the dark areas over here. Now what I want to do in this lesson is just simply blocking the rest of the hair shape around the model's face. That'll be super important for our reference image because the hair will be the darkest part in the drawing. It covers quite a big section of the composition, and I think for this drawing, it's a good idea to get the dark tone down and identified. It'll indicate the darkest area, and we'll be able to refer to that for the rest of the values. Whenever you are doing a drawing like this from observation, you should always be thinking in terms of your image as a whole, and that really applies to values throughout your drawing. By values, I mean your dark tones, your mid-tones, and your light tones. Having one specific dark tone that you know is going to be the darkest value, that will really help you to relate all of the other mid-tones and light tones to that one dark tone throughout your drawing. I'm pressing quite hard with the charcoal and I'm really going for an almost, as dark as I can get, knowing that I'm going to be comparing my tones for the rest of the drawing. The shape of the hair doesn't have to be completely exact, it's just at the stage still just blocking in. But try to be mindful at this point of, what I always look out for is the space of the back of the head. The distance from the ear to the very back of the hair shape. That's an important marker or an important distance that I always look for. [MUSIC] If you look at the drawing at this stage, you can see that it's working in terms of composition and it's working in terms of apportion and all of the elements are there. It's really just about refining what's been laid down as a foundation. My strategy or the way I'll operate from here on out, is very simple. I'm just going to go back over those areas that I've identified as being dark areas, restate my darks, and then in the next lesson I'll try to pull out some of the lights or the highlights. We're just going to finish off the shape of the hair. You'll notice that I am leaving some areas of the hair to read as highlights. You don't have to get too caught up in drawing details of the hair. You can block in just basic areas of tone, but try to be sensitive to or aware of the shapes of the tones. Identify the shape of the highlights, identify the shape of the darks. Now I'm starting to really try to get my charcoal to work for me, I'm really like pressing down as hard as I can, the charcoal's even breaking often in places. I don't want to wipe charcoal off the page, so I'm just trying to blow it off. Then at this stage I'm going to use the kneaded eraser to draw in some of the highlights. What I'll do now is just tidy up this edge carefully and you can shape the eraser, as I said before, I'm going to just knock back some of the shadow on this left cheek over here, on the left cheek as we look at us. Believe it or not, this drawing is almost nearly finished. By adding in that hair shape, we've completed a basic pass on the drawing. It's looking very much close to finished. There's a lot of little, minor finessing points that we can do to make it look totally polished and complete. [MUSIC] I'm starting to get a little bit detailed now, I'm starting to dial in to the details of the drawing. I'm using the eraser. In the next lesson, I'm actually going to go in and make some of the highlights a little bit more pronounced. When you're ready, join me in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 6. Phase 3 Adding Highlights: [MUSIC] The way that I add highlights to my drawing at this stage is really just to use the eraser to knock back some of the charcoal marks and allow some highlights to come through. To do that, the kneaded eraser is really, I use it less as an eraser, more of an actual drawing tool itself. This means that I can simply draw in the highlights, the actual shape of the highlights by taking away some of the charcoal. Just shape it into almost like a drawing tool with a small point at the top and carefully wipe away or dab away the charcoal where you want the lighter areas to be. You don't have to go heavy handed with this. Just a simple touch on the page is usually all that's necessary. Sometimes obviously with compressed charcoal, it's a lot thicker and heavier than something like willow charcoal and it does take a little bit more of working with the eraser. But it's generally speaking, you don't have to overdo it at all. This side of the model's face is actually lit. It's a bit tricky. There's a subtle fall of shadows, or I should say a fall off of the light. There's some slight shading going on that defines the cheek. It is going to take a bit of finessing on my part. This area above the upper lip and the very edge of the cheek. It's not straightforward. I'm trying to carefully work around that area. You'll see me using my finger as well to move the charcoal around. I'm not a fan of, let say blending charcoal. I don't particularly like that look or that style. I will go over my charcoal with my fingers just a tiny brush here and there. All I can say is if you're at this stage, just go slowly at this point and carefully, don't try to rush it. The first few phases of the drawing are a bit more energetic and a bit more wild, putting any marks down. But right now, you really just need to be as careful as possible and don't work things up in a slow manner. It's really now about slowing down the process and progressing in small increments. You can always add back in if you've taken way too much and then work up the area again and continue until you feel that it's right. That's the great thing about charcoal and a kneaded eraser. Remember that we aren't really going for a photo likeness here. It is important to match the shapes and the features that you see. But expressive drawing means that you're able to be a bit more loose and a bit more intuition. Ultimately, those loose intuitive marks will bring that element of life and a dynamic quality that I think you might not necessarily get if you try to draw a strict photo quality, photorealism type of drawing. I can see that my drawing is looking like the photo. But I'm also working as much as I can with my marks. Let your marks guide you and lead you. For me, this process really is about letting the drawing emerge by itself. Now I know that doesn't sound practical or applicable in a rigorous sense. How do you let a drawing emerge? But if you follow your feeling for what you see as you draw, you will experience that some marks can appear that you didn't plan on or you didn't necessarily know that you are going to make them. Those marks are what make your drawing come alive. Expressive drawing is about allowing these mistakes in and keeping them in your drawing rather than trying to perfect them or perfect your drawing. Or to make it fit your preconceived idea of what your drawing should look like. It's really a process that you need to step into and experience. Then hopefully it will click for you when you've experienced it. If you notice, I've erased quite a bit of the harsh line or shadow that I initially placed down on the left side of the model's nose. This is something that you might not initially think is a big deal, but oftentimes, there's very little distinction between the nose and that cheek. In this image or this photo reference, that's a case in point. There's a subtle shading or subtle change in value from the nose to the left cheek as we look at the image. Just be mindful that you don't have to draw a big line down the edge of the nose to define it. Just remember that often the viewer's eye will fill in the blanks for you as well, so you don't have to draw absolutely everything. I would encourage you to have patience with this phase of the drawing, it's very often the phase where because things have slowed down, you can get quite caught up in the details and start to overwork things. I'm certainly in danger of overworking, destroying at this point. Sometimes I'll look back and I'll say, why didn't I stopped drawing 20 minutes before the end of the session because the initial blast of the drawing is often much better. But stick with it. My advice at this stage before we move into the very final stage is to slow things down and go slowly and steadily. In the next lesson, I'm going to make one final pass over this drawing and restate my darks for the last time, just to make sure that the contrast is working. I'll see you in the next lesson. 7. Phase 4 Re-Stating the Darks: [MUSIC] To recap the process from the beginning once more, the first few steps are really just to lightly shade around the entire area of your drawing, figuring out the composition, placing that composition on your page, and finding the perimeters like the top, the bottom, and the sides through your marks. Then the next step is to slowly build up areas of darker values, the shadows, the shading, and the really dark tones like the hair, the dark shadows around the eyes, the nose and the mouth. Once you've got all of those in place, then you can start to knock back some of your marks to reveal highlights and those light tones and brighter areas. In this lesson, I'm going to work on restating the darks throughout my drawing. What this means is that I'm going to start to be a little bit more precise and a little bit more committed to the drawing by emphasizing those really dark shadows across the face. I'm looking for areas where I can stage and emphasize the contrast. Places around the ear is usually good, that helps to make the ear stand out from the hairline. Under the chin is another area where there's usually a very dark shadow, and I want to emphasize that as much as I can. I'm really trying to push the charcoal to get as much of a dark mark as I can at this stage. Now, I'm going to use the very corner edge of the charcoal and I'm adding in a very simple contour line to trace the azure edge of the shoulder, and it's no more than that. That's all that's needed in this situation to give this composition or to give this pose, it's full expression. Within this drawing, I feel that there's so much information and so much shading going on around the features of the face. I feel that quite a very simple line, a slight delicate line to explain the shoulder angle and the pose. That's really all you need. Also this simple line will add contrast because the subtle line contrasts with the shading and the tonal work in the rest of the drawing. Adding contrast in your drawing is what's going to make it feel so much more real, because contrast adds interest in a visual sense, and it also helps the viewer to read the three dimensionality of your shape and the forms. What I'm doing is, I'm not trying to have the same exact tone or the same exact mark throughout the drawing. I'm trying to be conscious of having a varied mark, as well as a variation in tones from bright to dark. I often find that the area beneath the jawline is quite important, and I try to give that a bit of attention and make sure that I get that shadow in, because that shadow is crucial to help in the head [LAUGHTER]. Reads like it's on the head and neck that read in a more structural sense, helps it to make it feel more weighty. Now I'm also going to emphasize the dark areas of the models' hair, on this side of the face, and then just make sure that it frames the features nicely and creates an average edge to the cheekbone. You can think of this process almost in a sculptural way, adding and subtracting, adding in the dark marks or adding in the charcoal, and then knocking it back or carving it back with the eraser tool, so it's quite an interesting process in that sense. When I'm working on the eyes, I'm really just dabbing the charcoal down, I would say. I'm not necessarily drawing a shape or drawing a contour line or any outline. It's counter-intuitive, but I do find that apart from the shape of the upper eyelid, it helps me just to make dabs of marks rather than drawing outlines for what I think the shape of the entire eye should be. This drawing is pretty much nearly completely done. The last stage is a very simple short session just to refine and finesse any of those small details. I really don't want to overwork this drawing, because there's so much about this that needs to be open and clear. Overworking this or overdrawing it might make me lose that lovely quality that is in the pose. [MUSIC] In the last phase, I'm going to show you how to finesse these small details, the final touches, which is really just a matter of one or two additions or one or two touches here and there. When you're ready, join me in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 8. Phase 5 Final Pass: I mentioned earlier that one of the challenges of this kind of drawing is to try and make sure that you don't overwork your drawing too much. Part of making an expressive or dynamic drawing is that you want to try and keep in those very intuitive and gestural marks in your drawing. Those are the marks that give your drawing that quality and the expression of life that you want to make sure is present in your work. At this point, I'm trying to walk that tightrope or find that balance really and just do a couple more final details, and then really just step away. What I can say is that my final finessing, on my final approach in this is to ensure that the areas that need the darkest darks, I know I keep repeating this throughout this class, but those areas just to make sure that they are defined and the contrast works, and there is clarity within those dark areas, and they're not wishy-washy. I'm specifically talking about things like the pupil of the eye, maybe some areas in the hair. It does sound a little bit random or a little bit abstract, but clarifying those points of dark contrast will actually make the drawing seem a lot clearer overall. I'm really trying to just work around the eye shape here a little bit, making sure that I've got the shape of the pupil correct, making sure it's dark enough and that it reads, and then I'm just working into the hair a little bit and lightly drawing some strands of hair. I don't normally get too detailed when it comes to drawing hair, but I think in this instance trailing in one or two of these strands of hair will give a really nice effect to the drawing. Again, just working over my darkest areas and making sure that they are strong enough and will give the contrast that I want. I already see a big difference actually in terms of how there's much more clarity in this drawing now that I've just worked up those areas to what I consider, or what I can say are the darkest areas. Possibly then the very last thing that I'll do is ensure that my lights or my lightest areas are working as well. Going back in with my kneaded eraser and just picking out the highlights for that. In the next lesson, I'm going to wrap up the class and I'm going to give you my thoughts or ideas about what makes a good drawing because I think it's probably a useful thing to chat about at the end of this process. Hopefully, you've stuck with me throughout the process of this drawing. Hopefully, you have learned something really interesting or at least gotten some inspiration for your own drawing practice. In this last lesson, coming up next, I just want to explain what I think makes a good drawing for me and how that affects my process and my approach overall in terms of drawing. When you're ready, meet me in the final lesson. 9. My Thoughts on this Process: I know this drawing is not an exact photo likeness of our reference image. But as I said from the beginning, the goal isn't to draw a photo. Really, the ultimate goal of this class is that you will have explored your expression through mark-making. You will have achieved a cohesive drawing, a drawing that works. The emphasis for me anyway is on the drawing and the process, not the reference. Now, I know a lot of people tend to write drawings on whether or not the drawing looks like a photo. But one of the reasons that I didn't include the photo very much during the lessons of me drawing, is because I fundamentally don't think that a photo likeness is necessarily an absolute indicator of a good drawing. I wanted you to focus on the process and the mark making rather than on the comparison between the drawing and the photo. Looking at the photo beside the drawing, you will just naturally want to compare them in that way. In this last lesson, I want to share with you what I think is a criteria for what I would consider to be a good drawing. This is personal to me. It's my own criteria, but it might make sense to you and let me know if it does. Firstly, remember, drawing is an expressive art form, and that means that it is a way of saying something or describing something through marks. To me in my drawing practice, if I feel that I've arrived at a point in my drawing where I've said everything that I need to say, then I know that I'm finished. If I know that the drawing is finished, then that to me equals a good drawing. Once I know there's nothing more that I can add, I am comfortable and at ease with the fact that the process is done. I'm happy to say the drawing is complete. For me, that's a much stronger indicator of a good drawing than anything else really, because it means that I have expressed myself in Nash process. That's how I think about it. If you didn't want to talk in terms of good drawing or bad drawing, it doesn't matter to me if someone else likes it or not. What matters is if I feel it represents what I wanted to say. I totally see the value in the amount of skill that it takes to produce a photo quality or photo likeness. But I just wanted to share this perspective and this idea with you because I feel that the skill it takes to be expressive, to be responsive, I feel like it's often overlooked, especially in portrait and figure drawing. It actually takes quite a lot to draw in a loose and messy way. At first, you think you've got no control. But with practice, you can get to a point where you can control these messy marks and that's the point where your expression comes into play. With that, your own drawing language. A language based on how you look and how you lay down your own marks. I really hope that you found this short class useful for your own drawing and that it sparked interest in you to develop or further explore gesture drawing and expressive dynamic drawing. Please let me know what you think, I would love to hear from you. If you do make a drawing today or anytime after this class, then I'd love to see your work. Be sure to post it up. Thanks again for taking this time to be with me during this drawing. I look forward to seeing you in the next class.