The Charcoal Series: Sketch and Draw an Elephant | Chena | Skillshare

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The Charcoal Series: Sketch and Draw an Elephant

teacher avatar Chena, 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

13 Lessons (1h 23m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials and Class Project

    • 3. Laying Down the Sketch

    • 4. Laying the Darkest Values

    • 5. Laying the Midtone Values

    • 6. Blending your Drawing

    • 7. Adding More Midtone Values

    • 8. Adding More Dark Values

    • 9. Creating the Background

    • 10. Refining the Drawing Part 1

    • 11. Refining the Drawing Part 2

    • 12. Refining the Drawing Part 3

    • 13. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Welcome to this new class in The Charcoal Series!


As always, this series is all about learning how to have fun with charcoal pencils and using them to create beautiful drawings! In this class, we shall be focused on creating a charcoal drawing of one of The Big Five, an elephant.


Join me as I take you through my process of creating the sketch, laying down the values, blending the charcoal, and finally bringing it all together to a final, striking piece of work.


Don’t worry if you are a beginner as this class has been designed to be very easy to follow along! So, if you've ever been curious about using charcoal as a medium or would just like to try something different, join me in this class of The Charcoal Series!


Meet Your Teacher

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Hi! My name is Chena, also known as LechenArt. I'm based in Nairobi, Kenya and I'd say I'm pretty much a jack-of-all-trades. My background is in Civil Engineering, but art has always been my passion.

I wouldn't say that I am a self-taught artist as I have learned so much through the years from various resources and hours of practice (with lots of mess-ups!). That's why I know that my students can be able to learn and improve on their art, no matter their age or background.



I love exploring different mediums and subjec... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, and welcome to this class in the charcoal series. I didn't know whether this is a fast second, third, or fourth class that you're watching in the Chaco series. But no matter which class it is to you, welcome. In this class, we shall be talking how to sketch and draw an elephant using charcoal pencils. I'll take you through my entire process of which materials are used. How I sketched may reference image. I laid down the darkest values, then the midtone values, I blend. And then how I refined a drain in different stages. I hope you're ready and let's get into the class. 2. Materials and Class Project: Now we're going to talk about the materials that we shall need for this class festival. You'll need some people usually use heavy paper and I shall leave their description of the people in the class project section, you can use white or torn paper as long as the people has a little bit of tooth so that the charcoal can stick to it. You also need a variety of chuckled pencils. And usually use our six B or B to B and a high chuckled pencil. I shall also link them in the class project section. You can also use a pastel block. Over here I'm training my black pastel block. The pastel tends to behave similarly to charcoal. So you can use that in some of the sections that require deeper, darker values. You also need a pencil to lay down your sketch. Over here. I'm going to be using a mechanical pencil, but you can also use our traditional pencil. And in that case, you also need a sharpener. In case your chocolate pencils are quite short. For example, my 6B charcoal pencil is really shot. You can use something called a pencil extended so that you can use your chocolate pencil right up to the nib. Led to blend out your drain. You'll need soft paintbrush as well as our Tertullian or blending stump. The brush pelagic areas and the blending stump for detailed areas. Doesn't need an eraser. 3. Laying Down the Sketch: Now we're going to move on to how we are going to need on this sketch for a class project. I'd like you to follow along to this video on how I'm going to need on this sketch and lead under different values. And how we're going to create this beautiful elephant using the charcoal pencils. So we need comes to lean down sketches. Usually advisor to look at your image as comprising of different ships. You can see that the head stretches down into the chunk looking at Columbia rectangle and that the ears projects to the side looking somehow electron goes. So just by finding out those ships, you can sketch them out on your paper. Just minutes ago that sketching, I've also had touched us time of my sketch in the class predict section. And you can use that as your basis. Additionally, in the first class of the Chaco series, how to sketch up, up in Chaco, I should I begin a method that someone can use when they're laying down a sketch in order to lead down accurately. If you'd like to see how it is done, check it out quickly and then come back and we continue. Hi Yvonne. I don't, so I advise that it is good to practice how to sketch freehand and not depend on chasing methods. Sketch, because by practicing, that is how you become better. To just see how I laid on the sketch. The original image shall also be attached in the task project section. You'd like to try it out yourself. In case your link down to sketch yourself just by observing the image. Take care to look at different proportions so that you may kind of stick to how the original image looked like. I always say this, but the good thing about drawing animals is that you can secure a 100 some of the proportions and still have a sketch and a final drain that looks like a passing anymore. Why? 4. Laying the Darkest Values: Now I'm going to move on to name the darkest values. You'll need two extra sheets of paper moving on. And one of them is going to be used to place your palm on to actually doing smudge your dream as you continue laying down daka, daka values. I'm going to start off by using my six me charcoal pencil is a short test, one of the four that I had because I use quite a lot of it. Starting with the inner section just below the left ear, following along with a comma v e. And just laying down that shadow, thickening with my pencil. If you don't have a 6B charcoal pencil, you can also use our Fahmy charcoal pencil or whichever are soft tests chuckled pencil that you have. Take care to absorb the different values that I run the elephant. You'll notice that some sections are dark but not as dark as others. So the sounds that are much too dark, you can use less pressure. We get pans out and usually hold my pencil towards the end. Whenever I like to put less pressure, I bit my pencil. Now putting the shadow at the hind leg. Then moving on to the other. And Petain the i. And then putting down the dark value that marks the intersectional. You'll note that the whole elephant is quite on the darker side. So they have Mommy turned values. Just for law along with how I'm putting down the darkest value is nine to the other side of that. And now going to put in the folds of skin that are on the elephant's chunk. For this, we're going to use light pressure with our chocolate pencil. And going the direction that we can see this pulls are, make sure to cover them towards the edges because that gives a chunk of a 3D look biosphere. They too have finished. Make sure not to go to dock when you're putting down their values with their charcoal pencil. Because sometimes it can be a little bit difficult to lift up the dark values. But of course you can always go dukkha in sections that you went to a light, if that makes sense. Now going to put in the shadow of that marks the covering of their electrons. Chuck. I'm also going to put the folds of skin that it's a little bit in shadow. Then putting the shadow on the leg, as I can see, I'm going to be alternating between my phobia and May 6 Beecher called pencil sandra canoes P6, me or the 4B, depending on which you have a timed. I'm going to also be putting down a few of the midterm values still on this video. And to do that, I'm just using my Pfam B chuckled pencil and using light pressure with my pencil. Because as I said, some areas are darker but not as dark as the darkest, darkest areas. So we just want to put in that deeper value before him went to putting in the bulk of the midtone values in the following video. And at this point I'm going to pause. And then I'm going to move on to the next video we're going to put in now the majority values. 5. Laying the Midtone Values: Now, I'm going to continue using my 4B pencil and willing to continue putting the shadows that I was talking about. Yeah. Use light pressure with your pencil. You'll note that there is a highlight towards the top of the elephant's ear. So I am going to try and avoid that area and lead down the shadow on the areas below that highlight. And then they're later patches within the elephants. Batches of late agree, then a truly white of costs by depth matches or lighter gray compared to their area surrounding them. Memos going to avoid those areas because we shall put the shadow and those areas later on. And this whole video just make sure to use light pressure with their chuckled pencil. And are willing to put in a few light covering lanes to adds the top bear the highlight is just to indicate the timing and the coverage of the ear. There is also a highlight towards the top of the elephants head. And of course at the top of its back, we're going to avoid those areas and just put in some few shadows later on in this video. Now putting the shadow that can see on the elephant's piece. The good thing about using light pressure with the pencil means that once you blend it all together, the pencils trucks will disappear. When you use a lot of pressure, the pencil strokes don't disappear, especially when it's in a lighter area. You'll see that those pencil stroke still showed through even after blending. And that is something that you'd like to avoid if you went AS seamless drawing. Now the shadow towards the other side of the elephant's trunk. Whenever you've gone to beat. That's some of this trucks of my pencil. I do them in the direction that the elephant's trunk is Calvin to also give that 3D dimensional lock. And also see light straight lines that indicate holdings on the skin. Indicates that using a pencil, pretty much keep moving. Palm is resting on magic drying. Next we're going to move to the shadows on the ADA. Just using light pressure to indicate those little shadows. Notice that the shadows they also indicate Lisa. Just keep moving down the patina on the shadow. Problem-solving image that have attached for you. And you'll note the different values of gray that we've left a lot of white still. Putting the shadow later on in the next video. Bye, see you blend it all together. Now I'm just intensifying the shadow on the inner corner. And now moving on to the next video. 6. Blending your Drawing: Now we're going to start blending in the values that you had laid down before. To do this, we're going to use this soft paintbrush that I was talking about. Mishra To do this slowly and blow away any excess chocolate asks that accumulates on the, on your paper. We shall also aim to bring in some of this dust onto the areas that we left two, as white. Still as you're blending, try look at Eurasians image so that you do until so make some areas are little bit to a doc. When you see you have a lot of chocolate. Does Plato, we also tried to stay within the lines of the sketch, outline so that you're doing to my drawing. Now we have blending on the side of the elephant's trunk, the Shadows along the side. And then blending all over the front of the elephant chalk. Still moving the piece of paper that my palm is resting on so that I don't smudge up my trying. Now blending the triumph of elephants head and the top of its back. You'll note that the areas that we used, the 4B charcoal pencil and used light pressure will not have a lot of chalk oldest emanating from that section's much a paintbrush will always have a little bit of charcoal dust clinging to the bristles. Saw that chuckled asked will enable you to put in some of those values in those white sections. Now moving on to blending the left ear. You can see that texture that I was talking about. And you use your pencil, it's still showing through. And also be a good thing as it can also make your drain look a lot more interesting to go by any areas that you're fairly might've missed. Now moving on to there a two hour drive from the inner section, make sure that the brush that you're using has soft precise. So actually don't end up damaging your people. As you're doing this. Make sure to go over the folds of skin on the elephant's trunk. Even more with my brush. And now we're done with the first stages of blending. Drain looks a little bit that we're going to make it your Kim and more three dimensional in the next videos by adding more midtone values. 7. Adding More Midtone Values: Now it's time to start taking our drain out of the ID stage. Remember the second piece of paper that I told you that you need picky tau schnell, and then now you can use either the sixth me charcoal pencil that you have are the pastel block, whichever softest piece of chalk all that you have. Then just lay down a tick, even Leah, oh, shading on that piece of paper. We shall use the dust of this shading to add the mitten values on our chocolate. And I shall show you how to do it. There isn't my MA 6B charcoal pencil is really shot because it's the one that does the most work. Once we're done doing that, just put the paper to the side. Men pick up your brush. It's what you do. You just squiggle your brush in that Liao dust. Men pick it up and then use a dust should depend some of the areas on the elephant's body. And we'd start off with a left ear. The shadows are taken C along the year. Remember that the first where you've put down the brush will be where the most amount of charcoal dust will be deposited. So make sure to put it down at a spot where it is actually dark. Otherwise, you might end up having a dark shadow in an area that you didn't want it to be. This might be actually the most time-consuming section of this string that just teach a time with it. Whenever you feel like you've put picked up too much dust, just wipe off the excess on the piece of paper. It could require you to have good observational skills and being able to tell the areas that are Dhaka than other sections. You can see that some of those areas where the strokes of the pencil was showing through I now being covered up once we add the chocolate desktop. Now I'm going to add the shadow on the inner section of the elephants. Men down to the bottom part of the elephants. Just keep building up those midtone values and shadows using a brush of shadow along. Here you see I put a lot of the shadow in an area. It shouldn't have been. They just went over the area with my brush over and over again to try and stop any tout. Now going to move to the front of the elephants had starting with US shadow that is at the top of the section between the highlight where the sun is hitting its head and the front patch that he's facing the camera. Now I've got shadow slowly using our brush. You can see that there is a section with a deeper shadow. Twice decide. So you just used my brush to lay down that deeper shadow to dry it out. Even the other deeper shadow on the right side of their head. I can just lay down that variation in light using my brush. Now we're also going to have to lead II and even LEA or shadow. On that front. And we're going to do with that fixed time. But also so that once we bring back in the highlights, they may stand out against the dark background. Even value or shadow is on the head. Again trying to something down on me to adopt with my brush. Depending the shadow that he's on the side of the truck. Now we're going to back and the bottom part of the trunk. Now moving one to the right, starting at the top. But going to deepen the shadow that his on the highlight at the top can also stand out. The lightest sections of grave edge. The brush that I'm using is a flat brush. It enables me to put down the street. And if I just use the flat part of it. And now we put the charcoal dust pretty much all over the body. Living of course, some areas a little bit later. So it made still also look a lot right now at this point. In the next video, we're going to make some of the shadows I launched that Castlevania, they may stand out more. And then later on we're going to bring out the highlight. There are going to make the elephant pop. So just observe your drain at this point if you need to add any in any sections at this point. Now, before we move on to the next section. 8. Adding More Dark Values: Now it's time to ID Murdoch values on I drain. We're going to go back to our 6B charcoal pencil or the Fahmy charcoal pencil, whichever line you have. The most actually lost a lot of our dark, deep shadows when we ended up blending. So we need to add them back in. We're just going to go out on the areas that are dark as ducks on the drawing. Again, I'm where's touch with their inner ear. And we're also going to blend those areas, specifically not going over other areas, just to areas where we are adding the dark values right now. You'll notice that also on the inner north section, there is a deeper shadow. And we need to carve that out and also blend it out. A also switched to make 4B charcoal pencil. And they said either can do make sure to blend out only the areas where you're laying down the chocolate right now. So now carving out the shape of the men, intensifying the false, the skin around the leg. For some of these sections, I'll use my blending stump instead so I can just target those areas alone. Close to its task. We actually now refining the details that you can see on the final stages that we'll be adding highlights, which I like living to be the last thing. Coming out the inner section of the year. Just go buy your entire drain. Rabbi needs to go Dhaka. Trade goes Dhaka. But also going to go over the falls that are on the trunk. Make sure that the lines aren't necessarily evenly spaced, are of the same length. Because I find them elephant width symmetric. And even the lines are folds on skin and the skin. It doesn't have to also look exactly as it does on the image. Again, of course, going over these lines without blending stump. In order to sweep off the excess dust and to meet the whole section look a lot more soft time blended together. I use my brush and rent or buy the whole section. Next we are going to go over to the right side. Are going to deepen the shadows that are on the inner section of the year. Again, blending it out as we go along. Sometimes make noticed some sections that you didn't go dark enough with them returned values. And you can just use your brush and add those values. Like I noticed, that on the left side actually needed to go a little bit darker, so I just use my brush to quickly add that value. Now continuing with the IEA and carving out that ship. And at this point, I felt like I'd added in most of the dark values. So now I couldn't move on to the next stage of the drawing. If you'd like, you can post a photo of your drain at the stage in the class predict section says We can see your progress at, up to this point. 9. Creating the Background: So before I'd even the final refining touches on our drain, I usually like to put in the background so that I can create the theme that had like or my drawing. So of course, the LFO is usually found in the African wilderness. So I wanted my background to be wild and indicative of nature. So just use my brushed become the chocolate dust and lady down in an haphazard motion on the people. I didn't really care about having any dark marks showing on the paper. Because either way and add some dissections that indicate the foliage. It's also an advantage in this kind of a case because those dark marks also create an interesting variation when it comes to your drain. So I'm just going to leave an event LEA or shadow onto the background. First of all, before darkening some sections of the background. And I didn't want the background to me as big as the size of the BBA, limited myself to not go to the edges and the ends of the pipa. Much if you'd like to have that background fill the whole BBA, feel free to do so. The best way to put this event alea is by using the brush and not choosing the pencil because it is a little game. Streaks. Showing through math can also be a way of adding texture. So you may go in either direction depending on what she'd like. I wanted to make some sections of the background. I just picked up a rash. The dark sections in previous videos, I talked about how I usually make some sections on the background with light sections on my subject so that it can meet those bright sections on my subject's stand out against the Dukkha background. So now making the section of the background at the top of the elephant to be Dhaka. Because I know that I'll have a highlight that tuple the elephants ears and add a couple of weeks buck. So I'm just going to dock in the background. And those sections so that those highlights made pulp. Once I actually add them buckskin. You'll see that those are the sections that are making those ten URLs. So now we're going to add in some details later on. In the background. 10. Refining the Drawing Part 1: So now we're on to the fun part, which is refining our drain. And I'm going to divide it into two parts. So this is part one. What I mean by a finding like drawing is bringing vacuum the highlights and defining our drain. To do this, I'm going to use my pointed erisa, my tumble non-zero eraser. If you don't have this, you can use an aerosol that has been chiseled to a point so they can target those particular sections. I'm also going to be using my head chuckle pencil to define some of those areas. So I'm going to start out at the top using the areas had to bring in those highlights. The buck there'll be some speckled highlights. So this is why we made that top of the buck to be a little bit too dark so that the highlights can stand out against it. Then I'm going to use the pencil to add in some dark sections on the buck. And also to define the outline of the elephant. Again, using the pencil to define the outline of the IAEA. Indifferent. To pick up some satellite highlights within the ear. And anytime just using your brush, some late lines that are within the ear. So I use the area side to bring the MAC in. Ram, I thought was a little bit too dark. I just used a needed areas or to pick up the highlight. Now moving down. And now I'm going to use a pencil to identify some of those dark shadows. They do this just by using pressure. Then just talk any toy out. We each put in some of those highlights using pointed ears. This also helps to felt that they needed to go to the shadow. Then I saw turned out the shadow using my blending stop. Yes. Moving slowly down. But I'd missed leg. Needed to go a little bit later. In order to make the folder list gets turned out. I did a little bit of a highlight. Then defined the edge length using the area. This is the end of part one. Extra. 11. Refining the Drawing Part 2: I took back to refining our drain, but we need to continue adding in the highlights. So now defining the shape of the elephants task. See a little bit of a pattern on the task itself. A is defensible then small doubt the pattern using that blending stump. Now, I didn't highlight on top of the elephant, I make you stand out. Then doing the same to the other. That is on the other side, can't be seen well downloaded the elephant of spending. Next, I think the highlight of that is to the right of elephants trunk. You then adding some lines down the trunk. Bending the same by adding some highlights, close defaults on the trunk. They may stand out. Now, using the edge. Now moving on to the right by putting the highlight against the background. And if I need to add in some subtle highlights, I just use a needed erisa. There's so many different variations in the shading of the elephant's ear. So you may see things at IDO went and you may add in more details than I have. And that's actually a good thing. So add as few or as many details I've zoomed like. Remember you need to soften out any highlights, just use your brush. Yeah. 12. Refining the Drawing Part 3: Now moving on to part three of refining our drain. Now we are going to act on the background and add a few highlights to the background to tie in our drain, which is my pointed erisa to add some grass to the bottom. Even going over the elephant's body. Just with long strokes with areas such indicate the grass went all over the background at the bottom, then also going up in the background. But making sure not to go by the elephant's ears. Because that would indicate as if the grass was growing as tall as the height of elephants ears. Just put a defense on the screen. And you can also use some shops in the background. You can use your brush pressure by putting them exactly where they are in their offense image. Picking them randomly, adding them. Again, something any lines I put down using brash by appending stump. I didn't ANY lanes that you'd like to put. And if there's anything that you would think that, you know, this is the time to do so. We've actually come now to the end of i just going to add any other highlights, automate any other. So go ahead and I have also try not to overlap. Or else you kinda go over byte. I didn't make the highlight at the top of the box stand out a little bit more and decided to add a little bit. And now you're finding the highlights. Hope you've added any. And of course as all lazy last parties usually don't forget to do that. As well as teaching the class. 13. Final Thoughts: Sad to see we've come to the end of this class again. As always, whenever you finish our chocolate drink, it's going to seal your drawing using some a fixative spray so that he doesn't smudge and mixture to do this in a well ventilated area as pre evenly all over the drawing and then leave it to dry before you give it out as a gift or framed on the wall. I hope you've enjoyed this class, may hope that you've learned something new. Bills pre to post in the class project section and as well as on Instagram and tag me. And all the details that you may need can be found in a class project section. Lca had fun and see you in the next class.