Drawing the Portrait in Charcoal

This workshop is virtual via Zoom. 

Dates: Thursdays, January 14, 21, 28, and February 4, 2021

Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Instructor: Nicole Troup

Cost: WCMFA Members $40, General public $50

In this workshop, students will create a drawing from a photo reference provided by the instructor, Nicole Troup. We will begin with an overview of materials and the working process followed by a short lecture and demonstration on how Nicole Troup draws a portrait in charcoal and Pan Pastel using children’s proportions. Instruction and demos will be given throughout the workshop with an emphasis on proportions and the differences between child/adult, blocking in the lights and shadows, value relationships, shading, blending, drawing/charcoal techniques, use of edges, details, and more.

Students will use the method of relative sizing to transcribe their photograph to their paper. Class discussions will include student feedback to improve their work, the advantages, and pitfalls of using photo references for drawing, and how to accurately judge values, edges and forms within your photo. A break will be taken halfway through each class. This class will be recorded and sent to the students with a video after each weekly class so the students can catch up by working on the portrait in between classes.


Material List

  • Assorted pack of charcoal pencils ranging from HB-6B, any brand ( minimum range needed: HB, 2B, 6B)
  • 1 White Charcoal Pencil (any brand)
  • Kneaded eraser
  • rectangular eraser
  • MONO ZERO eraser by Tombow (retractable eraser)
  • 3 sheets of 9” x12” or 11×14” card stock paper: light or medium grey (any brand)
  • Pan Pastel Ultra Soft Artist Pastel, Black
  • Pan Pastel Ultra Soft Artist Pastel, White
  • Sofft Knife with 5 Covers, Pointed, No.4
  • HB Charcoal Pencils (General Pencils)–4
  • Pencil sharpener
  • 1 blending stump
  • Soft painting brushes for blending such: small round brush any size between #2 and #5.   Medium round brush any size between #6 and #10
  • t-square ruler (at least 12 inches)
  • 2-3 paper towel sheets

Charcoal Portraits
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About Nicole Troup:

nicole troup

Artist, Nicole Troup, resides in Greencastle, PA.  She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in Lancaster and is currently working as a commissioned portrait artist for private and official commissions. Some of her clients include WWE wrestler Titus O’Neil, doctors, local clients and CEOs. She has also painted former Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Corbett.

Outside her commissioned work she collaborates with public figures and celebrities for specific painting projects. These celebrities include: actors Michael Shannon and Alan Cumming, actresses Erica Ash and Madeline Carroll, Machine Gun Preacher, WWE superstar Titus O’Neill, models and others. The collaborations include an initial contact with the person to create a painted portrait of them through the sharing of ideas and photo references that evolve into a finished product. The painting and limited edition prints are sometimes autographed by the celebrity and are then offered for sale to their fans and supporters.

Learn more about Nicole Troup on nicoletroupmasterpiece.com.