Full figure in charcoal


Draw 20/30 “mannequin” poses selecting figures from  the pdf’s in this folder, drawing from life from your family and friends (ask them to pose for you for 5 min poses) and from video still of sport, dance or movies.

The goal is to become proficient at drawing simplified figures, yet exact in pose, proportions and unity.

Remember to SQUINT constantly because in this way you will be able to see when faces turn (front to side to back to top to bottom).


Assignment consists  in drawing at least 30 Gestures (start timing 30 sec, then 1 min then 2 min (10+10+10 Gestures) please time it ) from pictures, videos or people around you.


Draw large

Daw some gestures using point of charcoal and some rubbing and building using the wide side of charcoal

Draw the 30 sec gestures with ⅓ lines, long, gestural and energized: what is the figure doing?

Draw curves rather than sticks

Always cross the body: from left hand to right hand passing through the shoulders/chest

Always be aware of the spinal cord and its path (does it curve, twist, bed? Is it facing in or out? )

Don’t be concerned too much about proportions, particularly in the short gestures. You can fix them in the 2 minute gesture.

Use your phone timer and be strict about it.

Feel free to draw also some 5 min drawing, starting with a gesture and developing blocks.

Please share here 3 to 5 drawings.


Assignment consists in drawing the figure in a setting (anywhere you like) preferably from life if you have a model (friend or family member), or from pictures if model is not available.

I suggest to start with few gestures ( 5 to 10) to find the action, energy, balance of the figure.

A couple of 5 min drawings to build the blocks/pose and setting

A couple of 10 mi it’s drawings to set some basic tones, correct proportions and develop the setting.

And a couple of 20 min drawings to fully develop your drawing.

Focuses are: gesture, blocks and analytical drawing.

The goal is to draw the figure using all the different approaches we examined.

The 20 min drawing will offer the chance to work on toned paper, and to draws complete figure in a setting in correct proportions and with 3 distinct tones.


Full figure in charcoal: create a large full figure drawing in an environment or interior.

This is part of your final projects and it should be considered one of your masterpieces.

Take 3 to 9 hours to work on this project.

  • Set up in front of a mirror, keeping a good distance that allows you to see some space around the figure. You can also use a model, but do not work from pictures.
  • Sketch composition on smaller pad: thumbnails and studies.
  • For final drawing: work on 18×24 paper using charcoal
  • Tone your page to a full mid-tone and use soft eraser and soft charcoal to build the structure.
  • Work from the mirror or from life if you are drawing somebody else. Take regular breaks and do not work for more than 30 min without taking breaks: observing your work is as important as drawing.
  • Build masses of three solid tones before breaking tones.
  • Use fixative between layers once you are certain of a previous layer.
  • Think structurally and leave all details for the very last.
  • Modulate contours and get rid of unnecessary contours.
  • Remember to think in terms of shapes and not in terms of features.
  • Connect with the atmosphere and the type of light that you are observing.
  • Be ambitious and think what you are trying to express with this drawing.