Chimpanzee from the Charcoal Drawing course

This is the chimpanzee from the Charcoal Drawing Course. It is done on Ingres paper with vine charcoal, white charcoal pencil, compressed charcoal, and compressed charcoal pencil. Until I got to the part where I changed from vine to compressed and white charcoal, I really wanted to trash it so badly! :slight_smile: I’m glad I didn’t. The size is 12" x 10.7" picture plane.

The only thing I’d try to change, if I did it again, is to try and get the head tilt that I somehow missed. It wasn’t because I didn’t see it, but that sort of thing is one of the skills I really need to work on – facial features and slight tilts/perspective. I have done the portrait classes and facial proportions. I will get it eventually, but for now faces and portraits are just not my strong suit. :slight_smile:


Very nice! I suck with all the faces/hands/biology eatures where there really isn’t a solid feature size in a solid direction to move from and to in order to get proportions. Easy to get distance between eyes but getting them even 1/8" high or low on head makes it look all goofy. They’re easily susceptible to detail crawl and for some reason the most sensitive when something is the slightest bit out of location. I’m on the “People” section of the Pen and Ink subject course now and it is driving me insane on some of it.

Once you know how to figure out what is making it look funny, it is usually a small correct prior to inking but when you don’t quite catch it until after inking, ball up and start over. I don’t know if the “Loomis Face” applies to chimpanzees or not but it is at least some sort of starting point. I see a lot of people start with just one eye as an anchor and work out from there with great results and other sketch the whole set of features then add detail to whatever isn’t looking right (what I like to do to find errors early)

What I bump into as a problem is I don’t notice it doesn’t look right with just light pencil sketch lines, but if I go a tiny bit inside/outside or above them with ink thinking it is a better place it all falls apart and the nose is crooked, etc. Adding a head tilt would make the problem bigger.

/ End whining

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Whoo-hoo for not trashing this piece mid-way, a very nice rendering!

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Ha! You sound like me!!! I’ve only done one portrait that had an accurate nose and mouth. But, I made the eyes a little too large. I really really respect folks who draw or paint portraits accurately, especially the ones who do it effortlessly. I suspect most of them have had years of practice and honing that skill.

Thank you! I still see things I want to work on. After he rests a bit I might go back in and do a few minor edits. :star_struck:


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Very nicely done. I love it. Great job.


I was looking at this course the other day. Your Chimpanzee turned out really well. We always see things that we wish we had done better or different. It’s part of the path of learning.

Really, great job!