Realistic Charcoal Drawing for Beginners
5.0 (3 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
32 students enrolled
Wishlisted Wishlist

Please confirm that you want to add Realistic Charcoal Drawing for Beginners to your Wishlist.

Add to Wishlist

Realistic Charcoal Drawing for Beginners

How to Recreate a Realistic Landscape in Charcoal from a Photograph
5.0 (3 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
32 students enrolled
Created by Diane Flick
Last updated 7/2017
Current price: $12 Original price: $25 Discount: 52% off
3 days left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

Training 5 or more people?

Get your team access to Udemy's top 2,000 courses anytime, anywhere.

Try Udemy for Business
What Will I Learn?
  • You will come away from this class with your own beautiful interpretation of this image rendered in charcoal
  • You will also acquire the skills it takes to render this image including how to draw a simple, realistic landscape
  • How to layer and build values in charcoal
  • How to control the medium (i.e. create sharp edges or blended ones)
  • How to replicate a manmade object (wooden rowboat) and create natural textures such as water, clouds, and distant brush
  • How to create believable shadows and highlights on those surfaces
View Curriculum
  • This class requires an open mind and an enthusiasm for learning to draw
  • This class is for beginners, no experience is necessary

This course teaches a nice balance of the mechanics involved with making a beautiful landscape drawing in charcoal, but also having an interpretive, artistic mindset while doing it.  It discusses what to focus on, embrace and likewise, abandon as you’re drawing.  We will explore how to find the “art” in art-making, how to understand and effectively utilize some basic techniques, but be guided by the spirit of your subject.  It is meant for the complete novice equipped with basic art materials.  It is also meant to be a concise, efficient class that offers lots of great information in a small amount of time.

You will be carefully supported and guided through the entire process, from discussing which materials you will need, onto accurate measuring in order to replicate the image realistically.  From there we will walk through how to add value including shading. When we are finished, you will walk away with a new set of skills you can use to create more beautiful drawings.

Who is the target audience?
  • The complete beginner or the charcoal dabbler who wants to acquire skills in realistic drawing techniques
Compare to Other Charcoal Drawing Courses
Curriculum For This Course
31 Lectures
1 Lecture 01:09

Welcome to Realistic Charcoal Drawing for Beginners!

In this course you will learn how to draw a simple scene with charcoal. You will learn how to apply and manipulate charcoal, and how to create textures in charcoal. This is a great course if you want to learn measuring techniques for more accuracy in your drawing, or if you've ever been frustrated with charcoal and want to acquire skills to make it smoother and more fun. 

I hope you enjoy the course!

Preview 01:09
Getting Started
4 Lectures 05:41

In this section, you'll learn how to set up your area and materials for the class.

Preview 00:52

This video will discuss the materials you will need. 

  • Download the two images below. "Rowboat.pdf" is the original photograph, and "Boat-FinishedCharcoal.pdf" is a sample of a completed drawing for your reference. 


  • 9x12" Sheet of drawing paper with 8x8" square drawn on as your frame
  • Scratch paper
  • Pencil 
  • Eraser (gum eraser, pink pearl, eraser pencil)
  • Compressed Charcoal (large sticks)
  • Vine & Willow Charcoal (thin sticks)
  • Charcoal Pencil
  • Cotton Balls
  • Cloth or towel for your hands
Preview 03:03

Here we'll discuss how to think about your process for a successful and enjoyable experience.


In this lecture, we'll explore different ways of blending the charcoal.

Preview 01:14
5 Lectures 08:54

Here, I'll introduce the concept of measuring from the reference photo to create a relatively accurate drawing.

Preview 00:55

Here we'll discuss how to connect to your image to feel inspired during your drawing experience.

Connect to the Scene

In this section, I'll introduce and offer practice for measuring both distances and angles.  We will use both of these skills in making our drawings.

Measuring: Practice

Here, we'll measure and draw in the lines in the background.

Measuring: Background Lines

In this section, I'll walk you through measuring and drawing in the island in the background.

Measuring: Island
5 Lectures 16:27

Here we'll draw in the basic shape for the rowboat.

Drawing: Boat Outline

In this section, we'll draw in the shape for the boat's reflection on the water.

Drawing: Boat Reflection

Here, we'll start to add the horizontal slats in the boat.

Drawing: Boat Slats

In this section, we'll add the details in the boat's edges.

Drawing: Boat Details

Here we'll finish off the boat slats and do finishing drawing touches.

Drawing: More Boat Details
Adding Tone and Shading
9 Lectures 36:18

In this lecture, we'll talk about why and how to start adding charcoal with a single, light layer of tone over the whole drawing.

Shading: Overall Light Tone

Here I'll show you how to add value to the sky with vine charcoal.

Shading: Sky

Here, we'll start adding value to the water with vine charcoal.

Shading: Water

In this section, we'll add clouds to the sky with vine charcoal.

Preview 02:14

Here we'll add value to the mountains first with vine charcoal and then with the charcoal pencil.

Shading: Mountains

In this lecture, we'll go step-by-step into coloring the island, including adding tree texture and the reflection in the water.

Shading: Island

Here, we'll add the highlight at the horizon by removing value.

Shading: Water Highlight

In this lecture, we'll add the reflection of the boat on the water.

Shading: Boat Reflection

Here, we'll add the basic values on the boat.

Shading: Boat
Finishing Touches
6 Lectures 09:24

In this section, we'll refine and darken shadows.

Refining Dark Tones

Here, we'll erase to add highlights.

Erasing out Highlights

In this section, we'll refine edges by sharpening or blurring as needed.

Sharpening the Edges

We're almost done!  Time to add the boat's chain and sign your piece (if you'd like to).

Preview 01:58

Here we'll talk about thoughts on framing and cleaning up (or not cleaning up) marks outside your drawn frame.

Preview 00:42

In this section, I'll show you how to protect your finished drawing by spraying a layer of fixative over it.  

Preview 00:43
Wrap Up
1 Lecture 01:06

That's all folks!  Here we'll just review what you learned today.  Thanks again for joining me.  I hope you enjoyed the class!

Preview 01:06
About the Instructor
Diane Flick
4.5 Average rating
16 Reviews
130 Students
3 Courses
Artist and Art Teacher

Diane Julia Flick majored in art during college and went on to graduate school, receiving her M.A. in Humanities with a creative study emphasis in 2001. She has been making art her whole life and teaching art to children and adults since 2005. She loves to share this joy with folks who are interested in the same. 

In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family and friends, playing her ukulele, dancing, and wearing wigs while talking about herself in the third person.  Though truth be told, she hasn’t actually tried that last bit about the third person self-talk yet.  She conceived of it upon writing this and is now anxious to give it a go.