How to Draw a Nose Using Charcoal for Students and Art Teachers | Easy High School Art Lesson

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How to draw a nose using charcoal

Hello, artists and art teachers! Welcome back to our creative corner. Today’s art adventure is an exciting high school lesson on ‘How to Draw a Nose Using Charcoal.’ Get ready to dive into the world of charcoal art and discover the secrets of bringing noses to life on paper!

This particular lesson has become a favorite with my intermediate high school art students, and I’m thrilled to share the ins and outs of how I introduce it. I’ll walk you through the strategies and techniques that have proven effective in my classroom, highlighting what worked seamlessly and pointing out valuable tweaks made along the way.

As we embark on this artistic journey together, I’ll provide insights into what makes this lesson both enjoyable and educational. By following the simple yet impactful steps, you and your students will not only grasp the art of drawing a nose with charcoal but also create stunning compositions. So, let’s dive into the world of charcoal and unleash your artistic potential. Ready for an engaging and rewarding exploration? Let’s do it!

What is Charcoal? 

Before we venture further into the realm of drawing a nose using charcoal, let’s take a closer look at this versatile tool and understand why it holds a special place in every artist’s toolkit.

Charcoal 101: An Overview

Charcoal is a special drawing tool made from heated willow or vine twigs. It’s not your regular pencil or pen; think of it as a versatile and adaptable tool for drawing. Artists love it because it lets them create various strokes, from strong to subtle.

Charcoal is great for drawing because it’s soft, a bit smudgy, and perfect for capturing the delicate beauty of lips. In this beginner-friendly lesson, I’ll guide you through the entire process, from making your first sketch to adding shadows and highlights that make your nose drawing come alive.

Types of Charcoal:

  • Vine Charcoal: This softer, lighter form of charcoal is perfect for initial sketches. Its flexibility facilitates easy modifications and adjustments, ideal for mapping out the foundational shapes of the nose.
  • Compressed Charcoal: Slightly denser and darker, compressed charcoal is excellent for adding depth and achieving darker values. While our primary tool for this nose-drawing adventure is vine charcoal, the compressed version might come in handy for dramatic shadows and detailed touches.

Why Charcoal?

  • Bold Strokes: Charcoal encourages strong strokes, so you can focus on capturing the feeling rather than being overly precise.
  • Tonal Variety: Charcoal can create different tones, from subtle shadows to strong contrasts, bringing life to your drawings.
  • Easy Blending: Whether you use your fingers or tools, charcoal is easy to blend. This is crucial for achieving smooth transitions in your drawings.

A Note of Caution: While charcoal is fantastic for its expressive qualities, it can be a bit unruly. It’s known to be messy, and its bold nature can pose challenges, especially for beginners. However, a bit of mess is all part of the artistic journey!

Want to dig deeper into charcoal and its different types? Take a peek at my blog post where I share tips on picking the perfect charcoal for your artwork!

Now equipped with a deeper understanding of charcoal, let’s re-enter the world of how to draw nose using charcoal!

Steps on How to Draw a Nose Using Charcoal

Step 1: Lightly sketch the basic shapes and positions of the nose

draw a nose using charcoal

To kick off your charcoal nose drawing, start by building a strong foundation. Begin with a gentle sketch, outlining the basic shapes and positions of the nose. Keep your lines light and adaptable, avoiding heavy strokes. This initial sketch serves as the groundwork for the entire drawing, allowing for easy adjustments and corrections as you progress.

Challenges may arise, especially in ensuring the right proportions and placement of the nose. To address this, closely observe reference images to accurately capture real-life proportions. Remember, the focus here is on creating a light and flexible outline, setting the stage for a strong finish.

For students, using reference images is like having a helpful guide. Pay attention to the details in the reference, such as the starting point of the nose and its width. Start with soft strokes, allowing your creativity to flow without constraints. Think of this initial sketch as the foundation for your masterpiece, where adjustments can be made effortlessly.

Step 2: Start Layering and Shading

This step is about understanding the interplay of light and shadow, a key element in capturing the essence of a nose. In this phase, we’ll focus on shading to add depth and realism to our nose portraits. Begin by closely observing a reference image, noting that the left side of the nose tends to be darker, creating a three-dimensional effect. Our goal is to use blending tools, such as brushes or stumps, to establish the primary dark values, shaping the shadows for a lifelike dimension.

Challenges may arise in achieving a balanced contrast between light and dark values. Students need to navigate this delicate balance to ensure their nose drawings appear realistic. For art educators, guide students to transition from working with general shapes to refining finer details gradually. Emphasize a gentle blending technique, avoiding abrupt transitions between light and shadow. Recommend suitable tools, like brushes or stumps, for a controlled application.

Practical tips for students include practicing patience during this phase. The gradual layering of strokes contributes to the development of their nose drawings. Remind them that it’s okay to make mistakes as this is part of the process!

Step 3: Blending the Edges of your Drawing

Now, we’re focusing on specific parts to add more depth and make it pop. You’ll darken some areas, use more charcoal layers for shading, and blend to keep the edges soft. But remember, keep your lines gentle, like whispers, not too strong.

This part might be a bit tricky. You need to find a balance so the edges look soft, not too blended. Think of it like gradually building a tower with blocks – each layer makes it cooler. For teachers, tell your students that art is not a fast race; it’s more like a slow journey. The more patient they are, the better their art becomes. Also, point out that looking at tiny details in their reference pictures, like detectives searching for clues, will make their drawing more real.

Finally, introduce the eraser as an artistic tool, particularly a kneaded eraser, for gently lifting highlights and refining fine details.

Step 4: Add Highlights and Refine Details

This step is all about precision, using a small eraser to carefully reveal bright spots and elevate the lighter areas of your drawing. The goal here is to achieve a seamless and soft finish, making your nose appear almost tangible.

However, it comes with its set of challenges. Finding the right balance between highlights and shadows without overblending can be a nuanced task. The key is to ensure that your highlights complement the overall natural look of your drawing. Crafting lifelike highlights that enhance the realism of your nose portrayal is where your artistic skills truly shine.

For art teachers, guiding students on the strategic use of erasers to create highlights is crucial. Emphasize the eraser’s role as a powerful tool for enhancement rather than just correction. Additionally, stress the importance of choosing the right blending tool for a polished finish. For students, practical tips include avoiding overblending and dedicating time to refine highlights meticulously. As you add these finishing touches, remember that each detail contributes to breathing life into your creation, turning your nose drawing into a three-dimensional masterpiece.

You can find this complete “Drawing Nose in Charcoal” lesson with reference images, slideshow, video demonstrations, practice worksheets, handouts, rubrics and more in my resource shop!

What’s included?  In this complete resource you get:

✅An editable 11-slide Canva slideshow with step-by-step guidance

✅ A video demonstration showing each step of the art lesson

✅8 Practice Worksheets with 2 Worksheets including guide marks

✅An instructional handout with QR code students can scan to see videos and slideshow

✅Teachers Instructions

✅A rubric for easy grading

Nose Charcoal Drawing

Ready to continue your creative adventure? 🎨


Ready for more? Check out these other awesome bundles on charcoal drawing!

Investing in your artistic journey is an investment in yourself. This lesson is designed to empower you with knowledge, boost your confidence, and enhance your creative expression.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to refine your skills and create captivating artworks that stand out. Hop on this artistic adventure today!

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