The very first lesson of Paint Your Heart and Soul 2021 was with Joan Martin, who showed how to make your own liquid charcoal and then use erasers to "draw" into it. She also gave lots of tips about drawing portraits in profile, which was really helpful.
The liquid charcoal technique was really enjoyable and I will definitely be trying it again. I'm also inspired to have another go with the liquid graphites I got in a recent Scrawlrbox too. For this piece, I added detail and highlights with black and white charcoal pencils and a touch of colour with soft chalky pastels. I used a fixative spray at the end, which darkened it a little, but I don't mind that.
I need to practice profile portraits more - not sure why they are so much more challenging than front-facing, but they definitely are - also 3/4 profiles, and faces looking up or down.
This year I have signed up for THREE online courses as a gift to myself for my 60th birthday - PYHaS 2021, Wanderlust 2021 and Let's Face It 2021. Now that I'm retired, I should have plenty of time to make the most of them, and I'm lucky enough to have a craft room stuffed to the gills with supplies to play with. My hope is that I will improve my skills, learn new techniques and start to develop a style of my own - but the main thing is to enjoy the process and have fun with it. This lesson was definitely a good start as I enjoyed every minute of it :o)