Complete online tutorials anytime, at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space... one-time payment, unlimited access.

Log back in to access purchased videos...

Charcoal Eye

Video Duration: 25 mins

Estimated time to complete the lesson: 2-3 hours

(pause video as needed to complete steps, but please complete at your own pace)

This tutorial is recommended for adults and children 10+.

Create this captivating eye using a variety of charcoals and layering techniques.

  • be guided step by step through the process

  • learn valuable skills relating to the use of charcoal

  • build up a realistic eye, paying attention to specific anatomy and details

  • learn how to build tones and create contrast

  • pick up handy tips for working with this medium and subject



  • drawing paper, A3 or larger

  • willow charcoal

  • compressed charcoal - soft and hard sticks

  • soft eraser

  • cotton tips

  • paper towel



REMEMBER – there are no rules, don’t be afraid of experimenting!

These are my tips, to be used as as a guideline for creating this particular work, in conjunction with the video. Pause the video after each step and then complete that stage at your own pace. You can always go back to gain clarification on a particular aspect of the process.

  • using a thin stick of willow charcoal draw the basic eye shape

  • pay attention to the proportions, angles and distances between lines as well as the shapes surrounding the whites

  • make sure the pupils are concentric to the irises

  • once you have the basic eye shape begin adding tone, still using the willow charcoal

  • blend with your finger, or a small piece of paper towel for smoother areas

  • apply grey tone to all areas except for those that will stay white, including areas that are dark or black

  • use the softer compressed charcoal to fill in the black and darker areas - this will blend better with the willow charcoal as a base

  • a cotton tip will help you blend into areas of fine detail

  • an eraser can be used to put highlights on the surface of the eyeball or the skin surrounding the eye

  • continue adding, blending and erasing to build up gentle tones and details around the corners of the eye, waterline and lids

  • add lashes and eyebrows sparingly, paying particular attention to where they start from, their angle, thickness and lenght

  • finish off by setting with a fixative spray.

QUESTIONS: Please feel free to send me an email at

Happy Creating!