Charcoal Painting - SJ Art

Charcoal Painting – A Valentine Gift

True love stories are hard to come by. We all wish for fairytale endings, a prince charming to fall in love with. But true love stories never come to an end, they are alive in one form or the other.

My recent work was a for client who shared a similar kind of a bond with her beloved.


My motivation was basically my clients request, she wanted to savour the moment in one of a kind portrait. I asked her if she was looking for something specific? All her heart was swayed away by one of my charcoal paintings, when she came across my work on yelp. She was certain that she wanted similar kind of art piece to picturise their love.

Going about the process

I was determined to create art, which spoke of love and compassion. I went in for Q/A session to understand my clients demand better. I invited her to my office where we discussed about the painting’s size, type, pricing etc.

I’ll like to share of the most interesting answers that helped me push beyond my limits and visualize what my client exactly wanted.

SJ: Why do you want to turn a specific picture into custom portrait?

Client: The bond we share is unique, it’s a happy story. On this valentines, I would love to gift him something ‘US’.

How to choose the right picture for a portrait?

She gave me some images to choose from. I asked which ones shared the unforgettable moments? Out of those shortlisted few I choose an image which depicted togetherness.

The best picture for any artwork is the one which showcases heartfelt emotions and feelings of the client. In simpler words, reality at its best.

Selecting a picture wasn’t easy, as the images weren’t coming out as strong as them. I put on my thinking caps and finally came up with a suitable one. I cropped the image down, to make it visually good.

Meeting the Deadlines

My client wanted this portrait as soon as possible. But due to love in the air or you could say lover’s week, I was overworked. I asked for five days time to complete the artwork. It took me around eight hours to achieve the desired effect.

Materials Used

To achieve charcoal shades depicting reality i used two types of charcoal pencils:

  • Hard charcoal Pencil
    • Whereas hard charcoal helped in refining the details such as the boyfriend’s beard and the girlfriend’s tresseed curls.


Recreating the beard was the trickiest part of the whole process, as I could not understand how to go about it. I started to experiment, soft charcoal helped me frame the face whereas hard charcoal helped refine the beard giving a shaper and finished look to the face.

The second challenging bit was recreating the long and luscious curls. Creating simple curls are easy, they run free giving the artist freedom to draw. Buttressed curls requires technique paired with patience and full concentration. Her hair were so shiny and voluminous they tested my skills well.

I’m really glad with how it turned out in the end. After all a happy client is a happy you!

Leave a Reply






Event Date & Time

☑Subscribe for latest update