Sj art portrait

PAINTING THE SOUL: Charcoal Portrait Painting black and white

Somethings, just touch our hearts and stay there forever. That’s exactly what happened when I made the portrait for my client Precy.

Father: A manly figure who is not only authoritative, but the powerhouse of the family. Fathers are very important, they help us become a person with our own personalities, their persona enlightens our lives. The man of the house is generally perceived to be hardcore, whereas the reality is quite the contrary. Percy’s family lost the man of their house, I got really emotional on hearing her story.

She was in search of a local artist when she came across me on Yelp. She was looking for someone who could bring her father back to life through the portrait. A father daughter bond is the strongest and perhaps the reason for Percy’s attachment to her dad. Her family wanted to honor Percy’s Dad on his birth anniversary.

Precy already had a portrait of her father done by some other artist which she wanted on a larger scale. She was looking for someone who could revamp the portrait, as it was turning yellow and wasn’t giving a fresh impression. I doubled the size of the original, initially being 8” by 11”.

Fig1: Portrait Painting black and white

Challenges while Drawing Portrait:

1. To begin with, I wasn’t equipped with the real picture, all I had was the portrait. (The only image of her father, that she had.) So working with someone else’s sketched picture gave me a tough time.
2. Secondly making him lively and living wasn’t something that could be achieved with ease, as he was really close to the family. The emotion attached to the person made it, even more, harder for me.

Putting me under the pressure to make it even better than the present picture.


I started out with the basic sketches of his face, eyes, hair, nose etc. This took me around 20 hours to complete.


Fig 2: Portrait painting pencil sketch

Materials used for Portrait art:

Charcoal pencil Faber-Castell CASTELL 9000 – Pencil – assorted

Grey paper stumps

soft cotton cloth

How I achieved the desired expression from Painting art:


It will sound cumbersome but while I was completing the portrait the features of the face were very tricky.  I was not very sure of the eyes, so I decided to do a bit of research. I checked my client on Instagram, looked into her family pictures to understand their faces. Yes, it sounds unrealistic but drawing an authentic portrait from a sketch was really challenging.

Clients Reaction

This exercise really helped me in achieving the desired result. My final portrait turned out to be better than the original picture that she had given me. It was such an emotional moment for my client that she actually cried when she saw the portrait for the first time. She exclaimed that I have made him live. The cherry on the top, she gave me an extra 35% of the rate as a token of appreciation. Nothing else in the world can seem more fulfilling than a happy client. I feel empowered as my art can touch someone’s life and make it better.

Yelp Review from client:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/sj-art-santa-clara?hrid=86O74LSRtge2waAR7whYbw&utm_source=ishare&utm_content=review

Review from the client:

  • Email Review




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