(5 customer reviews)



  • Course is Open
  • Instructor – Robert Kelley
  • Self-study
  • 4 Lessons/5+ Hours of Instruction
  • Lifetime Access/Downloadable Content
  • Private Facebook Group
  • #charcoalportraitswithrobertkelley
  • Course Price – $99
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So many people believe that there is a limited way to use charcoal in their portrait work.  However, I keep discovering that there are countless ways to use charcoal in your portraits.  I have been experimenting with charcoal, alone, for years now.  Just when I believe I have exhausted my exploration, I find a new and exciting approach!  I guess that is why I find it so exhilarating after all of this time!  In Charcoal Portraits 201, I will share with you a new technique that I discovered by playing in my studio!  I can't wait to share this all with you!



By the end of this course students will have an understanding of the following concepts:

  • Experiment with charcoal and alcohol
  • Create an abstracted charcoal background
  • Work with positive and negative shapes in portraits
  • Explore layering charcoal to create range in value and depth
  • Learn to problem-solve in your portraits
  • Understand that there is more than one way to approach an issue in your portraits
  • Realize that issues don't go away and must be dealt with at some point, better sooner than later


This course is for the artist that already has a good foundation for drawing portraits.  If you have a good understanding of drafting and values, then you are ready for this course!


This course will have 3 full-length, real-time demonstrations.  I will show you how to complete a charcoal wash and then how to sculpt your portrait right into the abstracted wash you have created.  This way of working has brought me so much excitement!  I am still finding new ways to manipulate the medium in this way!


This purpose of this course is really to explore charcoal in a way that is unfamiliar to you.  Be ready to use what you know, and add new tools to your skill set!  The desired outcome for this course is really just to help you to see that charcoal is not limited and to encourage you to begin experimenting more on your own!  I am looking forward to seeing what you create from this class!


Lifetime Access - Download All Content

Prerecorded - Work at Your Own Pace

Cost - $99



This class is a series of demonstrations in which I share with you a method that I have been experimenting with since late 2018.  I had used alcohol in the past with a spray bottle, but I wanted to know what more I could do.  The class will begin with a brief description of supplies.  I will share about all of the tools that I always have at my disposal, and how they are used in my portraits.


Next, we will move into the charcoal wash!  I could do these for days!  I will demonstrate for you a couple of different washes just so that you can familiarize yourself with how I create these abstracted backgrounds.


Finally, I will demonstrate three portraits for you working from royalty free images, that you can use, too!  I will also choose three different washes that I create.  In each portrait, I will show you how I:


  • work in the positive and negative spaces
  • work from shapes
  • utilize various tools to help me achieve what I am looking for
  • problem-solve over and over again
  • make editing decisions
  • and so much more


By the end of this class, you should have a good handle on how to create the washes.  I also believe that you will have a great understanding of how to approach various angles in a portrait.  It is my hope that you will leave this class realizing that you don't have to render out every single detail in a portrait.  It is okay to leave some parts for the viewer to fill in!  Most importantly, we are going to HAVE FUN!



Lifetime Access - Download All Content

Prerecorded - Work at Your Own Pace

Cost - $99

Robert Kelley Headshot

I am Rob Kelley and I am a fine artist/illustrator with a focus on portraiture! I live in Stockton, California, and am a single dad to three children. I studied graphic design at UC Davis and then went on to study illustration at Academy of Art in San Francisco. Although I have had an extensive education in art, I abandoned art for most of my adult life.   That changed, 4 years ago, when my life hit a dramatic shift. At this time, I began looking at why I was in a constant state of low-level unhappiness and discovered that I had abandoned my true and authentic self. I knew that the one thing I needed that had been missing was art! Since then, I have adopted a sink or swim mentality!



This course will have a private Facebook group just for you!  I will be actively involved with the class via Facebook during the four weeks that the course is open!  I am really excited about working through these exercises with each of you!


Below is a list of the supplies that I will be using for the projects in this course.  However, you are always encouraged to use what you have on hand.



**Upon purchasing your course, you will be asked to create an account.  If you have already created an account, after purchase your course will IMMEDIATELY be available under “LOGIN” at the top right-hand of

**If your course does not show up, please email us at

**Due to the nature of the immediate availability of the course, all purchases are nonrefundable.

5 reviews for CHARCOAL PORTRAITS 201

  1. Libbi Corson (verified owner)

    This class takes drawing the portrait to another level. The acetone/charcoal wash and then pulling the face from that wash is such a fun and enlightening process. It is almost a reverse type of drawing using an eraser vs a charcoal stick in the beginning. I encourage you to give this class a try and see what you can pull out of a fun wash of charcoal.

  2. Irene Chung (verified owner)

    Great course! This course gave me an eye opening moment, helping me dismiss fear for charcoal and to be at ease when using it. If you want to be friendly with charcoal and learn what this medium could do, this course is definitely the one to take. The course is offering not only step by step instructions but invaluable insights and much more creative ways you could do with charcoal. This lifetime online course will be a very convenient source to study repeatedly at your own pace.

  3. stephieanne20 (verified owner)

    I spent a long time searching for a class to learn new techniques in charcoal and have found it. Came across Robert’s work from a friend who is also a student. He works in a way I like and use in my own teaching, explaining his thoughts and process as he goes. He shares everything, something that is missing a lot from other classes. Absolutely thrilled with this class and have a renews passion for drawing thanks to Robert. Would highly recommend this to anyone.

  4. Corinne Bekker (verified owner)

    After several lessons by Robert as part of the Let’s Face It classes, I decided to take some of his courses. I must say I agree with Stephanieanne20 about what makes this class special. Robert not only shares interesting techniques but he is open about his thought process while working. I enjoyed the class and will be working in charcoal a lot more in the time to come. I’ve rekindled my love for charcoal and found interesting ways to move it around on the page. I just love it – and have Robert to thank for it. Much thanks to Robert – and to Kara for making this class available.

  5. Rose Cameron

    Absolutely worth it! This course with Robert will change your drawing style – he breaks everything down in easy steps and is an excellent teacher!

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