Critique #3: Adam T.
I think this is a great first charcoal drawing. I’m glad you’re really exploring the texture of the compressed charcoal, and the effect you can get with smudging. Although I think the next step would be to really push your intent with how you use that application.
You probably want more smudging on the face, for example, while reserving more of the surfaces of the gray for the shirt. Try to think about the way different surfaces reflect the light differently.
To me, that shirt area is what seems to need the most attention right now. The proportions of your shoulders, they look a little off, they look a little small or squashed. I think it’s just a matter of you trying to fit everything into the paper probably. That’s an easy mistake to make when you’re working with a closely cropped composition like this, but just keep an eye on that.
For the most part, the face is really strong though, especially around the mouth and nose. One thing that I think would help that flat quality that you see to be picking up on in the eyes, would be to add more of a subtle shadow just beneath the eye lids with the vine charcoal. I think what you’ve done with the eye on the right would really be instructive here, as it really does look very three-dimensional to me. I would say that has a lot to do with the shadow you’ve placed in the corner of the eye.
All in all, it’s a great start, and it’s exciting to see someone really jump in like this. You’re already really taking advantage of the qualities of the medium, and especially the contrast and the atmosphere that you get from charcoal.