Charcoal Acrylics Mixed Media Portrait

Drawing with charcoal and adding paint to it - by Cristina Parus @

Happy New Year dear creative soul!

The reason why I haven’t post here lately is simply because I wanted to take a break and stay away from computer during the holiday season as much as I could. I did some pages that are waiting to be published, so stay tuned coz there’s more to come. 😉 In January, I’m planning to post at least two posts per week which are already scheduled to go live at a certain date, and let you know what’s been going on in my art journals or what else is on my easel. 

I really enjoy painting with limited palette and playing with very few colors just by adding white gesso or black acrylic and/or a charcoal pencil. It all started with this face over here, and because I loved the process I had to create more. So this page came to live, and this one, too. So I said why not try it again?


La multi ani draga suflet creator!

Motivul pentru care nu am mai postat in ultimul timp este acela ca pur si simplu am vrut sa stau cat mai departe posibil de computer in perioada sarbatorilor. Am pictat cateva pagini care asteapta sa fie publicate pe blog, asa ca stati pe aproape. In ianuarie intentionez sa public cel putin de doua ori pe saptamana, postari care sunt deja programate sa apara pe blog la o anumita data pentru ca voi sa descoporiti ce se mai intampla in paginile jurnalelor mele sau ce mai am in lucru pe sevalet.

Mi-a placut mult sa lucrez cu o paleta limitata de culori si s[ ma joc cu foarte putine culori doar adaugand gesso alb sau acrilic negru  si/sau creion carbune. Totul a inceput cu aceasta fata, si pentru ca mi-a placut la nebunie procesul a trebuit sa creez mai mult. Asa s-a nascut aceasta pagina si aceasta. Asa ca mi-a zis, de ce sa nu incerc din nou?

Drawing with charcoal and adding paint to it - by Cristina Parus @

And it started with a loose sketch I didn’t know how it’s going to be in the end, but the more details I added, the better it got.

Si am inceput cu o schita lejera, nestiind ce-o sa iasa la sfarsit, dar cu cat adaugam mai multe detalii, cu atat mai bine arata.

Drawing with charcoal and adding paint to it - by Cristina Parus @

Smudging the charcoal to create a little bit of shadows

Am intins putin creionul carbune pentru a crea umbre

Drawing with charcoal and adding paint to it - by Cristina Parus @

And then it’s time for some white gesso…or if you prefer you can use white acrylic, but I love the way gesso mixes with the charcoal. To create this look, don’t use water.

Apoi e timpul sa adaug gesso alb…sau daca preferati, puteti folosi si acrilic alb, insa mie imi place mult cum se amesteca gesso cu carbunele. Pentru a crea acest look, nu folositi apa.

Drawing with charcoal and adding paint to it - by Cristina Parus @

Now it’s time to pick your color(s). What are you going to use for this face? You can go with a tan color, or you can choose to make it more surreal and go for a blue, let’s say, or maybe violet or green. It’s up to you, whatever color you prefer or variations of it. 

Acum e timpul sa alegeti culoarea/culorile. Ce veti folosi pentru fata? Puteti merge pe o culoarea asemanatoare pielii, sau puteti alege sa faceti fata mai suprarealista si sa folositi albastru, sau poate violet sau verde. De voi depinde, orice culoare preferati si variatiuni ale acesteia.

Drawing with charcoal and adding paint to it - by Cristina Parus @

Well, there she is! I hope you’re going to give it a try, no matter what drawing style you like!

Ei bine, iat-o! Sper sa incercati si voi, indiferent de stilul de desen preferat!


Pe curand,


  1. I must remember to smudge my charcoal lines before adding gesso or acrylics! Love the skin tones that you used for this one. I don’t have tan so I use naples yellow instead, some flesh tint and light pink. I also like to add a bit of red or blue violet on the sides of the face. It’s great to just think “fauvist” when doing portraits. It frees you from the limitations of doing traditional realistic portraits.


    1. Author

      Smudging is important to create the shadows before you add color. And yes, I think this is the word: “fauvism” —> really great to learn to let go and paint as you feel, with no limitations. And I guess you know by now that I’m not that much into painting realistic style, that’s not for me. I love whimsical faces too much! 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

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