I think vine charcoal is ideal for portraits - it has such a soft look, but it can also make a sharp line. This model was done fairly quickly, as I was going to also paint her and I had only so much time to do both. Although I like to paint, drawings are my favorite. Every time I attend a master painter's show at a museum, his/her drawings attract me first. Often, I will spend most of my time with the drawngs and only a few minutes with their paintings. Drawings are like fingerprints to me - that's how I sort of "know" the artist. This is vine charcoal on 14 x 11" Strathmore drawing paper.
When I was very young and people came to visit my parents, I always asked them to draw a picture for me. That seemed so natural to me, but to people who don't draw, it must have been like being asked to sit down and play the piano. One time, my mother said that a friend - I suppose someone that she and my father hadn't seen in a long time or that they didn't know well - was coming and I was NOT to ask him to draw a picture for me. The guest arrived and settled down in his chair and I simply climbed up in his lap with a paper and pencil and asked him to draw a picture. I remember that I was careful to face away from my parents when this was taking place. They must not have been too pleased, although I don't remember any comments after their guest departed. I didn't mind very well, did I? But I did get my drawing. Sold