I began Street portraits in September 2020 as a challenge to myself, as well as a way of getting my Art out there.
In preparation for my first day, I practiced making portraits in 10 minutes with different mediums - Charcoal seemed to get the best effect in a short amount of time, so that was the default medium I used.
Left are a couple I drew on the 17th, both in Charcoal. Each portrait takes 10 minutes and costs £5, so a double portrait like this cost £10.
These portraits became very popular with young families, wanting one done of their children - after doing a few, I got the hang of using the charcoal gently with less line, dabbing my finger in broken charcoal and using that for light shading to imitate the round faces of the kids and their faint nose arches.
Getting the child's eyes right, usually big and glossy always makes the picture come alive.
This is a video of H, spraying a drawing of his brother with setting spray ( I use hairspray). This part of the process is always fun to let the kid do, since it can't go too wrong, and they feel more involved in the portrait.
Another important part of drawing kids, is taking a reference photo. It's less good than real life, but at least in a photo they sit still! If the kid's old enough to not need a phot, I usually ask them if they think they can sit still for 10 minutes.
Encouragement is really important in this, from the very start, if they're sitting still, I will always say 'You're doing an amazing job!' or 'You're like a statue! Have you done this before?'.
That encouragement really improves their ability to sit tight, It must be so boring having to do nothing for so long!