I thought I would introduce a charcoal portrait this month, done digitally in Corel Painter 2016. I like to use this software for charcoals specifically because of the variety of related brushes the software has to offer. This young lady is the proud grand daughter of a very good friend of mine, and fellow co-worker from year’s past. I had done his previous grand children years ago and he wanted to add their latest to the list. The previous portraits were done traditionally utilizing various grades of charcoal pencils on strathmore charcoal paper. Since this new portrait was done digitally the only difference between it and the portraits of past was it’s size. I can only print up to 8 1/2 x 11 inches in house. Anything larger I outsource to a company nearby, Visual Winds which can handle any size I require. The company is owned and operated by a fellow artist and caters to digital artist’s needs specifically. I have done work with them for years and find their services outstanding. In this particular case the client only wanted an 8 x 10 so I was able to print locally. Needless to say, my friend was more than happy at the outcome. Comparatively both the latter portraits and the new digital one were identical in style and output, and no mess to deal with! That is one thing I really enjoy about digital art, the “no mess factor”! As I mentioned before, I use Corel Painter 2016 to work on my charcoal commissions. I have a set of brushes specific to my needs set up in advance in the program so I don’t have to spend time looking for what I need while I’m working. Another feature Painter offers is the choice of papers to work on that mimic various textures of paper that are most commonly used in such projects. This effect and the types of mediums I use give me the ability to render an exact duplicate of what I would have done traditionally. If you are serious about working digitally, this software is a must to add to your suite of artist’s software, and it won’t break the bank! I am presently working on a new charcoal commission for the month of March. This project is a bit more involved as the reference material dates back many years and includes a photo from a newspaper clipping and black and white photos from that period. So I will be using a combination of photos to develop the pose and combining various aspects of detail from each into the actual rendering. I will definitely post the outcome when completed.