Sketching from a photo – Yosemite

Wilderness, lakes, waterfalls, meadows,  grand mountains that touch the blue sky and evergreens that stand tall against them. All I can say is, it’s a pathway to heaven! There is something about the high sierras that you can’t never get enough.

My Inspiration

If you have been to Yosemite national park in California, you would agree with me.  I have already visited Yosemite thrice in the past 2 years and I think it’s a must-visit spot for anyone visiting California. The man in my life,  a photographer, a hiker and a nature lover worships this place. Head over to his blog to check out the beautiful shots of Yosemite Tunnel view. He has been my inspiration and this photo is a reference to my first charcoal sketch.

Visit Kiran’s Yosemite photography

Why charcoal sketching?

Pencil sketching is great but the options are limited, when you want to expand the spectrum of colors with just black grey and white. Charcoal gives a whole new dimension to your sketch when handled right. This sketch took about 5 hours to recreate, capturing the details from the photos and my visit to the park. 

Before you start, analyze the photo and differentiate the shades of black between a charcoal, 6B, 4B and other graphite pencils that you could use. Sharing some of the in-process and finished sketch photographs. 

Question to the fellow artists??

 I found it hard to save such drawings without smudging the charcoal. As a short time fix, I used a cling wrap to cover it up because I did not have one of those transparent sleeves. How do you save your drawings that are bigger than A4 size? 

As I sit back and write this post, I realize that there is a lot of scope for improvement in the sketching. I still am proud of my work and I guess that’s the way to motivate oneself! Thank you for visiting! 

Leave a comment here 🙂


32 thoughts on “Sketching from a photo – Yosemite

  1. You have done an outstanding job on this drawing. My first thought when I received my notification in my email of your new post when I saw Yosemite was a drawing I had done myself a few years back. I could not wait to see your. And it is beautiful!!!

    Deb xx

  2. Very Good try! seems its an excellent work you have done. Hand drawings art is basically in-build interest a person has… Keep it going!!!

  3. you have made me want to get out my charcoal….it has been kept in the cupboard so long….i also love the tonality one can achieve with it…..lovely sketch…

  4. And you should be really proud of your work, these are such exceptional drawings. You really have a talent. I have visited Yosemitie, but many years back when I had a holiday in California, and I agree it is breathtaking. You have captured that awe about the place in your drawings..

  5. The tonal work in the cliff faces is really perfect… they have great depth and the drawing overall works really well…. as to saving the work… after I have used a spray fixative on it I cover it in a piece, or pieces depending on the size, of kitchen paper… you know baking paper and have it flapped over the back and secured with some magic tape… works a treat xx

  6. You are so incredibly talented! When I first started looking at the pictures, I thought that your drawings were the actual pictures. These are incredible.

    Thank you for your comment! I’ve become obsessed with instagram lately– it makes all my pictures look like I put so much effort into them. 😛


  7. Pingback: 5 reasons why I love charcoal drawings « Hellopalz

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  9. I’m utterly AMAZED at your ability to sketch with charcoal. Ummm…wow!! 🙂 Seriously. I’ve attempted charcoal before and talk about smudges. ha-ha VERY nice work. Very.

    Thank you for joining us. 🙂

  10. this is wonderful and truly holds the spirit of that land!
    Fun for me to read about how you go about this and the struggles of not smudging.
    i have not worked with charcoal so i have no advice.

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