Charcoal portraits of role-playing characters

After practising charcoal portraits on my family and friends for the last while, I wanted to try something different. These are portraits based on two of a friend’s role-playing characters – a dwarf and an elf. After finding out about each character’s personality and appearance, we took some photos of my friend in poses that represented the characters, and I had some fun morphing them into their portraits. The goal was to have the portrait look somewhat like my friend, with just some details changed to make them into his character instead.

Huxley Hardhammer

Huxley is a dwarven cleric. He is serious, stubborn, determined and straight-forward – if he tells you he will do something, then he will do it (“if you don’t stop beating on those villagers, I will pound you with my hammer”). In terms of appearance, he is grizzled, but not old, with hard lines and heavy looking. He is a compact and powerful dwarf. He has a beard, but it isn’t a stereotypical dwarf’s bushy beard.

The features are still my friend’s, but the hair and beard is different obviously. I also thickened Huxley’s neck and shoulders to give him more presence. His nose also turned out somewhat hooked, but I left it like that as I think it suits Huxley’s character. I love the piercing eyes.

"Huxley the dwarf" by Ailene. Charcoal (2012) 30cm x 42cm © Ailene at Old Mountain Art.
“Huxley the dwarf” by Ailene. Charcoal (2012) 30cm x 42cm © Ailene at Old Mountain Art.

Dekorat Meadowgrass

Dekorat is an elven ranger. He is tall even for an elf. He is very intelligent, “a little impressed with himself”, and tends to break out ironic statements. He is amused by many things in the world. In terms of appearance, he has quite fine features, pointy ears and long straight hair that he wears half up.

Again, the features are still my friend’s but drawn a little finer as Dekorat is an elf. The only other change was to make his ear pointier. I’m glad Dekorat didn’t turn out effeminate which was the danger with making his features finer. I love the sardonically raised eyebrow.

"Dekorat the elf" by Ailene. Charcoal (2012) 30cm x 42cm © Ailene at Old Mountain Art.
“Dekorat the elf” by Ailene. Charcoal (2012) 30cm x 42cm © Ailene at Old Mountain Art.

Keep on shining bright,

Ailene

Update: I wrote this post at the start of my art journey. Check out my latest posts to see how far I've come and what I'm doing now!