After I have finished painting my figures, I like to shade them with charcoal. This is the step in which my boyfriend says I ruin my paintings; he hates the charcoal, so you may want to skip this. Personally, I love using charcoal to shade. It makes the colors pop, and the details, such as the way the hair curls, really stand out. I use a soft charcoal pencil for the face, and soft or medium for the hair. After I’ve drawn my line in charcoal, I soften it with a well worn paint brush. Gently blending the charcoal this way gives the image an airbrushed look.