How to Draw Zeus with Charcoal Pencil

Zeus is the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. Drawing with charcoal pencil is darker and more intense than regular pencils. If you want to draw Zeus with charcoal, you must be careful enough not to smudge and free enough to use your creativity as you sketch and shade him. Try these simple steps to draw Zeus, the king of the gods of Mount Olympus.


  1. Image titled Draw Zeus with Charcoal Pencil Step 1
    Start with some size guidelines, if desired. This isn't necessary, but can be helpful for new artists.
    • Divide the paper into parts to fit the figure, so you don't run out of room and your figure is well-balanced. You can even draw faint lines in pencil to space it out.
    • Here, the middle line will guide you to balance the left and the right side of the body. The dash above the middle line will serve as the limit for the head of Zeus. The dot made at the far right to Zeus is where the thunderbolt will fit.
  2. Image titled Draw Zeus with Charcoal Pencil Step 2
    Sketch over the shapes on the body and head as needed. To get the shapes right, you may have to sketch and re-sketch. For example, if the head is too thin, sketch more lines to make it thicker, until it looks well balanced.
    • Find the shape of the face first by making a narrow 'U' shape. You can also try drawing a shape similar to a 'V' if you want Zeus to have a sharper jaw. Don't be afraid to create a rough sketch of Zeus's beard and mustache, too!
    • If you're sketching out the hair, make sure it goes down until the shoulders.
  3. Image titled Draw Zeus with Charcoal Pencil Step 3
    Add the facial features. Make the eyes in the shape of two almonds with the nose centered between them, and make his nose taper off at the end. Don't forget to draw his lips and eyebrows, as well as his facial hair!
    • Make the irises in the shape of a 'U'. If you draw round irises, it creates an expression of anger or shock.
    • Sketch over the eyebrows to make them thicker. The eyebrows will be thicker as it begins and thinner at the ends.
    • The mustache can be drawn with closely drawn lines. It will be thinner around the lips and thicker at the end.
  4. Image titled Draw Zeus with Charcoal Pencil Step 4
    Sketch Zeus's right arm. Draw his right arm lifted up, with his hand forming a fist. Then draw a lightning bolt in his fist.
    • If you are having trouble drawing the folded fingers or the fist, sketch a rectangle and add the digit '3' two times; then draw the thumb.
  5. Image titled Draw Zeus with Charcoal Pencil Step 5
    Outline the posture of Zeus. Use pencil before you dive into charcoal. Pencils are easy to erase and won't affect the surface if you erase often.
    • Try making a rough outline first, and then finalizing it once you're happy with it. Hold off on shading until you're sure it's the right overall shape.
    • Start with lining the right side of the upper body till the waist. Make the body wider at the top and narrower at the waist. Draw the guidelines for the chest and add some more lines to mark the abs. Then, to the left side of Zeus, draw the outline of the toga starting from the neck and falling until the waist.
    • Sketch the left arm by making a triangle to imply that the arm is folded on the waist, and then draw the fingers.
  6. Image titled Draw Zeus with Charcoal Pencil Step 6
    Draw the legs. Make a concise shape of the right leg and the folded toga lines to the left.
  7. Image titled Draw Zeus with Charcoal Pencil Step 7
    Add folds to the toga. Follow how the drapes would fall in real life to get the lines and shading correct. For example, where it is falling low, draw lines that droop; where it is going up, make curved lines going up.
    • Sketch a rectangle to make the knot.
  8. Image titled Draw Zeus with Charcoal Pencil Step 8
    Add details to the features. The details make all the difference in bringing the expression to life.
    • For the toga on the right arm, make the lines spaced out at the top and "bunched" around the waist.
    • Concentrate on making the beard and the mustache full, since they're a signature feature of Zeus's.
    • Cover any flaws at the end with shading.
  9. Image titled Draw Zeus with Charcoal Pencil Step 9
    Shade and outline. Shade the ends and the folds. Shade the darker areas with double the intensity and leave the highlighted areas lighter. You want the folds, backs, and sides to be darker to create depth.
    • Add thickness to the eyebrows, the sides of the nose, and add definition to the abs with shading.
    • At the toga knot, follow the fabric lines. Make more lines and shade darker at the waist and around the knot.


  • Use a light pencil to start with, as erasing will not damage the paper.
  • You don't necessarily have to sharpen the charcoal pencil. You can just rotate the pencil as you draw to make thinner lines.


  • Since charcoal pencils have a thick lead, it will smudge if you move your palm around the paper. Erase any marks with a strong eraser and try not to rest your palm on the paper; hold your hand slightly above as you use the charcoal pencil.
  • If you are not sure of something in your drawing, avoid pressing the charcoal pencil deeply onto the paper. As you get more confident, you can begin to make more prominent lines and shading.

Things You'll Need

  • Light pencil
  • Charcoal pencil
  • Good eraser (charcoal lines are not easily erased)
  • Drawing paper.

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Categories: Drawing | Drawing People and Features