I swear by drawing sight size, in my opinion and experience, it’s the best way to get an exact likeness. It all begins with a plumb line. You could have a vertical and horizontal plumb line if you wish. I went with the vertical.
Don’t use a projector to draw, there are no short cuts to gaining skill. The only way is practice, a lot.
I searched for the best drawing materials and heard that Nitram was a great product, I bought a few packages and gave them a whirl. I must say, they are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them. What I really like about them is the paper holder, keeping my fingers from getting covered in charcoal. They also blend really well. Not all charcoal is created equally. I recommend using one brand and not combining with other brands on the same drawing. I tried this and ruined a drawing.
Tip*** Don’t smudge the charcoal with your fingers, I use a stiff round brush to smooth and blend the charcoal and a kneaded eraser to pick up the highlights.
For paper, I used Strathmore 500 series, tried both sides and I prefer the “wrong side” as it’s not as textured. I will be experimenting with different drawing paper, but for now, I still have twenty sheets to draw on.
I hope I inspired you to pick up a piece of charcoal and draw, it really is so mesmerizing!
Happy Drawing and let me know how it goes!