Charcoal artist skips class to mesmerize TikTok: ‘You just schooled us’

Josh Hernandez operates under the handle mad.charcoal on TikTok. He’s a charcoal artist with a focus in portraiture and does renderings of famous figures like Abraham Lincoln,  Chadwick Boseman and Selena Gomez. The artist posts videos of himself creating each work and it’s nothing short of mesmerizing and impressive. 

The experience of watching Hernandez’s calming and effortless drawing style is best summed in his most popular video on the platform. But for this little tutorial, he’s not drawing anyone in particular. 

“I am supposed to be in class right now but why would I even want to be in class if I can just draw, you know?” Hernandez says

He takes a small spatula with black PanPastel and dabs it on a blank canvas. Hernandez creates five smudge-y squares. With little effort, the lines already looks like a face.

“I am not even looking at a reference,” he says. “I’m just drawing whatever I feel like wanting to draw.” 

With each stroke, more details in the face emerge but the sharp lines of the spatula make for an almost geometric effect. 

Hernandez’s video scored a whopping 10.8 million views on TikTok. 

“Mans really said, ‘you see the face, yet?’ I saw it before you said that,” one person commented

“No need for class, you just schooled us,” another said

“Three dots and it’s already better than anything I’ve ever made,” someone wrote

If you liked this story, check out this makeup artist’s amazing bodypainting illusion.

More from In The Know:

Meet the queer designer behind Lizzo’s colorful pride look

For young adults experiencing substance use disorders, the pandemic proves particularly challenging

Shop our favorite beauty products from In The Know Beauty on TikTok

Subscribe to our daily newsletter to stay In The Know