Today’s submission comes from artist Kory Charles.  You can see more of his work at Kory normally works in graphite but is new to painting. He painted this 6×6″ portrait in acrylics. You did such a great job with your blending and contrast! I love the fade into the background, the paint splatters and the red circles…or partial circles. This is a really great design!




As usual I imported your reference photo and painting into photoshop, lined your reference photo up over your painting, outlined the reference photo then dropped that photo out so we can see how accurate your initial drawing is.


The eyes are quite accurate but the lips and nose started to lose their accuracy along with the cheek.

Looking closer at the eyes, you’ve copied the lighting on the reference photo but it’s a big weird because the upper portion of her face is cast in shadow on the reference photo. While on the photo it looks “right”, when looking at your painting alone, it would be better to add that highlight on the bottom portion of the iris. You generally want the upper section to be darker to help avoid the eye looking flat. The upper eyelid would be casting a shadow based on the lighting in your painting. (see image below)


Next is on the white of the eye, you’ve got the white reaching from inner corner to outer. You should have a little pink bit on the inside corner. By leaving this out it makes the eyeball appear to be flat.

Looking at her tearline, you’ve shaded the whole area on most of it, losing the tearline all together except on the lower corner of the eye on the right. Make sure that this is even on both sides (meaning that the tearline is showing on both).

Onto her nose besides being a bit short, the coloring here (and really all down the center area of her face) is a bit greenish. It makes it feel separate from the rest of the face. The shading from her eyes down the sides of her nose is a bit harsh too. You don’t have actual lines, but they are close enough that from a distance they look like the nose is outlined. Remember when painting noses to make it clear that those are shadows and not lines. This may be as simple as making the shadow even stronger on one side. Don’t be afraid to get those strong shadows. They will make your work look even more striking!

For her mouth it is both too high and the upper lip a bit too large. Becasue of the angle her upper lip is pretty light in the photo, but if you’re going to enlarge it that much it should probably be quite a bit darker than the bottom lip. Right now her upper and bottom are too close together in value.  The bottom lip needs to be thicker and have  a stronger highlight on the center. This adjustment will make your work look much more three dimensional 😀


I’ve given a lot of tips that I know are difficult given the size you’re working on, but just a few adjustments will make your really great painting even more realistic! Great job on this one!!