This week’s submission comes from artist Sophia Art. She has drawn this portrait in graphite and charcoal. You can view more of her work at This drawing is beautiful with nice soft shading! I especially like the highlights on the lips!

Taking a look at a few things we can adjust to improve on this even more, first, remember when drawing portraits, teeth will pretty much never be white. They are cast in shadow and will usually be pretty dark with only a couple of shiny highlights that are white white.

Look at this model. Her teeth look totally white at first glance, but when you color match them, look how dark they really are! There is no white at all in them!


Next, let’s look at her neck. You’ve got the shading done in the same values as her face. Because of this her neck and jawline blended in so much that you had to add an outline to separate them. Remember in portraits that there are no outlines. Cartoons have outlines, people do not. So what do you do instead? Shadows! The neck would be cast in shadow given that it is set farther back from the face. When both areas are the same value it feels as though the neck is as close to the viewer as the face, which flattens out your image.

Another thing to watch for when shading the neck, make sure the outer edges are slightly darker than the inside of the neck. This will also help you to achieve a more three dimensional shape.

My last tip is on her eyes, they are beautiful, but they are missing the inner corner. You don’t want the white of the eye to go corner to corner. It will be slightly rounded off on that inner corner by that bit of pink skin inside the eye.