A Comprehensive Guide to Drawing Mouths and Cheeks

How To Draw Lips_ A Step-by-Step Tutorial

One of the most intricate parts of the human face is the mouth. A comprehensive tutorial on its anatomy, structure, and movement possibilities—including how we use it to breathe, speak, eat, and express ourselves—would be hopeless to create.  

But if you're interested in learning the fundamentals of lip drawing, keep reading!

This manual will teach you:

  • Science of the lips' anatomy
  • Lip anatomy and physiology
  • Lips: A Step-by-Step Guide

What you'll need in terms of supplies:

  • Two-Hour Graphite Pencil
  • A graphite pencil of the 4B grade
  • A ruler
  • Blending tool; a stump
  • One of those high-tech, pinpoint erasers
  • Something resembling a white gel pen

These are the lips you'll be sketching:

Every single one of the directions we'll give you:

How to

Okay, so let's get started.

Part 1: The Human Body

The anatomy of the face beneath the lips extends beyond the skull, as we've already mentioned. Nonetheless, it is comprised of a sizable set of facial muscles that control the wide variety of mouth movements.  

Obviously, an understanding of anatomy is crucial, but the lips' distinct form can be attributed to more than just muscle; they also feature fat, skin, and connective tissue.

The jaw has an effect on the lips as well. They have a distinct dividing line that can be widened, lengthened, or even pushed together (underbite) by the muscles in and around the mouth.

Part 2: Lips' Fundamental Structure

Since the lips and mouth are so intricate, we will simplify the structure into basic forms so that it will be easier to draw.

The lips, as we can see, have a roughly hexagonal shape that can be defined by dividing it along the line we previously indicated (this will also help us define the volume).

The dividing line between the lips, as everyone should know, is not perfectly straight. The volume of our upper lips typically takes the form of a curve because we tend to store extra fat there.

The red lines represent the muscle that raises the lower lip, and the blue lines represent the muscle that raises the upper lip, both of which work together to create the characteristic M-like shape of the lips.

And that is how the mouth can be reduced in complexity. The mouth, however, has depth and volume that are only fully appreciated when viewed from the side. Here, I propose using two angled circles to depict this. However, as shown in the diagram, from the front, the best way to depict the volume is to draw two tiny lines on either side of each lip ash.

Let's start sketching our lips now that we know the fundamentals.

Lip Drawing: An Easy, Step-by-Step Guide

First, make four even columns on your page.

Mark the spot on your face where your lips will be by drawing a cross. Simply for the sake of convenience, to aid in symmetry

Two, make a V-shape.

Make an effort to make it less V-shaped. In the middle of our lips, this

Phase 3: Include Four Lines

To that V, attach two longer lines, making them flat and longer than the V lines; then, attach two more lines for the mouth's lateral corners.

Drawing the top (Step 4)

Make an attempt at symmetry as you draw the first half of the hexagon shape in the upper lip.

Fifth, sketch the base.

Make an attempt at symmetry as you draw the second half of the hexagon shape in the bottom lip.

Sixth, determine the upper lip's fullness.

Using the diagram as a guide, draw lines to define the shape of the upper lip. The lip shape can be adjusted by shifting the angle at which those lines meet.

Step 7: Determine the Lip Volume.

Pursue the same procedure for the lower lip. Never forget that slanted contours equal fuller lips.

Eighth, draft the upper lip's planes.

Let's draw the contours of the upper lip next. The planes will be more angular because the upper lip shape is more pronounced than the lower lip shape.

Mark the locations of the bottom lip with a pencil.

The round shape of the lower lip will be achieved by joining its middle sections with curved lines.

Step 10: Erase your guidelines and mark the darkest area

The dividing line between the upper and lower lips is the most noticeable aspect of the mouth. After we've erased our guidelines, we'll go back over our sketch with a 4B pencil and add some gentle, organic lines.

At this point, you should fill in the darker areas.

The lower parts of the upper and lower lips will be shaded by lightly applying two or three layers of graphite using a 4B pencil and small, circular motions (the upper lip will always be darker, so apply an extra layer of graphite there).

After that, move on to Step 12: Fill in the lighter planes.

Let's repeat this process for the upper lip on both lips, but this time we'll use a single layer.

Tip No. 13: Vary the Tone

Then, draw a darker line between the lips and indicate where the upper lip casts a shadow on the lower lip.

14th Step: Outline the Upper Lip

See the image below for where more graphite should be applied to the upper lip, but stay away from the cupid's bow.

15th Step: Define the Lower Lip

Keep in mind that your bottom lip will always be lighter than your top, so you'll need fewer graphite coats to achieve the same effect.

Sixteenth Step: Mix

Make a paste out of the graphite and your blending stump. The dividing line becomes less distinct, but don't worry; this will be rectified shortly.

Shade the highlighted region (17th step)

Transfer some graphite from your blending stump to the highlighted region. There's always going to be a little shadow right here, because that's where all the facial muscles meet.

Step 18: Fill in the margins with more graphite.

Now that we have our blending down, we can define the mouth's corners and the dividing line. This process gives our lips more definition. Repeat the process for the outer corners of your lower lip.

Step 19: Fill in the Gaps

Using a 4B pencil, we will draw lines to represent wrinkles in the upper and lower lips, just like in the diagram.

Highlighting is the 20th step.

We'll use the precision eraser to remove some graphite from the top lip's base (reflected light) and make a few small adjustments to the lip wrinkles, and the gel pen to add brighter highlights.

That's all there is to it! The results were excellent.

Congratulations on finishing the tutorial! I'm glad you had some fun with the lip drawing and that you learned something new today.

To be continued...

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