The Ultimate Picture Guide to Drawing Mouths in 13 Easy Steps
The mouth, like the eyes, is a powerful tool for expression; it can show joy, sorrow, excitement, or displeasure. However, unlike the eyes, drawing a mouth can be difficult because no two mouths are alike.
Make a line where your lips meet. At this point, the upper and lower lips meet, forming a sharp crease. Everyone's version of this line takes a slightly different form depending on the particular set of facial muscles being used. This line has a slight upward curve on each side and a dip in the middle, as is typical for a relaxed expression of the face. Create a slit that is roughly as long as the two ascending arcs at the ends. 
- Adjust the width of the lips by adjusting the length of this line.
Trace the upper lip's outline. Drawing a line at an angle of 10-20 degrees upward from the left end of the first line you drew is a good starting point. When you reach a point on your first line that is just past the halfway point, stop. Draw another line off the right end of the first, this time angling it left. Then, connect the two sets of angles with a short "U" That's where you'll put your upper lip down. 
Advice: Your lips are not like anyone else's. This is a good starting point for beginners, but the upper lip can be tweaked to perfection later. The depth of the trough can vary, and the slant of the lines can go either up or down. Use this as a guide when drawing from a photo or model, but be sure to focus on the details of the subject's upper lip.
Draw the chin and the bottom of the lip. Begin at the point where one set of lips meets the other. Then, from the end of the line you just drew, extend a shallow "U" shape that terminates back where you just drew it. The lower lip is typically 1 1/2 times the size of the upper lip. Make the lower lip even fuller, or make it smaller than the top lip. 
- Make the "U" shape of the lower lip more pronounced to accentuate the lips. Reduce its size by lowering the "U" shaped line.
The addition of vertical lip creases When you look closely, you'll notice that a person's lips aren't totally flawless. Fine, vertical lip creases become more noticeable with age. The lower lip is the best place to start because of how obvious these lines will be there. Create a series of ten lines that run horizontally across the lower lip. Apply the same technique to the upper lip, but draw thinner, shorter lines because they will be less visible. 
- Make the lines on the left half of the lips slightly longer and curve them out to the left, while the lines on the right half of the lips slightly curve out to the right. Draw relatively straight lines close to the lip's center.
5Fill in the lip contours with a dark color for added definition. The best lip shade will change with the light. If the light source is high in the sky, then the darkest shadows will be cast at the corners of your mouth. The lip side that is shaded by the light source will appear darker when lighting the face from the side. Fewer shadows would be cast by direct lighting. When this is the case, the transition between the upper and lower lips will be the darkest part of the lips. 
- The highest highlights are typically found in the most protruding areas of the lips, such as the center of the lower lip and the very tip of the upper lip. Don't bother painting over those spaces.
- Lips will have more depth and realism after being shaded.
Make a rough sketch of the mouth. To begin, draw a horizontal line with a slight upward curve. Stretch this line out to the desired mouth width. As for the upper lip, this is where it will rest. Then, beginning at one end of the resulting line, draw a "U" shaped line that loops back around to the other end. When drawing the mouth, the "U" shaped line should be deep enough to accommodate the teeth. One third of the length of the curved horizontal line should separate the lowest point on the "U" shaped line from the center of the curved horizontal line. 
- A banana shape will have formed in the mouth at this point.
Cap the upper lip in a sketch. Draw a shallow downward-curving line from one end of the curved horizontal line to just above the midpoint. Then, do the same thing on the opposite side so that the two sloping lines converge in the middle. You should extend the curved horizontal line halfway up the mouth's height from that point. 
Contour the inner part of the lower lip. Create a "U" shape that begins at one end of the curved horizontal line and ends where it began. Separate this line from the initial "U" shape you drew for the mouth by a small distance. Gradually widen the chasm as distance is added to the starting point. Reduce the distance between you and the other side gradually once you've traveled halfway. 
- Place the bottom of this line halfway between the bottom of the first "U" and the bottom of the mouth.
For the teeth, draw elongated, rounded rectangles. First, you'll need to sketch out a small rectangle in the mouth's corner. Avoid drawing the top of the rectangle where the gums will be positioned. The lower two corners of the rectangle should be rounded off, and the lower edge should be angled so that it is parallel to the upper lip. Next to it, sketch a second, slightly taller partial rectangle. To finish the first front tooth, repeat steps 3-5. Just repeat the process on the opposing side of your mouth. 
- Make sure to draw about 5-6 teeth on each half.
To represent the gums, draw an arch over each tooth. The first step is to draw a shallow arc over the tooth at the far end of the mouth. Align the upper lip's bottom with the arc's peak. Do the same for the remaining teeth. 
6Darkening of the mouth and gums Add depth and realism to your drawing with some shading. Make the space inside the mouth (between the teeth and the upper lip) as dark as you can by shading it in with a pencil. In the next step, fill in the gums a few shades lighter. 
Use the rounded side of your pencil to shade; doing so will make blending much simpler.
Increase lip creases To make the lips look more realistic, draw a series of curved vertical lines across the length of each lip. Make some of the lines shorter, and begin at the top of each lip, while others begin at the bottom. Shape the lips so that the lines on the left half curve out to the left, and the lines on the right half curve out to the right. 
- Create ten creases across each lip.
To complete your drawing, shade in the lips. The lips are subject to light's shadows and highlights, which can be depicted using shading. Fill in the outer corners of the mouth, the center of the upper lip, and the center of the lower lip with shadow. Make it darker than your gums but lighter than your inner mouth. Keep the center of your lower lip and the very top of your upper lip white or very lightly shaded to maximize highlight effects. 
- Read up on drawing if you want to get better at it.
- Creat a plethora of rough drafts. 
- With the help of a qualified instructor, you can develop the ability to view the world through an artistic lens. 
Do you know of a way to simplify the drawing procedure?
Results should be reliable if you maintain a relaxed grip. Given that a sketch is by definition a hastily drawn If you hold your writing implement tightly, you may not like the results; if you make a mistake, you won't be able to erase it as easily.
Can I make it look more realistic by drawing more lines into it?
It's possible, but it depends on how many lines you've got set up already. Too many will not have a realistic appearance.
Then why not just copy and paste from the reference image?
Most working artists benefit greatly from using reference images, so this is a great idea. Recognize that using references effectively is a learned skill and don't be too disheartened if it isn't perfect the first time around.
The Question-Asking Game
Written in conjunction with:
Professor and Portrait Artist
Updated: May 12, 2022
Categories: People Drawings
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