How to Draw the Mouth

February 8, 2011

Drawing Faces, Shading

What makes drawing the mouth so enjoyable? For me it’s because second to the eyes, the mouth conveys the most emotion. Some people may find drawing the mouth a daunting task at first but if you don’t give up and keep practicing, it’ll be a piece of cake in no time.

So let’s get down to drawing. To start off you want to get the positioning and size of the mouth in proportion with the rest of the face (for more on proportions see””). Then lightly draw the outline of the mouth.

Next, the lighting comes into play. Lightly outline where the highlights and shadows on the mouth will be, but don’t get too detailed. Then add the lightest shade or tone to the top lip (you can shade both lips simultaneously too if you like).

Now draw the line that separates the upper and lower lips and shade in the darker portions of the top lip.

Repeat the same process for shading the bottom lip. And to best capture the highlights on the bottom lip leave the highlighted areas white and use a thin eraser to bring back the shine if it gets a bit dirty.

After you’ve done the basic shading you can bring out some more details in the lips if you like or you can keep it the way it is. An important point to remember is to clearly draw the line that separates the upper and lower lips –this line is generally the darkest point on the mouth.

Tip: You also might have noticed that the mouth is not wholly outlined with an unbroken “line” but that its shape is defined by different shades and tones. This helps the mouth to have a more realistic and professional touch.

Action Steps: Try drawing different mouths viewed from the front. You could draw your own mouth or find models to draw from online or in a magazine. The fastest way to improve is through practice.

, ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.