Tips on Drawing the Mouth

February 6, 2012

Drawing Faces, Sketch Proportions

Drawing the mouth, especially the lips is pure joy for me. The mouth can be so expressive and convey so much emotion, and being able to capture that and put it on paper is so fulfilling. So in this post I’m going to show you some tips on drawing the mouth from different angles.

Curve of the Mouth

Before I go any further we need to establish that the mouth is not on a flat surface and it should not be drawn that way. When viewed from the top it’s clear that it is on a curved surface or mound.

drawing the mouth top view


In this illustration I’ve divided the lips into sections in relation to its curves. Section 1 is the apex of the mouth. Section 2 is slightly curving back into the face and Section 3 completes the curve of the mouth. Dividing the lips into sections will help you in drawing the lips from an angle.

Drawing the mouth front view

Tip: With these guidelines in place you can also use them to help you shade the lips.

Three Quarter View

Now, when drawing lips from a three quarter view some foreshortening will occur. As you can see in the illustration below Section 1 & 2 are visible on the left hand side but section 3 is completely out of view. Only when the mouth smiles is the corner of the mouth visible. Having these guidelines in place will help you in foreshortening the lips in proper proportion and hopefully will aid you in drawing better fuller lips.

 Drawing the mouth three guarter view

Exercise: look up lips on google and see if you can notice which parts of the lips are foreshortened and then draw them using these guidelines.

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