Duration: About 20 minutes
At first, learning to draw a mouth may seem difficult. But with practice and helpful tips, you will be able to create realistic and expressive mouths in no time. There are some tricky parts to pay attention to, such as making sure the lips don’t look like they’re wearing dark red lipstick. However, it is possible to draw a natural-looking mouth. With a few tricks and some practice, anyone can do it.
These three circles are the perfect foundation for drawing the mouth. It’s important to make them equal in size, so try your best!
The first step is to draw a line between the two lips. Make use of the upper circle to create a small arc in the middle of the upper lip. Be careful not to make the line straight. Also, make sure to curve the ends upwards in the corners of the mouth.
From here on concentrate on the areas around the lips. This way you can already plan the volume and shape of the lips and still make corrections.
Let’s start with the philtrum, the area above the upper lip that looks like a U-shape. The sides of the U would end in the nose, but for this tutorial, we won’t draw anything apart from the mouth. At this stage, you already have an idea of what the upper lip might look like.
For the lower lip, draw a shape that looks like a trapezium. It marks the place where a shadow is cast from the lower lip to the chin. The bend on the upper line should be as close as possible to the two circles.
Finally, draw triangular areas around both corners of the mouth.
And that would be your basic setup already. If something looks strange, you should correct it now before you start shading.
I used to make a common mistake when drawing lips. I would start drawing the lip contour and it always ended up looking like dark lipstick.
Natural lips don’t have a sharp edge, so it’s best to work from the inside of the lip to the outside with the pencil. This way you can create a soft and natural look.
Typically, the upper lip is shadier and darker than the lower lip. To avoid creating an unnatural look, it’s best to shade the top of the upper lip in approximately the same darkness as the rest of the lips. But, be careful not to draw the shadow in too deep! The middle of the two circles should remain white.
Since it is now difficult to see the edge between the two lips, take a softer pencil and redraw the lip line. Since there are always a few wrinkles on the lips, it is best to draw them with a harder pencil at this stage.
Now you can softly draw the shadows in the corners of the mouth.
The u-shaped thing becomes a convincing philtrum with the help of soft shadows. However, the soft shadows should not reach all the way to the lip contour, because this fine area stands off and catches a lot of light.
For my drawing, I notice that the shadows on the lips are not dark enough, unlike all the newly drawn shadows. I make up for this so that depth is created.
I find it easier to draw the lower lip after I have placed the shadows down to the chin.
Depending on the volume of the lower lip, you can now draw a strong or less strong shadow directly on the surrounding area.
Now you can draw the lower lip. Make sure to leave the middle part of the two circles bright because this area always sticks out the farthest and light falls on it. To create a three-dimensional look, darken the areas outside the circles.
Isn’t it nice how helpful the circles are even so close to the finish line?
I would recommend drawing very fine and light shadows throughout the lower area. This way you make the mouth look more natural.