7 different shapes and what to look out for when drawing them
Before we take a closer look at the various lip shapes together, I would recommend that everyone first familiarize themselves with the basics of drawing a mouth. This will make it much easier to draw the different lip shapes realistically.
To draw different lip shapes, we can make use of the basic structure consisting of 3 circles from our mouth drawing tutorial.
It is now important that we take a closer look at various features and capture them in the sketch:
The following describes features of different lip shapes and what we should pay attention to when drawing them. We can also recombine the features of the different examples to create completely new lip shapes. There are so many different lip shapes that you can’t really go wrong.
With full lips, the upper and bottom lips are the same in size and volume. We can enhance this volume by drawing a shadow under the bottom lip. Depending on the amount of volume, we should draw the shadow darker or lighter.
If the lips are particularly full, a shadow will also form above the upper lip. However, we should keep this lighter compared to the one under the bottom lip, otherwise the shadow can quickly look like a mustache.
With thin lips, the upper lip usually appears even thinner than the bottom lip. However, the center of the upper lip does have some volume, only the sides towards the corners of the mouth run very close along the edge of the lip.
In addition, there is a tilt to the upper lip, which creates a slight shadow across it. So when drawing, we should always draw the entire upper lip of thin lips slightly darker than the bottom lip.
The bottom lip is in good balance with the upper lip and is also not particularly voluminous and round. After a slight rounding in the middle, we should draw the sides towards the corners of the mouth straight.
With this lip shape, the bottom lip is significantly larger than the upper lip. The drawing approach is therefore very similar to that of narrow lips: Here, too, we should draw the upper lip much darker compared to the bottom lip.
The bottom lip, on the other hand, we can add soft shadows that fade out softly, giving the lip a gentle curve.
With this lip shape, the difference is usually not quite as serious as with the heavy bottom lip. There can be several reasons for a heavy upper lip and it can actually be beneficial to know these reasons when drawing.
If the upper front teeth are protruding, causing the upper lip to protrude, we should shade the bottom lip a little more because the upper lip will protrude slightly and cast a shadow down on it.
If it is a natural (or unnatural) volume difference, we should shade the bottom edge of the upper lip more to depict the volume better. Here, we can start the shadow in the bottom half and strengthen it in the bottom third with a darker pencil.
With this lip shape, the corners of the mouth are not drawn down. Rather, the shape of the upper and bottom lip visually creates a downward curved appearance.
The upper lip is wider compared to the bottom lip, which creates a small imbalance. However, we should not draw this imbalance too exaggeratedly, otherwise the lips can quickly look unrealistic. A small difference in widths is already enough to represent this lip shape in a drawing.
While it’s not always the case, a sharp cupid’s bow can also have an arch appear in the central lip line. In this case, the center of the upper lip is rounded, which is why we should draw shadows around this area that are very similar to the shading of a sphere.
The lips of the example drawing could also be described as heart-shaped lips, because the sides of the lip contour are slightly curved inward. But a pointed cupid’s bow can appear on a variety of lip shapes.
With this lip shape, the cupid’s bow is only slightly defined. However, when drawing the upper lip outline, we should not just draw a round arch as we do for the bottom lip, because slightly defined is not the same as non-existent.
The trick to the cupid’s bow of this lip shape is to draw the bow down just a tiny bit and let the two neighboring arches blend just as smoothly into the rest of the upper lip.