Learn to Draw Caricatures - Work on Drawing the Mouth




Drawing the Mouth

Now let's draw her smile

Look at the jaw and how it curves

The skulls teeth

Finished mouth with laugh lines

Flesh out the mouth now by shading in the lips. Do your shading just as you see the shadows in the photo. Can you see that the lips are slightly darker, or more shadowed, on the left side of the mouth? Overall, the top lip and the bottom lip look to be almost the same shade of red, so as you tone the lips, make the tone a pretty even shade, then add a bit more shadow to the left side of the lips.

Teeth time. Look at the woman's teeth in the smile photo. Notice how the teeth recede into the mouth? The jaw is curved into a semicircle, so the back teeth are farther away from the viewer than the front teeth. Many people who "can't draw" will draw lines in the mouth that are evenly spaced to represent teeth. This looks wrong because what that represents is that all the teeth are on the same flat plane. Look at the skull photo to the right. It may be easier to see that the jaw is curved if the jaw wasn't wrapped in skin. In the image below the skull, I've drawn the top teeth of the skull correctly and also looking as if the jaw is flat, all the teeth are the same size. Can you see the difference? To correctly draw teeth think of looking at a picket fence from the side. Draw the front two teeth as flat and make the spaces between the teeth evenly spaced, but then moving on to the other teeth, gradually decrease the space between the teeth. Very lightly draw the vertical lines in the mouth area to represent the teeth. Draw what you see in her mouth and gradually space the lines closer together to depict the teeth going back into her mouth. Look at the photo to the right for reference. In caricature, I usually just draw the vertical lines for teeth, but sometimes I see the gums and then I have to draw little arches above the vertical teeth lines.

I drew in the "laugh lines" on this image. On a face, the laugh lines occur when you smile or frown. It's the bottom of the cheek that gets pulled up by the muscles on the corners of the mouth. These are the lines that connect the nose to the corners of the mouth. I drew them just as they are in the photo, but they're a bit smaller to enclose the smaller mouth on the caricature. Notice, also, that the lines are pretty lightly drawn, but then they get darker at the corners of the mouth. This shows the degree of folding that the skin is doing. Closer to the nose, the crease in the skin is a bit shallower, and thus drawn a bit lighter. At the corners of the mouth the skin is creased a bit more so the line is drawn a bit darker. Everybody's laugh lines are different, some have shallow creases for the whole laugh line, others have really deep and dark laugh lines. Draw them the way you see them. You may have to modify the shape that the laugh line creates in order to enclose the caricatured mouth.

Some people are sourpusses and don't smile for your caricature. Lucky for you, caricaturing a closed mouth is pretty darn easy. Drawing a guy's closed mouth could be a single line, and a woman's closed mouth could be three lines - the upper lip contour, the mouth line, and the lower lip contour. You may add some lines and shapes around the mouth, but the mouth itself could still be a single line. Look at the complete caricatures to the right and count the lines I used to create the mouth. Also look at the laugh lines.

Your Assignment: Try and caricature some mouths. Try drawing your own mouth. Draw it closed and smiling, and include the laugh lines, too. In order to draw the laugh lines and make them look right, you'll have to draw your nose too. After you draw yourself, find a photograph of someone and caricature their mouth.

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