Learn to Draw People - drawing the mouth




Drawing the Mouth

Below the nose is the pie-hole, the mush, the mouth. Because the mouth is so expressive, it can be a challenge to draw, but breaking it down into it's component features makes it a bit easier.

Which lips are male, and which are female?

three points to define the mouth

A woman's lips are fuller than a mans usually, that's how we can tell a woman's mouth from a man's mouth without seeing the rest of the face. Although a woman's lips are fuller, the overall proportions are still the same for both sexes: the top lip is generally smaller than the bottom lip.

On the closed mouth all you'll be drawing is lips, so it can be done pretty quickly depending on the amount of shadow there is. On a closed mouth, find the placement of the mouth in the same way you found the nose. Measure down from the bottom of the nose to the crack that is the mouth and make a mark. Put your pencil vertically at the corner of the mouth and sight upwards to where the eye intersects the pencil. Then place your pencil on your drawing in the same vertical position on the eye and sight down to the mark you made for the mouth. Make a mark to indicate the corner of the mouth. Do the same vertical measure on the left corner of the mouth. With your three points plotted, lightly draw the line that is the closed mouth. When I draw the contour lines of the mouth, rather than starting at one corner of the mouth and drawing one line all the way across to the other corner, I start the line at the middle and draw to one corner. Then I go back to the middle and draw out to the other corner. If the mouth has that downward point in the middle, I would draw the mouth by starting at one side of the downward point and draw out to the corner of the mouth. Then start at the other side of the "point" and draw out to the other corner.

For a woman's full lips, measure the height of the lower lip from the mouth to it's fullest point - the middle. Make that measurement on your drawing an make a mark that will represent the bottom point of the lower lip. Measure the top lip in the same way and mark that point on your drawing. Is the upper lip skinnier than the lower lip?

Drawing lips

Draw the contour of both lips. Do you see the little dip in the center of the upper lip? To begin shading, lay down a fairly even middle-gray tone on both lips. Then shade in the lips noting that the shadow is deepest at the corners of the mouth and also along the horizontal edge closest to the mouth. Lightly erase out the highlight if you see one.

Drawing a man's lips on a closed mouth should be much easier. Find the placement of the mouth as above. Draw the mouth using the three points of reference.

You could either just start shading in the upper lip, or draw a contour of it and then shade it in.

Drawing male lips

Now just shade around the mouth. Shade the upper lip if it's darker than the lower. If the guy hasn't shaved, don't draw each whisker, that'd take too long. Shade the whisker area darker than the bare skin area. Drawing a man's mouth is more shading than drawing contour lines.

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