Drawing lips

In previous posts we studied eyes, eyebrows, nose and ears; so today we finish face with lips and are ready to jump to hair tutorial next week. Grab your pencils, prepare papers, here we go!

This week I prepared ‘lips from front‘ and ‘2/3 view lips‘ step by step.
Starting with front:

lip front drawing steps 1.jpg

Lips are not flat; they have pattern like parenthesis and some scratches, too in case of they are dry.
What about those three circles? If you take a look at your own lips, you will realize 1 sphere on the upper lip, 2 spheres submerged on the lower lip. It is such a slight feature to realize, but it will make difference in your drawings. If you need an example try to see those immerged spheres in your lips; 1 above in the middle, 2 on the lower lip.

So, based on this information let’s see the first step. The first thing we do is drawing the outline of lips, paying attention here, drawing it so slightly for a realistic look (though I did it with a strong stroke for you to see it better). So draw lip’s outline slightly – I used 2H pencil, I did lower and upper lips like the same thick. There is a (yellow) vertical line which divides the mouth into two pieces from the middle. You can see in the image how we replace those circles, and how those circles help us to shape lips.

There is no contour of lips which is very clear or something like that, so in the second step you can see that that contour is thickened by using pencil in a slight and circular way (black arrows). The other thing to do in this step is to add deeper slits o lips into some parts with lines in the middle and paranthesis (yellow ones) on the right and left parts. When you make those lines deeper, it indicates that lips are dry, when you soften them you also have smooth lips.

lip front drawing steps 2

After setting that general construction, the rest is shading, lighting areas according to light source(s) and implying some more details if you’d like to. So grab your blending stump or if you don’t have one you can use cotton swabs also, blend all in there. In the 3rd step I blended areas and added more parenthesis, then blended more until reached what I want. I used kneaded eraser for light areas, with pressing it against paper, that gives me few tones lighter.

On the fifth step you can see some scratches, tiny squares and rectangles I added for blending them later and having more sense of pattern on it.

lip front drawing steps 3Final version from front

lip front drawing stepsAll of those steps of lip drawing above in 5 steps

Here is 2/3 view now. It seems like only the first step is different in this one, the rest is the same process. How? Let’s see.

lip drawing steps 1

On the left side there is another example which is the same lips from an angle. It is like left side of the lips’ lenght is ‘x‘, right side is ‘2x‘. The first step here is those three circles again, but this time we look at them with an angle, so circles turn into ovals now; 2 ovals in the lower lip, 1 oval in the upper lip. The oval on the right side on the lower lip can be slightly bigger than the right one. They will help us to give shape to lips and to have dimensional effect. Mind the endings/corners (especially the left corner).

After here all is just like the first lip example:

lip drawing steps 2

For having pattern drawing parentheses in the direction of ovals(2nd) and deciding what parts are darker what parts having more of light; then blending those lines(3rd) and deepening some parts, wherever you want.

lip drawing steps 3

Working on the texture, adding more details(4th), then blending them and using kneaded eraser for highlights(5th).

lip drawing steps 4

And here is the 6th step, its final version.

lip 2 drawing steps 5.jpgLip drawing from (2/3 view) in 6 steps, altogether.

lip shapes.jpgHere are some lip shapes, I mean only 4 of them, enough to have opinion about shape of lips; like some of them are thin, full lips, wide; also different cupid’s bows types (the middle part of upper lip).

old lip drawings

Some of old ones. It is easy to compare them when gathered in grids and so nice to feel satisfied by the progress.
In 2014 ones I used to draw an outline for lips, like a strong stroke of a pencil; that thing gave its place to shading illusions by observation by time. In the down middle one (08.2015) you can see the thin line over the upper lip; that is a strong shape and contrast, called cupid’s bow is quite clear. That changes from person to person; mine is not that clear (seen in the next drawing). Some artist really like to bring that feature forefront.
So, in short, old drawings’ black outline gives its place to thin lighter upper line by time.

lip drawing sp

Here is one more drawing. I started drawing it for the lips, then added a sketchy nose and some scribbles for skin here and there. I have surfed through internet and found many reference photos actually, but then ended with my own; full round lips, lower lip is slightly thicker, cupid’s bow has a slight ‘m’, some people have it really archy. Take a look around you.

So why don’t you draw yours? ^^
Happy sketches!

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