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How to Draw Realistic Lips Step-by-Step in 3 Different Ways

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Posted by Vita Jumayeva
Vita is a professional artist living and working in Minsk, Belarus. She fills her work with emotion and often paints using watercolors. One of her biggest inspirations is her love for nature, the sea and animals.
How to Draw Realistic Lips Step-by-Step in 3 Different Ways

Table of Contents:

Realistic Lips Drawing in Pencil

Whenever you’re creating a realistic portrait, one of the most important features will be the lips outline. They’re an interesting part of the face because they are a huge part of our expressions and can help define how a portrait looks. You always want to make sure that while you’re drawing your portrait that your lips are at the proper angle. For example, if you’re drawing a portrait at a ¾ view, you’ll need to make sure your lips are at the appropriate angle as well. We’ll show you how to draw 3 different pairs of lips step-by-step so you can follow along and use this guide to help you with your next portrait. Grab some sketching supplies, get comfortable and keep reading to see how we draw realistic lips.

How to Draw Lips in a ¾ View

lips outline

Step 1

Sketch a circle with a vertical line in the middle. Add another perpendicular line just below the middle and extend it slightly beyond the circle.

lips outline

Step 2

Use triangular shapes to create the general shape of the lips as shown. Add an ellipse in the bottom half of the circle.

lips outline

Step 3

Outline the sketch. Smooth out the lines and round the corners. Add a small protrusion at the bottom of the upper lip.

lips outline

Step 4

Erase the extra construction lines and add visible teeth.

lips outline

Step 5

The lips will be shaded according to their shape to show their volume and how the light falls. The light source is coming from the top right. The corners of the lips will be the darkest part.

lips outline

Step 6

Use a paper blender from the 33-Piece Drawing Set to blend the dark areas that have already been marked. Use a soft eraser or a kneaded eraser to add highlights on the lips. Use a soft HB pencil to add texture to the lips.

How to Draw Lips with Visible Teeth

how to draw lips from the side

Step 1

Draw a vertical arc and mark the top and bottom. Draw a horizontal arc perpendicular to the vertical arc and make sure that the top is larger than the bottom.

how to draw lips from the side

Step 2

Draw an oval along the top marks. The left and right sides of the oval will be about the same distance.

how to draw lips from the side

Step 3

Draw the cupid’s bow of the lips at the top of the oval.

how to draw lips from the side

Step 4

Draw a semi-circle to represent the top lip. Connect the top and bottom of the oval with a triangular shape on the right.

how to draw lips from the side

Step 5

Add in the teeth. 

how to draw lips from the side

Step 6

Now that we’ve finished the line drawing of the lips, we’re ready to move on to shading. Lighten the construction lines and get ready to add tones to your drawing.

how to draw lips from the side

Step 7

To help you see the volume of the lips, add some vertical semi-circular lines and arcs on the lips.

how to draw lips from the side

Step 8

Start shading. Use an HB pencil to work around the lips. Next, start shading the bottom lip, along the separated arc. Darken the left side to add more expressive shading.

how to draw lips from the side

Step 9

Add darker shading and mid-tones. Add a shadow on the teeth from the upper lip.

how to draw lips from the side

Step 10

Increase the contrast and add the lines on the upper lip.

How to Draw Lips in the Frontal View

lips drawing easy

Step 1

Draw a vertical line - this will be the middle of the lips. Mark the corners of the lips. Make sure they’re equidistant from the center of the lips. Draw an isosceles triangle for the cupid's bow at the top. Complete the rest of the lips.

lips drawing easy

Step 2

 Refine the outline and show the volume in the lower lip with two ovals.

lips drawing easy

Step 3

Add a shadow for the upper and lower lips with the HB pencil.

lips drawing easy

Step 4

Add some shading and tone to the whole drawing.

lips drawing easy

Step 5

Add the lines on the lips.

lips drawing easy

Step 6

Add the final touch, work on the subtlety of the tone, softening the shading lines and defining the accents of the lip's outline.

Your Finished Pencil Drawings of Lips

Now you know three different ways to draw lips! You can use these steps to add lips to a variety of portraits or you can even practise drawing them on their own. Some artists really enjoy just focusing on one facial feature, like the lips, and adding a unique twist. Once you’re feeling comfortable with the shape and shading of lips, you can start moving on to adding your own style and trying out other positions when drawing lips.

Have fun sketching!

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