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Drawing the human face can be a real challenge, especially if you’re drawing from your imagination. It’s one thing to copy a reference photo, but what if you’re creating your own people and have to rely on how you imagine their face to look like? When drawing imaginary people or characters, it’s important to get the shape of the mouth and teeth correctly. After all, the mouth conveys so many emotions, from a frown to a soft smile to a smirk to a big grin.
If you’ve ever struggled with how to draw a mouth, we’re here to help. You’ll see here, that by dividing the process into clear and concise steps, you won’t need a course in anatomy to achieve a realistic lips drawing.
Draw a semicircle divided in half by a vertical line.
Add ovals to indicate the fullest parts of the lips: one on the top, two on the bottom.
Draw soft, natural lines to connect the ovals and corners of the lips. Add the cupid’s bow on the upper lip.
Start drawing the teeth. Draw two arcs as guides, then draw the upper teeth. They usually resemble rectangles with rounded edges. Make them symmetrical to the vertical line. The two front teeth will be large while the two beside them will be smaller.
Continue by adding canine teeth. These are typically pointed at the ends
Keep adding teeth until you reach the corners of the lips. Add in the lower teeth that peek out above the lower lip.
Shade the lips to create volume. The corners of the lips will be dark. The lightest parts will be the center of the upper lip and the center of the lower lip. The right values of shades give the image a more realistic look.
Make the inside of the mouth the darkest tone in the picture. Shade the gums.
Start shading the teeth and lips. As each tooth gets farther from the front teeth, shade them darker. Use hatching on the lips to make them appear more round.
Add the finishing details. Draw vertical lines to add texture to the lips. Use the tip of your eraser to add highlights to the upper lip, lower lip, and on the teeth.
Now you’ve created a real-looking mouth! Use this lips drawing reference as a guide when adding lips and teeth to your drawings. We’ve got lots more helpful guides besides how to draw realistic lips for drawing other parts of your portrait — the eyes, face, and hair. There’s even one that gives you the basic techniques of working in pencil. You can check these out, by clicking on these links.
The more you practice the better you’ll get, so keep trying, and soon you’ll have the results you want!