Drawing Tips: How to Draw Lips and Mouths
My name is Carlos Gomes Cabral and I’m a character designer and art teacher. I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and I did work for clients such as Envato, BOOM! Studios, Sony, The Quarto Group and Total Alimentos to name a few.
I am the author of a book called “Whoosh! 250 Ways to Get Motion into Your Drawings”, published by Barron’s Educational Series, where I teach beginner and professional artists to create attention-grabbing drawings by using simple tips and tricks. This book also features guest artists from companies such as Marvel Comics, Image Comics, and Dreamworks.
I like to interact with followers on Instagram, where I posts sketches, paintings and drawing tips. Currently, I’m in the process to start my Youtube channel alongside with a brand new course about drawing.
When drawing the mouth, bear in mind that they are different from each other, varying in size and format. However, they are all built with a combination of straight and curvy lines. By varying the shapes you can create many mouth styles. Feel free to explore!
You can think of a mouth shape as a bird flying towards you, with a shadow cast below. Is often a good practice to make the upper lip a bit darker than the lower lip. This implies your character is being lit from above (most common light situation). Remember to Increase the line weight on the outer corners.
The outer corners of the mouth kinda line up with the center of the eye socket. Symmetry is your ally in building convincing characters, regardless the style and angle of your character.
Female upper lips are usually slightly projected forward (also known as “overbite”). However, male lower lips looks more convincing when slightly projected forward (underbite). None of this rules are written in stones so you can tweak them as you like (you should, whenever possible!). But they do help enhance male and female characteristics in drawings.
Be careful when outlining each tooth of the mouth. Sometimes it feels even more realistic only hint the gum and let the viewer’s brain fill the rest. Some details feels more graphically pleasing when hidden. Add them as appropriate to your personal preference and character’s context.
Once you understand the building blocks of the mouth, try to play with different angles and perspectives. Also remember that asymmetry conveys dynamism in expressions. Get out of your comfort zone and play with it. Practice leads to perfection. Angry mouth drawing.
Have you ever notice that mouths has its own expressiveness? You can achieve great results in characters expressions just by playing with them. Angry mouth drawing.
Can you figure it out what’s happening with these characters just by looking at these mouth shapes? Be creative!
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City Of Mist: The red-cap dock goons. This was for a role-playing game I worked on. The book won the 2018 Ennie Awards for Best Art.
Dog Mascot: This is a character I built for a Brazilian pet food line, based on the Jack Russell breed.
Ghost: A fun drawing for the 2019 Inktober challenge. Name of the prompt for this day was “Ghost”.
Mermay: An old mermaid I made for the 2019 Mermay challenge. An old mermaid I made for the 2019 Mermay challenge.
Mindless: Another one for Inktober. The prompt for this day was “Mindless”.
Santa: Santa Claus artwork I made for Christmas.
WWE Stunner: Stone Cold Steve Austin doing his famous “Stunner” on The Rock. This one is part of a series of character drawings I made for BOOM! Studios and their new WWE comic series.
Amazing tips! Thank you very much!