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How to draw lips from the side

This tutorial has 3 examples for you to draw from: Overbite, Normal Bite and Underbite. When going through the tutorial, please pick only 1 example to follow instead of drawing all 3 lips at the same time.



How to Draw Lips from the Side:

Step 1: Choose top and bottom lip positioning

1-drawing-lips-from-the-sideThis first stroke will determine whether you will draw an overbite, normal bite or underbite.

Step 2: Choose the lip angle

2-draw-lips-from-the-sideThis second stroke will determine the thickness of the top and bottom lip and whether the corner of the mouth with angle up or down.

Step 3: Draw a triangle

3-how-to-draw-lips-from-the-sideTurn your sketch into a triangle. The longer your triangle is, the wider the lips will be.

Step 4: Draw the mouth’s corner

4-draw-lips-from-sideDraw the corner of the mouth. This can be a simple dot, bracket, raindrop shape, triangle etc.

Step 5: Draw the top lip


You can start with the top or bottom lip. For this tutorial, I’m starting with the top.

Draw a curve that starts at the top left corner of the triangle. This curve can roughly follow the shape of the triangle, jut out or be drawn well inside the boundaries. It’s all up to you.

Step 6: Complete the top lip

6-draw-side-lipsConnect the curve you just drew to the corner of the mouth. Avoid drawing a straight line across. It’s better to draw a slightly curved line than a completely straight one.

Step 7: Draw the bottom lip


To draw the bottom lip, start your stroke from the bottom left corner of the triangle and wrap it up until it touches the top lip.

Step 8: Draw the upper and lower lip

draw lips from the sideDraw the upper lip. Be careful not to extend your line too far. The upper lip should be roughly the same thickness as the top lip or more.

When drawing the lower lip/chin for underbites, make sure the curve is less pronounced. The bottom set of teeth push the bottom/lower lip forward, reducing a lot of curvature.

Step 9: Draw the rim of the top and bottom lip


Using your HB pencil with as little pressure as possible, draw the rims around each lip, connecting them to the corner of the mouth. Then erase your guidelines.

Step 10: Add contour lines


Time to shade! If you think your lines are too dark, use your kneaded eraser to pick up 1 layer of graphite from your drawing. Then use a sharp HB pencil to lay down your contour lines.

Step 11: Shade the lips


Start building up more contour lines using your HB, 2B, then 4B pencils.

Around the rim of each lip, soften your edges so they don’t appear too harsh.

Step 12: Shade the skin

how to draw lips from the side

For this tutorial, I used circulism to shade the skin around the lips. I used a blunt HB pencil and built up layers and layers of circles. Then used a 2B to shade darker areas.

how to draw lips from the side

I shaded areas such as the lower lip, cheek, corner of the mouth and skin directly under the nose a bit darker. If you still see a lot of white space, use your HB pencil to go over the skin with even more layers. Don’t press too hard or your circles will be very visible!

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17 thoughts on “How to draw lips from the side”

  1. Darlene, thank you for your tutorials, I’m 72 years old, I have large family, so for years I couldn’t take time for something I have always love, drawing anything, I just love it, so with your tutorials I have been able to do good not great yet but looking forward to get perfect like you! Thank you again, and God Bless you and your family!

  2. Hi. I have to say I am inspired by your artwork and want to try to make my art just as good as yours. I am only 13 years old and always wanted to draw realistically and now thanks to your tutorials I can at least try to make my art better.

  3. People used to tell me that I can’t draw. Thanks with your tutorials which are detailed and beginner friendly, I am not an artist yet but this improvement in my art in just 2 weeks is great. I am proving them wrong.

  4. Great tutorial again. Really appreciate the effort put into to share skills and knowledge with others. I posted just today on another mouth tutorial an now completed all three. I’ll post to the gallery if I can. I’m just into my second month of drawing.

  5. I always thought I could never draw realistically. About a month ago, I decided to give it another try. I stumbled upon your website, and I was hooked. Your style of tutorial is perfect for my style of learning. Some I picked up after a try or two, others I’m still working on. However, your tutorials inspired me to keep at it. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and skill! You are incredibly talented!

    1. Thank you for your kind words Tasha. If you ever have any questions or need constructive feedback on your work, drop me a message in the contact form! :)

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