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.
- Kneaded Eraser
- Derwent HB, 2B pencils
- Mechanical pencil with 4B Ain lead by Pentel
- Canson Sketch Paper (I find sketch paper so much harder to work with. I much prefer working on Canson Bristol. Unfortunately out of bristol paper at the moment.)
How to Draw Lips from the Side:
Step 1: Choose top and bottom lip positioning
This first stroke will determine whether you will draw an overbite, normal bite or underbite.
Step 2: Choose the lip angle
This 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
Turn your sketch into a triangle. The longer your triangle is, the wider the lips will be.
Step 4: Draw the mouth’s corner
Draw 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
Connect 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 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
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.
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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Darlene created RFA In 2013 with the goal of sharing simple yet detailed drawing tutorials with other artists on the world wide web. She is a self taught pencil portrait artist and Youtuber.
Wow it works great I love the way it turned out
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!
This is one of the best drawing sites I have seen. Excellent explanations and tutorials. Thanks Darlene.