Techniques and Tips

Drawing the Mouth

Drawing the Mouth

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Understanding the basic structures of the various facial features goes a long way in achieving a realistic depiction. (An excerpt from Drawing Expressive Portraits)

By Paul Leveille

Watch Your Mouth

The face’s most animated feature is the mouth, which is constantly changing with every mood and expression. The lips derive a good deal of their shape from the teeth and bone that the lips wrap around. The next time you see a person smile with his lips parted, notice how the upper lip gets its shape as it is stretched across the teeth. In the drawing at left, the upper lip gets slimmer as it’s pulled back across the teeth in a smile.

Although it’s best to consider the upper and lower lips as a unit when drawing them, each is shaped differently. The upper lip consists of three shapes and has a steeper slant inward toward the teeth, while the lower lip has two shapes and is usually fuller than the upper lip (see C, below).

Women’s lips are usually fuller and darker than men’s lips. The ends of the lower lip in a man usually fade off into the surrounding flesh, with very little difference in tone between the lip and the flesh.

The Shapes of the Mouth

A The skeletal shape of the closed mouth is similar to a barrel. Hold this thought when drawing the lips.

B Using the cylinder or barrel shape helps when drawing the lips at different angles.

C The upper lip has three shapes and the lower has two.

D In a smile with parted lips, usually only the upper teeth are visible.

E By drawing a line from the tip of the nose to the chin, you can see that the lower lip recedes below the upper lip.

Paul Leveille paints portraits of nationally and internationally distinguished clients and also conducts portrait painting workshops and demonstrations around the country. He lives in western Massachusetts. See his website at

This article is excerpted from his book, Drawing Expressive Portraits, © 2001 by Paul Leveille, used with permission from North Light Books, an imprint of F+W Media Inc. Visit your local bookseller, call 800/258-0929 or go to to obtain a copy.

Watch the video: How to Draw the Mouth 2020 Edition (July 2022).


  1. Hanan

    I think you are not right. We will discuss.

  2. Jurrien

    I'm sorry, but I think you are wrong. I'm sure. I can defend my position. Email me at PM.

  3. Hietamaki

    I read a lot on the subject today.

  4. Geb

    There is no need to try everything

  5. Windgate

    Incomparable theme, I really like it :)

  6. Yvet

    Yes, happens...

  7. Cynewulf

    I will know, thank you very much for your help in this matter.

Write a message