How to Draw a Mouth: Tips and Tricks

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Written By Sam Davis Ph.D.

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Do you want to learn how to draw a mouth? It's really not as hard as you might think! Everyone has their own method for drawing a mouth, so we went ahead and gathered the most interesting ways for drawing mouth(s) right here. Ready? Let's explore mouths!

Draw a mouth: the horizontal line

Before we get into the drawing process for more complex mouths, I wanted to briefly touch on the beautiful, lovely, cartoon mouth. Whether it's a straight or curved line, often times, a single line can be enough to make your point. Maybe an extra line or two for the corners of the mouth.

More importantly, studying caricature and cartoon mouths can help us learn what happens when mouths and lips are emoting things.

Warrior bobblehead
No lips? No problem.

From real life: Drawing mouths from a reference photo

If you're trying to draw a realistic mouth, you'll need to rely on practice. Observation is an essential part of the artist's tool kit. So, grab a reference photo or two and sit down and start observing.

Focus on the different parts that make up a mouth. The top lip, the bottom lip, the teeth (or lack thereof), the gums, and tongue. All of these things come together to create a mouth.

Repetition will help with tricky parts.

For example, if you struggle drawing where the upper and lower lips meet, you might just need some practice. An upper lip and a lower lip are not quite mirror images, but they're close. Work on drawing cross contour lines to try and capture the facial features, and do several drafts of your line drawing.

From there, you can start to add shading and other details to give your mouth more dimension. Drawing tutorials won't help you step by step, but they might give you advice and hints to draw mouths that you had never considered before.

Drawing lips in your own style

It's one thing to draw realistically, but it's another thing altogether to give your distinct style of either the lips, open mouth, or other facial features. Are you a lip wrinkles kind of artist? Do you over-exaggerate the lower lip when you draw a mouth? Are your lines bold? What's the darkest value that you use?

The most important part of drawing lips and drawing mouths is to make them your own. If your initial line drawing looks too much like someone else's take a critical eye to it, and use your kneaded eraser to make it stand out (if you're drawing by hand). Add highlights where you wouldn't expect to see them. Add a distinct vertical line that breaks the space up in an interesting ways.

Anyone can draw a mouth, but YOUR upper lip, lower lip, or cupid's bow should be the most interesting mouths out there. That's how you draw in your customers and keep them coming back to you. So work on shape, angle, and light, and just keep trying. You'll get there!

Final thoughts…

There are a million ways to draw a mouth. And that's great! We hope you found this helpful, and please keep practicing. Remember, the best way to get better at anything is through repetition and practice. So keep at it,

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