Skip to content

How to Draw Lips – Tutorial

August 13, 2009



Here is my long awaited tutorial on how to draw the lips! I searched for a long time to find the right reference photo, but had no luck, so I made my own. Unfortunately my camera wasn’t co-operating, so this reference isn’t as sharp as I would have liked, but it works. I’ve gridded the reference in Corel Draw. I’ve also written a post that lists tips for drawing lips which you  might find helpful.



1. Here I’ve drawn the grid using an F pencil. You could also use an H. The key is to draw it very lightly so that you can easily erase your lines afterwards and not leave any indentations in the paper. Using the reference image, I did a line drawing of the contours of the lips. Notice that I have not only done the outlines of the lips and nose, but the outlines of the shadows and highlights surrounding those features. Now you can carefully erase your gridlines, leaving only the lines of your drawing.



2. With a B pencil, start to shade in your basic shapes, using the reference image as a guide as to how dark. Notice in the reference image that the only pure white areas are the highlights. This should be the same in your drawing. Keep your shading lines close together, and build up the shadows slowly in layers. Notice that the bottom edge of the lip is not defined by a shadow; instead it’s defined by a series of highlights. For now, let the lip blend into the rest of the face, and pick out the highlights later.



3. Now it’s time to blend out your shading using a blending stick. Blending causes your drawing to lose some of its definition and look a little bit darker. It’s important to work from light to dark to keep your blending stick from getting too dirty. If you need to, roll it in your kneaded eraser or rub it on a piece of scrap  paper to clean it. Try to blend into the highlights without blending over them. The white of the paper should show through.



4. Using a 2B or 4B pencil, to back into the drawing and darken up the deepest shadows. Here I have darkened the edges around the nose, the shadow between the lips and around some of the edges, and the dark area to the right of the face. Try to create shadows by building up layers rather than pressing hard. Pressing too hard with graphite will flatten the tooth of the paper and create a shiny, metallic finish. Blend your shadows into the rest of the drawing.



5. The last step is to go back in with your kneaded eraser and pick out the highlights. You may also need to adjust some of your shadows as they can sometimes grow or change shape as you blend. At this stage you need to pay very close attention to your reference to get all the details. Often something very subtle can make the difference! Pay attention to the highlights along the top edge of the lips and those on the curve of the bottom lip.



From → Drawing, Tutorials

  1. thanks Miranda! Thankfully, my dad has helped me out allot-don’t know what I would have done without him…I added your link to my list, I knew I forgot some!
    Hope you have a good evening:)
    I’m going to doodle some more-

  2. Olagundoye Temidayo permalink

    Hello Miranda, I am ardent lover of art and always love to put what I learn especially about art into practice. I will like you to give me a simpler way to draw grids on the original copy without marring the original image you can contact me on….thanks and God bless

  3. Hey Miranda!
    I really love all your tutorials! They’re really well done and they’re easy to follow! I’d love it of you would make a tutorial on drawing a rose as I’ve been trying to draw one for quite some time but never seem to get it right.
    Thanks a bunch!

  4. JOYCE JARVIS permalink

    How to draw in pencil lips, nose, & eyes in profile

  5. melde permalink

    hey miranda .. can u give me specific technique on how to draw a fruits on the table.
    yeah i really like your canvas .. keep it up!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: