How to

How to Draw Realistic Lips Step by Step

Are you looking to enhance your drawing skills and create realistic lips? Look no further! In this easy-to-follow tutorial, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to draw lips that look incredibly lifelike.

Drawing lips may seem daunting at first, but the key to achieving realism lies in shading and adding values to your drawing. To accomplish this, the most important tool you’ll need is a soft pencil. In this tutorial, we used a 0.7 mm mechanical pencil with a soft lead, which allowed us to create soft strokes and achieve a smooth blend.

To begin, draw a horizontal line lightly with your pencil. Then, draw a short vertical line down the middle of the first line. This line will be erased later, so keep it light. Next, create a “v” shape just above the vertical line. This forms the top of the lip, also known as the Cupid’s Bow. From the “v” shape, draw lines that extend to the ends of the horizontal line, creating the shape of the upper lip. Remember to draw these lines lightly and softly, avoiding a dark, bold singular line as it may appear less realistic.

For the bottom lip, draw a gentle curve, followed by a dip in the middle where the upper and bottom lips meet. Now, softly darken the line where the lips meet along the horizontal line drawn earlier. Although we’re keeping this line fairly straight for simplicity, it’s important to note that every lip has a slightly different curve or shape.

After erasing the short vertical line at the center of the lips, we can begin shading. Lips have vertical wrinkles, so when shading, use up-and-down strokes. Starting off lightly, gradually add darker values to develop the drawing. Smudging can be helpful during the initial shading process, whether using your finger, a rolled-up tissue, or a smudger tool.

Continue shading the upper lip in the same manner, using soft and light strokes while maintaining the up-and-down direction. This will create a soft blended gradation. Don’t worry if your drawing looks messy at this stage; additional layers will be added later. Remember, the more time you spend with your drawing, the more dimensional it becomes.

Next, accentuate the center of the lips near the dip, and darken the horizontal line of the mouth, gradually increasing its intensity. Darken the corners of the lips and the bottom part where the lip meets the chin, as these areas typically have more shadow.

Continue adding darker values and more wrinkles to the lips. Shading the philtrum (the cleft above the lip) and the area near the chin is optional, as our focus is primarily on the lips. Erase the outer line of the upper lip to ensure shading blends smoothly rather than creating a distinct line. Finally, create a highlight spot at the center of the upper and bottom lips by erasing a tiny dot from the shaded area.

As you further darken the lips, keep erasing the highlight spots gradually. The more you darken the lips, the more visible these highlights become. Lastly, accentuate the darkest areas of the lips, such as the horizontal line, the corners, and the area below the lips. Don’t be afraid to make these areas as dark as possible, as this will add to the overall realism of the drawing.

Tips for Drawing Realistic Lips: Highlights and Shading

To further enhance the realism of your lip drawings, here are some additional guidelines:

  • Take your time: Spend an ample amount of time with your drawing. The more effort and practice you put into it, the better the result.
  • Practice shading: Experiment with different shading techniques and strokes to achieve the desired effect.
  • Observe real lips: Study the characteristics and details of real lips. Pay attention to how light interacts with the surface and creates highlights and shadows.
  • Use references: Look for references and guides to help you understand various lip shapes and structures.

The Finished Lips Drawing


We hope you found this step-by-step guide helpful in your journey to draw realistic lips. Like all skills, drawing takes practice, but armed with these techniques, you have everything you need to create stunning lip drawings. Remember to have fun and enjoy the process! If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out. Happy drawing!

Related Blog Posts:

  • How to Draw a Realistic Eye
  • 26 Pencil Sketches of Faces
  • How to Draw a Butterfly Step by Step
  • 40 Easy Drawing Ideas for Beginners

Thank you for reading this blog post! We hope you found the steps and tips provided helpful in making drawing lips a little easier. Whether it’s day or night, wherever you are, we wish you a wonderful day and take care!

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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