How to

Drawing Tips: How to Draw Lips and Mouths


Are you interested in improving your drawing skills and creating attention-grabbing characters? In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips and tricks on how to draw lips and mouths. Our expert, Carlos Gomes Cabral, a renowned character designer and art teacher with over 15 years of experience, will guide you through the process. Carlos has worked for prestigious clients such as Envato, BOOM! Studios, Sony, The Quarto Group, and Total Alimentos. He is also the author of the best-selling book, “Whoosh! 250 Ways to Get Motion into Your Drawings,” published by Barron’s Educational Series. With Carlos’ expertise, authority, credibility, and experience, you can take your drawing skills to the next level!

Understanding Mouth Structure

When drawing lips and mouths, it’s important to remember that they come in different sizes and shapes. However, they all share a combination of straight and curvy lines. By experimenting with various shapes, you can create unique mouth styles that bring your characters to life.

Tips for Drawing Lips

Think of a mouth shape as a bird flying towards you, with a shadow cast below. A helpful practice is to make the upper lip slightly darker than the lower lip to indicate that your character is being lit from above. Additionally, increasing the line weight on the outer corners of the mouth adds depth and dimension to your drawings.

Achieving Symmetry

To create convincing characters, it’s essential to understand the relationship between the outer corners of the mouth and the center of the eye socket. Ensuring symmetry in your drawings, regardless of style or angle, helps enhance the overall appearance of your characters.

Differentiating Between Genders

In general, thin mouths without lip lines are often associated with male characters. On the other hand, female characters tend to have more “colorful” mouths that require additional detail and volume. Adding bright highlights over a darker mouth can suggest the use of lipstick and add a touch of realism.

Understanding Facial Proportions

For female characters, the upper lip is usually slightly projected forward, creating a subtle “overbite” effect. On the other hand, male characters appear more convincing when their lower lip is slightly projected forward, creating an “underbite” effect. While these guidelines are not set in stone, adjusting them to fit your artistic style can help enhance the male and female characteristics in your drawings.

Hinting at Details

Outlining every tooth of the mouth may not always be necessary for a realistic appearance. Sometimes, hinting at the gum and allowing the viewer’s imagination to fill in the rest can create a more visually appealing result. Consider adding or omitting specific details based on your personal preference and the context of your character.

Adding Expressiveness

Once you have mastered the basic building blocks of the mouth, don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives. Asymmetry can convey dynamic expressions and add depth to your characters. Step out of your comfort zone and let your creativity flourish. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Examples and Inspiration

Take a look at these mouth shapes. Can you guess what emotions or situations these characters are conveying? Use your imagination and let these examples inspire your own unique creations.

Mouth Shapes Example


Drawing lips and mouths can be challenging, but with the right techniques and guidance from an experienced artist like Carlos Gomes Cabral, you can improve your skills and create captivating characters. Remember to experiment, embrace asymmetry, and allow your characters to express themselves through their mouths. Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be able to create stunning drawings that captivate and inspire. For more drawing tips and inspiration, make sure to follow Carlos on Instagram and visit his website.

Follow Carlos Gomes Cabral on Instagram | Visit Carlo’s Website

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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