In this screencast portrait drawing lesson I share with you how I think about the structure of the lips. Thinking about the structure of the lips is completely different than using angles, shapes and tone to map out the lips on paper.
The key element to keep in mind when drawing lips is that you are simply drawing two horizontal cylinders on top of one another. You are not drawing lips via a harsh outline, you are drawing two soft cylinders.
The key element to look out for is how is the light hitting these two horizontal cylinders. Usually the light comes from up above. This places the upper lip in shadow, the lower lips usually catches a ton of light. The lower lips casts a shadow on the chin. Again avoid outlining the lips completely.
Too many artists tend to separate the lips from the face with a dark harsh outline. You will really want to allow the lower lip to merge with the skin tone. The value of the lips is just about the same value as one’s skin tone. Again their are no absolutes but this tends to be the case most of the time. Of course dark lipstick throws a monkey wrench into this theory.
You will also want to add multiple angles on the line that separates the two lips. Avoid using an overly simplistic straight line to separate the upper and lower lip. If you implement some of these techniques you should see improvement no doubt.
If you are interested in learning more consider a membership to Drawing Tutorials Online. You will gain access to every lesson in the course, plus be able to download the PDF that compliments this portrait drawing course immediately.
Thanks so much for taking the time to watch.
This is an outstanding tutorial, Matt.
It illuminates simple, but important concepts.