Drawing Lips

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The highlighted area all around the lips is another often overlooked detail in portrait art. If you look closely at any person, you will see that we all have this area (ridge, whatever) around our lips. (It is especially obvious right at the corners of the mouth.)

When someone has a 5-O'clock shadow, it'll be particularly noticiable. The whiskers won't grow on this "ridge" all around the mouth. On other people (occasionally on people with darker skin) the ridge might be a little more obvious.

The mouth step-by-step:

  • Sketch the outline of the lips.
  • "Block in" the shading of the lips, putting more shading on the top lip, and leaving a highlighted area in the middle of the bottom lip, and some highlighted areas on the upper rim of the top lip.
  • Add more shading and rendering. Don't forget the "ridge" around the lips, and the shading around the mouth that suggests its structure. Add the darkest accents of tone to the corners of the mouth.

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