Zygomatic Major The Openmouthed Smile

Sketching Smile

In drawing the smile, the challenge is visualizing the third dimension while working in only two. The smile-deepened nasolabial fold, for example, swings outward at 45 degrees (A), but at the same time it's moving backward (opposite page). The reason the teeth, chin, and upper lip begin to darken (B) is that that's where they're turning to the side, away from the light.


In this schematic representation of the planes of the smile, the front portion of the smile is relatively flat; the sides angle sharply backward. The "cords" (D) that frame the smile can be seen as continuing the front plane of the face, while the dimple (E) falls around the corner, on the side of the face. Notch is at (F).


Zygomaticus Major

In the open smile, the lips always point in the general direction of the lower part of the ear. A notch extends beyond where the teeth end (A); it does not follow the curve of the teeth. The lips turn to the side directly below the end of the base of the nose (B). One deep, angled crease above the mouth often turns into two shallower creases below (C). The smile has a notch in the corner, short, narrow, and bending away from the rest of the lip. It can either angle up or go straight across. It's always in deep shadow and is often crossed at the end by a deep, almost vertical fold, like the bar crossing a t (D). (E) marks the turning on the far side, where teeth and lips are sharply foreshortened.

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