Shading the mouth

Lip Shapes Drawing

Don't drop the ball

We could, in a manner of speaking, say that the lips contain "five balls," that is, the lips form rounded shapes. These shapes may not appear in many mouths, but if you are sensitive to them, you will seek them when you shade the mouth.

Shading Mouth

What to look for

Within the lip there are small lines or grooves. Use caution here, as they are usually subtle. Shading in the direction of the lip structure will help you define the roundness of the lips.

Lip Shading

Correct shading

Though upper and lower lips are about the same shade, artists usually shade the upper lip darker than the lower lip. This will help differentiate the two lips and add to the illusion of depth in the work.

Pencil Realistic Drawing Illusion

Think of a pumpkin

Consider a pumpkin when you shade the mouth. The ribs of the pumpkin help define its roundness. The "ribs" of the mouth help to define the roundness of the lip. This concept of shading something while thinking of the roundness of a pumpkin, is the same for shading mustaches, hair and other features.

Human Mouth Drawings

Lip rims

Around the mouth you might see a lighter area caused by a lip rim. This is a narrow area where light is captured around the mouth.

Lip rims

Around the mouth you might see a lighter area caused by a lip rim. This is a narrow area where light is captured around the mouth.

Other mouth shapes

The mouth forms a barrel, or rounded shape, over the teeth. There may be pouches and dips of lighter or darker areas caused by the shape of the underlying teeth, jaw and muscles.

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