In the last lesson you learned about the nose and how to draw it step by step. Now it’s time to look at lips! Lips are very expressive. Many muscles working together to pull on various parts of the lips. Also it’s the only feature that involves bone movement.
the tooth cylinder that fits right between the nose and chin, can be simplified into a bloated tuna can. By bloated I just mean that the wall of the cylinder curves out rather than being flat. This comes into play when looking at the lips from any angle other than straight on. The bloated tuna can affects the surface forms of the lips. The center line of the lips gets pushed outward and when viewed from top or bottom, the lips wrap around the cylinder. Notice that from this angle, the corners of the lips are actually lower than the bottom of the bottom lip.
Try to avoid drawing the lips on a flat surface.
The orbicularis oris can also tighten to form an ‘O’, or to blow a kiss.
The lips attach to the tooth cylinder at the base of the nose and the top of the chin.
The top lip has three forms and the bottom lip has two. Think of these forms as squishy little pillows. The rounded form in the middle of the top lip (called the tubercle) is shaped like a heart and wedges between the two forms of the bottom lip. When looking at the lips from an angle, these forms overlap each other adding depth. When drawing a foreshortened object, I always look for overlapping lines to show a form is in front of another.
Overlapping forms are indicated by T intersections. The lower left overlaps the tubercle, the tubercle overlaps the lower right, the lower right overlaps the top right, and the top right overlaps the far corner.
Because the lips have a bit of moisture, the highlight will appear brighter and sharper than the highlights on the skin. Unless of course, the skin is also wet…
When shading the lips, pay attention to the minor planes changes of both the top lip and bottom lip. The darkest tones will usually be around the crease, corners and core shadows at the top of the top lip and bottom of the bottom lip. Each of the squishy pillows will have subtle tones indicating their volumes.
The ridge that borders the bottom lip is steep in the middle and softer on the outsides. The lower lip region has two pillars that angle inward toward the top. Together these two pillars form an arch under the bottom lip, which is often in shadow since it faces downward.
Think you absorbed all the information? Good! Move onto the next lesson where I cover how to draw the lips step by step.