How to Draw Lips – Real-Time Demo

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How to Draw Lips – Real-Time Demo

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Stan Prokopenko
The real-time demo from the step-by-step lesson on drawing lips.
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Cristina Kaiden
Lips!!! I did Proko lips by drawing along; then I tried 2 pics. I had a hard time seeing the darker areas, but I tried to shade what I saw in the pic. I’m not sure if the proportion on the middle lips is correct; I think they may be a little too wide. Any feedback is welcome and appreciated. Tia
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @Cristina Kaiden, I think you've done a pretty good job with these! I'll do my best to help you further: - Like with the nose, structure plays a big role in drawing lips (or anything 3D). It's important to "build" the mouth, the way you do with the mannequin in the figure drawing course. Building it makes sure that the perspective is right, and also the shading; In the middle drawing for example, the top lip is facing downward slightly, and the bottom lip up slightly, So the overall value of the bottom lip should be lighter, since it's facing the light more. The portrait drawing course mentions structure, but it doesn't give you any indepth practice drills. But the figure drawing course does that. If you want to improve you lip drawing, continuing to work on the figure drawing course aswell, is probably a good idea. - Try to pick photos with better lighting. In the second photo you drew from, the lighting is quite flat, making it more difficult to show the form. Look for well lit photos with clear light and shade. Also, when you google for "lips" or "eyes" or "nose", you usually end up with very stylized photos, ( some probably use photoshop) and you don't really get to see what the feature actually looks like. I prefer to type in a name, a celebrity, or someone you know will appear in google images, to avoid those "fake" lips. Hope this helps :)
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Warren Bonett
Trying to get to grips with lips, forgive the alliteration and the poor shading. I think I’ll practice this more on full portraits.
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Tobias Höglund
Asked for help
I would love some feedback on my lips drawings. Since red lips are so dark, it complicates the dark/light approach a bit. How can I approach that in the best way?
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Jessica Harrison
Tobias! The drawings are looking really nice and like Jesper said, the proportions are really well done. Jesper did a great job addressing the approach to the light vs dark of shading. To further on this, I think you can really push your drawings even more by pushing some more structure and volume to the forms of the lips. I included a couple diagrams to expand on this. I hope this helps!
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi Tobias! Thanks for posting the reference and nice drawings! I´m impressed with how accurate the proportions are! - With lips you have that ambient occlusion opportunity again, like with the nostrils. Adding it will give your drawings more depth   About your question: It can be a little tricky when there is a difference in local value. I would try this approach: 1. Do a line drawing so that you´re certain of the construction of the lips to inform your shading 2. Tone in the avarage local values 3. Now that the main relationships are set you can render each area the way Stan demonstrates; Separating light and shadow -> dark accents -> halftones. Making sure you don't break the big relationships you´ve already established, of course. I think that's the simplest way I can put it. If you want to dive deeper into shading and tackling such problems I would recommend Dorian Iten´s shading course https://www.theshadingcourse.com/ Hope this helps :)
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Founder of Proko, artist and teacher of drawing, painting, and anatomy. I try to make my lessons fun and ultra packed with information.