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How to Draw Lips

Darren WK Chow

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In order not to spoil a portrait, it's important for art students to practice drawing individual parts of the face so that when the whole drawing comes together, it'll come out right. Most students who fail to draw a portrait successfully find that they do not have a strong drawing foundation yet. In other words, when it comes to drawing lines, drawing shapes, blending, working with contours and shadows, they're still struggling. No wonder the portrait doesn't come out right. You can tell that an art student's foundation is weak when he or she tells you that the faces always come out looking the same.

That's because these students keep drawing the same shapes over and over again without realizing it. They are not drawing what they see, but rather what they think they see. And they keep drawing noses that look alike, lips that look alike and so on. That's why the faces always come out looking alike.

To avoid this problem. art students can try taking the different features of a face apart and focus on drawing just one part: e. g. the lips. Start by building a large collection of lips images. Use them as reference images and work on just drawing lips alone.

The whole point of doing an exercise like this is to allow the student to pay attention to the subtle differences on the lips. To achieve this goal, drawing close-ups of lips will be particularly helpful.

Further separate the lips into the upper lip, and the lower lip. What happens when you have a thicker upper lip? What happens when you have a thicker lower lip? What happens when both lips are thin and so on. How do the lips appear when a person smiles? How about a laugh?

You'll find that lips can indeed take on many shapes and forms. Don't be put off just because there are so many different shapes and forms that the lips can take on. Instead, try matching each shape and form with the behavior of the subject. For example, when a lady is pouting, what is she thinking? This will make your lip drawing exercises more interesting.

Darren Chow is the founder and developer of, an online website that offers free drawing lessons, home study courses, and other drawing related resources. For more free resources like the one you've just read, please visit for free online drawing lessons .

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