How to Draw Realistic Lips – Drawing Tutorial

Lips DemoHello all,

This week I am going to show you guys a little demo on how to draw realistic lips.

First, I suggest getting a reference photo to compare closely to. Creating a realistic representation of lips requires adding all the little nuances and lines in the lips, so having a reference photo will help you in achieving this.

lips1     Start off by drawing the outline of the lips. Pay attention to the general shapes from you reference photo. If you can’t seem to get the basic shapes quite right, you can always use the grid method to gain more accuracy.

lips2    Now, you can begin to darken the line in between the lips. Also, start drawing in contour lines on the lips. These lines follow the three-dimensional contours of the lips and help imply the shape.














lips3     Now, darken the inside of the mouth and add a little more to the line between the lips. Also, add a very light base of shading to the lips themselves. Pay attention to where you see highlights and shading.lips4

Here, I have added more shading to the lips and blended with a tortillon. You’re going to want to refer to your photo to show which areas have more shading. The very bottom of the lips, the corners of the mouth, and the inside of the lips are darker than the rest. You can also blend in the lines where the lips meet the skin to create a softer line. You can do this by erasing any harsh lines from your initial sketch. You also want to note where any little wrinkles and texture in the lips are and start to add those in.lipss1     Here is the final result. I have added the little wrinkles and lines in the lips, shaded where the lips hang over the teeth, and added some shading to the skin around the mouth. Also, I’ve added highlights to the lips that show where the light would reflect off them. You can find where to put the highlights by looking at your reference photo, but as a rule, there are generally highlights on the cupid’s bow of the upper lip, as well as the center of the lower lip, but keep in mind this will change based on where the light is coming from, so referring to your photo is always best.


I hope you have enjoyed this drawing demo. Please let me know if you have any questions on how to draw lips. Do you have any tips on drawing lips realistically? Are there any other demos you would like to see? I’d love to hear.



6 thoughts on “How to Draw Realistic Lips – Drawing Tutorial

    1. I know what you mean. It can be pretty painstaking to duplicate every detail of an object. And painting or drawing loosely and imaginatively can be a wonderful form of expression. Thank you for commenting!

  1. If only I could add a photo. I followed your steps the best I could, and it came out looking pretty good. I’m proud of myself. I’m glad I found this tutorial. Thank you!

    1. Oh wow. That is fantastic to hear! I wish i could see it too. I’m sure it’s great! Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for further tutorials.

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