9TH GRADE HUMANITIES 1B Mrs. Lawson
Unit #3 - Self Portrait Section 5 – Mouth, Part 1 & 2
DRAWING THE MOUTH
The mouth must be seen as shape, with all the elements of shading applied to it. The lips are composed of
toned shapes, not harsh outlines. Do not outline the lips, this will make them appear flat and unreal. It is not
necessary to draw every line and crease you see in the lips.
Look in the mirror and study your mouth. Look for the following values and changes in the planes of the
• Lips - The upper lip is always darker than the lower one. The upper lip angles “in” and the bottom lip angles “out.”
• Darkest Dark - Since the mouth does not project outwardly off the face, there will not be as dark a cast shadow below
it, so the darkest dark will be seen in the corner of the mouth, which is called the pit.
• Halftones - The shadows below the mouth remain fairly light, like those of a halftone.
• Highlight - The highlight or full light area of the lower lip is easy to see. The outward angle of the lower lip allows
light to bounce back (reflect).
• Reflected Light - This is always the hardest to see, can always be found on the upper lip, just above the edge where the
two lips touch.
• Teeth - There are no hard lines between the teeth. They are shaped by the dark spaces. The upper lip will cast a subtle
shadow across the teeth.
Part 1- Closed Mouth Drawing the Mouth Part 2 - Open Mouth
1. Create an accurate line drawing. Look for the
shapes. The shapes create the foundation or
frame for your entire drawing. Be sure that the
teeth are accurate in shape, size, and
placement. Also draw in the shapes of the
highlights and shadows.
2. Block in the values. Use your value scale to
judge the depth of tone. Look for the shadows
on the teeth, especially the lower ones. Add
any lip creases or line that are important to the
shape and character of the mouth you are
3. Blend and add details. Highlights should not
be drawn around, but lifted with your kneaded
eraser. This will make them appear as if they
are reflecting off of the top surface of the lips.
On the closed mouth, a hard edge is created
where the two lips come together. Do not draw
this as one continual, even line. Close
observation will show that this line varies in
width and in tone. The “pit” of the mouth at
the corners is essential to make the mouth seem
as if it is sinking into the face. Not just lying