How To Draw Lips In 9 Short Steps

How to draw lips is a skill that can enhance your artistic abilities and bring your portraits to life. Lips are a defining feature of the human face, and capturing their intricate details can add depth and emotion to your artwork. In this guide, we'll take you through a step-by-step process to help you master the art of drawing lips. Whether you're a budding artist or looking to improve your skills, our easy-to-follow instructions will assist you in creating realistic and captivating lip drawings. So, grab your pencils and let's embark on this creative journey together!

Acquire These Things Before Starting A Lips Drawing

Before you embark on your journey to draw lips, it's crucial to gather a few essential items and make necessary preparations to ensure a smooth and successful artistic process. Here's a detailed list of what you should acquire before starting a lip drawing:

  1. Quality Drawing Paper: Start with a good-quality paper that suits your preferred drawing medium, such as sketch paper, drawing paper, or watercolor paper. It should be sturdy enough to withstand the pressure of drawing and erasing.

  2. Pencils: Invest in a range of graphite pencils with varying hardness, like 2H, HB, 2B, 4B, and 6B. These will help you achieve different shades and textures in your lip drawing.

  3. Erasers: Keep both kneaded erasers for subtle corrections and a regular eraser for more significant changes and highlights.

  4. Blending Tools: Blending stumps or tortillons are handy for smoothing out graphite and achieving soft gradients.

  5. Reference Image: Find a clear and well-lit reference image of lips to guide your drawing. You can use a photograph or a live model, depending on your preference.

  6. Drawing Surface: Place your paper on a drawing board or easel to ensure a stable and comfortable drawing surface.

  7. Lighting: Proper lighting is essential to see the details and shadows clearly. Use natural light or a well-positioned artificial light source to avoid harsh shadows.

  8. Comfortable Workspace: Set up a comfortable workspace with a supportive chair, ample working space, and easy access to your drawing supplies.

  9. Patience and Perseverance: Drawing lips, like any form of art, requires practice and patience. Be prepared for some trial and error as you refine your skills.

Unlocking the Secrets Of How To Draw Lips: Short 9-Step Guide

before to start, study the anatomy of lips. Observe how the upper and lower lips meet and form various curves. Take note of the Cupid's bow on the upper lip and the soft, rounded contours. Understanding these details is essential for creating a realistic representation.

Step 1: Draw A Horizontal Line

To initiate your lip drawing, you'll want to create a strong foundation. Start by using a light pencil and carefully draw a straight horizontal line on your drawing surface. This line serves as the central reference point for the lips. Its positioning will determine the overall alignment and balance of your lips.

Consider the placement of this line carefully. Typically, it should be positioned at the mid-level of where you intend to draw the lips. This horizontal line represents the imaginary line where the upper and lower lips meet when the mouth is closed.

Draw A Horizontal Line

Step 2: Draw A Vertical Line

In this step, you will continue to build the foundation of your lip drawing by adding a vertical line. Using a light pencil, draw a straight vertical line in the middle of the horizontal line you created in Step 1. This vertical line serves as a reference point for the center of the lips.

The intersection of these two lines marks the point where the lips' center meets, and it helps maintain symmetry in your drawing. The vertical line also provides guidance for placing key features like the Cupid's bow on the upper lip and the center of the lower lip.

Draw A Vertical Line.png

Step 3: Draw A Vermillion And Down lip Line

In this step, you'll begin outlining the basic shape of the lips by drawing the vermillion and down lip lines. The vermillion border is the demarcation between the lips' pinkish-red portion and the surrounding skin. Using your preferred pencil, start at the intersection point of the vertical and horizontal lines, which you drew in the previous steps. This point represents the center of the lips.

Draw A Vermillion And Down lip Line

Step 4: Draw One More Line In Middle Of Vertical Line

In this step, we'll add another reference line to further guide the structure of the lips. Follow these instructions:

  1. Locate the vertical line you drew in Step 2. This line represents the center of the lips.

  2. Now, draw a second vertical line right in the middle of the existing vertical line. This new line will help define the middle of the upper and lower lips and will assist in creating a well-balanced and symmetrical lip structure.

  3. The new line should be drawn lightly, as it's a reference point and can be adjusted as needed to ensure the lips' proper alignment.

Draw One More Line In Middle Of Vertical Line

Step 5: Draw Upper Complete Lip

In this step, you will begin sketching the upper lip's complete shape. Follow these guidelines to achieve a natural and well-defined upper lip:

  1. Start at the center point of the vertical line (as established in Step 2). This point marks the midpoint of the upper lip.

  2. From this midpoint, gently draw the curvature of the upper lip. Pay close attention to the shape and contours of the lip, particularly the Cupid's bow, which is the "M" or "V" shape in the center of the upper lip.

  3. Extend the upper lip line from the center towards the corners of the mouth, following the natural curvature of the lips.

  4. Continue to refine the upper lip shape, ensuring that it remains symmetrical and balanced. Take your time to get the proportions and curves just right.

Remember that the upper lip's appearance can vary among individuals, so you may need to refer to your reference image or model to capture the unique characteristics accurately. This step focuses on outlining the upper lip, setting the stage for adding more details and depth in the subsequent steps.

 Draw Upper Complete Lip

Step 6: Draw Lower Lip Now

In this step, you will work on creating the lower lip, ensuring it complements the upper lip and maintains a natural, balanced appearance. Follow these steps:

  1. Start at the midpoint of the vertical line, which you previously established in Step 2. This point represents the center of the lower lip.

  2. Begin drawing the lower lip's shape by following its natural curvature. Pay attention to the gentle downward slope towards the corners of the mouth.

  3. Refine the lower lip's contours and edges, ensuring they align with the upper lip and maintain symmetry. The lower lip should be slightly thicker and have a different shape than the upper lip.

  4. Take your time to make adjustments as needed, keeping in mind that the lower lip often has subtle variations in shape, which contribute to the overall character of the lips.

As you work on the lower lip, remember to maintain symmetry and proportion between the upper and lower lips. This step lays the foundation for the detailed work to come in subsequent steps, helping you create a lifelike and harmonious representation of the lips.

 Draw Down Lip Now

Step 7: Remove Straight Horizontal Line

In this step, we'll remove the straight horizontal line that you initially drew as a reference in Step 1. The purpose of this line was to guide the initial alignment and symmetry of the lips. Now that you've outlined the upper and lower lips and created their shapes, you can carefully erase this reference line.

Use a gentle touch with your eraser to eliminate the horizontal line while being cautious not to smudge or damage the surrounding parts of your drawing. Removing this reference line will allow you to appreciate the defined contours and proportions of the lips and prepare your artwork for further detailing and shading in the upcoming steps.

Remove Straight Horizontal Line 

Step 8: Colour Upper Lip

In this step, you'll add shading and color to the upper lip to create depth and dimension. Follow these guidelines:

  1. Select a pencil or a shading tool that matches the color of the upper lip. For the upper lip, this would usually be a shade of pink or red, but the exact color can vary depending on the lighting and the individual's lip color.

  2. Start shading the upper lip, beginning with the vermillion border (the outer edge) and working your way inward. The vermillion border is typically darker, so use a slightly darker shade for this area.

  3. Gradually transition to a lighter shade as you move toward the center of the upper lip, leaving the center part highlighted to create a three-dimensional effect.

  4. Pay attention to the natural highlights and shadows on the upper lip, such as those around the Cupid's bow and along the curves.

  5. Use gentle, even strokes to achieve a smooth and realistic appearance, and blend the colors to avoid harsh lines.

The shading and coloring in this step are essential for giving your upper lip depth and a lifelike appearance. Continue to refine the shading until you are satisfied with the result. This step prepares the upper lip for the final details and reflections in the upcoming steps.

 Colour Upper Lip

Step 9: Colour Lower Lip

In this final step, you'll add shading and color to the lower lip to bring it to life and complete your lip drawing. Follow these instructions:

  1. Select a pencil or shading tool that matches the color of the lower lip. The lower lip typically has a shade that complements the upper lip but may be slightly darker or lighter, depending on individual characteristics.

  2. Begin shading the lower lip by focusing on the vermillion border (the outer edge) first. This area is typically slightly darker, so use a darker shade for this section.

  3. Gradually transition to a lighter shade as you move inward towards the center of the lower lip, leaving the central portion highlighted. This creates a sense of depth and three-dimensionality.

  4. Pay attention to the natural highlights and shadows on the lower lip, especially around the center and along the curves of the lip.

  5. Use gentle, even strokes to achieve a smooth and realistic appearance, and ensure that the colors are well-blended to avoid harsh lines.

Adding shading and color to the lower lip enhances its dimension and realism, completing the overall appearance of the lips. Take your time to refine the shading until you are satisfied with the result. With the upper and lower lips both colored and detailed, your lip drawing is now ready to showcase the intricacies and nuances of this facial feature.

 Colour Lower Lip

In summary, the process of drawing lips involves a series of carefully orchestrated steps. It begins with establishing reference lines for symmetry and proportion, then progresses to outlining the lip shape, defining the vermillion border, and finally, adding shading and color to bring the lips to life. These steps collectively contribute to the creation of a lifelike and balanced portrayal of this essential facial feature. By following this structured approach, you can unlock the secrets of how to draw lips and achieve impressive results in your artistic endeavors.


In conclusion, mastering "How to Draw Lips" is a journey that combines artistic skill, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of lip anatomy. Through the nine steps outlined in this guide, you can unlock the secrets to creating realistic and captivating lip drawings. Starting with reference lines for symmetry and proportion, progressing through the intricate details of the vermillion border, and concluding with the addition of shading and color, you can achieve impressive results in your artwork. The key to success lies in patience, practice, and a commitment to honing your craft. So, as you embark on your artistic endeavors, remember that perfecting the art of drawing lips is an attainable and rewarding skill that will enhance your abilities as an artist.


Q1: How To Draw Lips From Photo?

  1. Triangle Method: Draw a long isosceles triangle, use the bottom line of the triangle as the guide for the bottom lip and a U-shape inside the top point for the cupid’s bow. Draw a curved line that meets the base of the triangle to create the bottom lip. Erase the triangle construction lines. If you want to make the mouth slightly open and draw in teeth, draw the opening of the mouth by using the horizontal line as a guide for the top of the bottom lip. Then, sketch out the teeth inside.

  2. Small Circle Method: Draw three circles in a triangle formation. Draw the line between the top lip and the bottom lip between the three triangles and draw the lips around the circles.

Here is a step-by-step guide to drawing lips in pencil:

  1. Draw a long isosceles triangle, a u-shape, and a straight horizontal line.
  2. Connect the ends of the horizontal line with the U-shape to create a bow.
  3. Draw a curved line that meets the base of the triangle to create the bottom lip.
  4. Decide on the light direction.
  5. Shade the top and bottom lip.
  6. Add lip wrinkles.
  7. Blend the bottom lip.
  8. Clean up highlights.

Q2: How To Make Perfect Lips?

  1. Exfoliate: Use a lip scrub or a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently exfoliate your lips. This will remove dead skin cells and make your lips smoother.

  2. Moisturize: Apply a lip balm or petroleum jelly to keep your lips hydrated and prevent them from drying out.

  3. Outline: Use a lip liner to outline your lips. This will help define the shape of your lips and prevent your lipstick from bleeding.

  4. Apply lipstick: Choose a lipstick that complements your skin tone and apply it evenly on your lips.

  5. Blot: After applying lipstick, blot your lips with a tissue to remove any excess product.

  6. Highlight: Apply a small amount of highlighter on the cupid’s bow to make your lips look fuller.

Q3: What Are Butterfly Lips?

Butterfly lips is a lip-filler technique that has been gaining popularity on social media. It involves injecting filler into the corners of the mouth, creating a natural-looking pout that resembles the wings of a butterfly. The technique draws upon the ‘Russian’ injecting technique where the filler is added vertically to give the lip height and define the Cupid’s bow. Some people are lauding it as the best way to get “perfectly” shaped lips, but others are skeptical. As with any treatment, there are pros and cons. If you’re interested in getting butterfly lips, it’s important to go to a well-trained practitioner who understands the various compartments of the lip complex and what depth and position to inject the filler

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