How to Draw Lips – Anatomy and Structure

Hello and welcome to Proko, my name is Stan Prokopenko. Today we’re learning about the lips. Lips are very expressive..

Hello and welcome to Proko, my name is Stan
Prokopenko. Today we’re learning about the lips. Lips are very expressive. Many muscles working
together to pull on various parts of the lips. Also it’s the only feature that involves bone
movement. BASIC FORMS the tooth cylinder that fits right between
the nose and chin, can be simplified into a bloated tuna can. By bloated I just mean
that the wall of the cylinder curves out rather than being flat. This comes into play when
looking at the lips from any angle other than straight on. The bloated tuna can affects
the surface forms of the lips. The center line of the lips gets pushed outward and when
viewed from top or bottom, the lips wrap around the cylinder. Notice that from this angle,
the corners of the lips are actually lower than the bottom of the bottom lip. Try to avoid drawing the lips on a flat surface. MAJOR PLANES The major planes of the lips are very simple.
They are very much like a staircase of 3 steps from the chin to the base of the nose. In
fact, if you look at the head from profile, the entire front of the face is like a staircase.
The major planes alternate from top plane to bottom plane. When drawing from a front view, this staircase
is usually indicated by alternating dark and light shapes. Dark, light, dark, light etc.. Let’s go over a little bit of anatomy I’ll probably go into more depth on the
anatomy in a future series. I plan on covering facial expressions, and the anatomy is important
to understand for that. For now, let’s just take a little peak. The red portion of the lips and the part directly
above and below is called the orbicularis oris. It originates at the corners of the
lips called the nodes. These nodes are visible as ‘bumps’ since so many muscles meet
and overlap here. In this simplified diagram you can see that there are a lot of muscles
that attach around the orbicularis oris and pull on it to form various expressions. The
orbicularis oris can also tighten to form an ‘O’, or to blow a kiss.. The lips attach to the tooth cylinder at the
base of the nose and the top of the chin. MINOR FORMS The top lip has three forms and the bottom
lip has two. Think of these forms as squishy little pillows. The rounded form in the middle
of the top lip (called the tubercle) is shaped like a heart and wedges between the two forms
of the bottom lip. When looking at the lips from an angle, these forms overlap each other
adding depth. When drawing a foreshortened object, I always look for overlapping lines
to show a form is in front of another. Overlapping forms are indicated by T intersections. The
lower left overlaps the tubercle, the tubercle overlaps the lower right, the lower right
overlaps the top right, and the top right overlaps the far corner. The local value of the red portion is different
from the local value of the skin. The relationship depends on the race of the person. With darker
skin, the lip could be lighter, and with lighter skin, the lip could be darker. If the person
is wearing lipstick, that would change the local value of the lips. Because the lips have a bit of moisture, the
highlight will appear brighter and sharper than the highlights on the skin. Unless of
course, the skin is also wet… When shading the lips, pay attention to the
minor planes changes of both the top lip and bottom lip. The darkest tones will usually
be around the crease, corners and core shadows at the top of the top lip and bottom of the
bottom lip. Each of the squishy pillows will have subtle tones indicating their volumes. This upper region of the lips usually has
a gradation revealing the rounded ‘tuna-can’ shaped tooth cylinder underneath. In the middle
of the upper lip region is the philtrum, a concave depression composed of two planes.
The darker plane of the philtrum will be on the opposite side of the dark on the overall
upper lip region. The edge of the upper lip has a small ridge,
or top plane that sometimes catches light. I try to play down this effect and avoid drawing
a white outline. This could look like a milk mustache. The ridge that borders the bottom lip is steep
in the middle and softer on the outsides. The lower lip region has two pillars that
angle inward toward the top. Together these two pillars form an arch under the bottom
lip, which is often in shadow since it faces downward. At the corners of the lips, there are bumps
where many of the muscles connect. The volume of the nodes is similar to a bean. When shading,
make sure to think of it as a rounded form that pinches inward. The roundness of the
bean creates a soft edge at the outside and top. The pinch creates a sharp edge at the
inside and bottom.

75 thoughts on “How to Draw Lips – Anatomy and Structure”

  1. 2:20 you are hilarious mate! xD
    I really like your humor, it's rounding up the informative tutorials and make it more fun to follow! Keep going.

  2. Your videos are great and helpful, you're great artist, i wish i was at your level. One question, is there a system that you do that can help learn anatomy better and faster on your own? Sometimes reading and drawing isn't helping as much as having someone there to teaching you ropes. 

  3. I've scoured the web for super informative and easy ways to draw certain facial features and angles, and your videos are the only ones that can execute that correctly. thank you!!

  4. Thank you for sharing, you cleared up my main problem in drawing lips. I'll be coming back to this video as I'm working to improve on drawing lips.Thank you!

  5. Thank you Stan! I had so much fun looking at this super practical and well done videos!!
    Thank again, ill share definetly !!

  6. I'm writing down and drawing in a notebook all the important imformation that you say to have sort of diary and also for learn. You say many interesting things so I spend like an half hour to draw and write all the important stuff. I have to admit that I take my time.
    Thanks for the videos and sorry of grammar mistakes I'm still learning english.

  7. your tutorials are informative, high quality, and funny XDD
    thank you for these tutorials you put up !! though some of them must be bought, I still learn many things from these free ones 😀
    just imagine what you can from the ones that are sold…sucks not to have money 🙁
    p.s. I now have a new term to se if i want to kiss someone
    "give me some of them sweet orbicularis orbis babeh" XD

  8. Hey, man. Hi. Sorry. You mention something about covering facial expressions.. Did you ever get around doing those? Thanks!

  9. I think a better comparison for the tooth cylinder is a cheese wheel, but the bloated tuna can works just as well. Also, great one with the Pac-Skull!

  10. I love the idea of the tuna can! I definitely draw lips too 2d-ish. I'd love to understand better how lips wrap around. I think you could go deeper on this subject. For example, you could address something no one does: how to draw an open mouth in different angles and with different.

  11. This guy is either a genius of dead-pan comedy or a legitimate psychopath. I… can't tell which. Great videos, though!

  12. I like these videos. I treat them, like I treat an interesting lecture. I'm taking notes and copying down the drawings that I think are the most important by hand. It means it takes me at least 30 min to get through one video, but this way I remember better

  13. I draw semi-realism now, since I wan't to stop drawing too much anime and wanna learn more about anatomy..

  14. Love your videos– so incredibly helpful. You mention a future video covering the muscles of facial expression– has this video/course been produced yet? I struggle with drawing faces, would definitely love to see a video over that topic!

  15. if these videos are any indication of the quality of the paid content, then it must be well worth it. Too bad I'm a broke-ass student

  16. drawing my father (realistic sketch) (part-2) please check out my YouTube channel and subscribe if you like the content and do share with others.

  17. These are great! I’m learning a lot. One suggestion: the color of the lips does not depend on the “race” of the person, but the person’s skin tone. Why do I make a distinction? Because categorizing a person by “race” can make it harder to actually observe the details of the particular individual, just because we have so many ingrained stereotypes, whether we want them or not.

  18. I watch many different artists, drawing and painting. There are only three in the hundreds of videos I watch that are worth the time. You are one of those three. I hate when the artist paints or draws without explaining what and why they are doing anything. Tutorials are for people to learn and you definitely know how to teach! thank you for taking the time to constantly update material and keeping teaching. BTW: I am a subscriber and I have also downloaded some of your material. Great stuff. Highly recommend it. It's worth the money and it's not really that expensive. Thanks again.


  20. thx for these videos, it's kinda difficult to understand it all due to english is not my mother language, but they definitely worth to have a translator next to me and search every missing word or those I don't know.Thanks proko.

  21. Idk if it's just my face (or the fact that im a kid) but that bean he mentioned at the corners of the lips doesn't really show up for me. It just looks like a 98% seamless transition, very smooth and not very bean like. I honestly don't know what's going on lol, but I'm not sure whether to add the bean when drawing myself or not.

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