How to Draw Lips

In this post I will show how to draw lips. Though they seem difficult to draw in the beginning, with right techniques lips are quite easy to draw and in fact are a great way to do quick pen drawing practice as they can be attempted and finished in under 20 minutes. Try one now. Template to practice provided at the end.

Most important thing to keep in mind when drawing lips is that broken mellow line should be used for outline along with dots and ticks for texturing. Avoid solid hard line as it gives feel of heaviness and takes away softness implied in lips.

Step 1: Draw Outline Using Broken Lines

Click on the image below to see details of how soft broken line is used to give a feel of softness to the outline. Top lip is usually 1/3 and bottom lip 2/3 in ratio but can be varied.


Step 2: Texturing

To bring out the feel of lips, following 2 things need to be accomplished.

  1. Give an indication of curvature of lips by tonal variation.
  2. Texture to give it a feel of lips.

Lips are not flat. This means depending on the direction of source of light, some area are darker (receiving less light) and some lighter. We assume light is falling straight on lips in this tutorial and in this case, area where lips meet and the outer peripheries of lips will be darker

The central part of both lips that bulge out will receive more light and hence will have ‘highlights’. Following shows typical tonal variations in lips.

In addition, lips also have ‘wrinkles’ that give it texture. They are drawn as tapered dark using dots as shown below. Draw these ‘wrinkles’ slightly curved as shown below to bring out the form of lips.

Start by using dots and ticks to darken area where lips meet. Also texture lips using curved ‘wrinkles’ as shown below.


Add wrinkles on the lower lip as well. Keep their distribution irregular.

To bring out the rounded feel for lips, darken slightly the outer edges of lips. This makes the central part ‘highlight’ as shown below. Adjust the overall tone and wrinkles to your liking. This finishes drawing of lips. Notice that darker area where lips meet is also slightly tapered to bring out form of lips.

You can easily improvise on it by adding more/less tone and texture to your liking. Below I added more tone and contrast to give it more impact.

Following is another example using similar steps.

Following is yet another example that shows how by using different volume of wrinkles and other irregularities on lip’s surface, you can give it age or character.

This completes this tutorial on drawing lips with pen. There is lot more to it but my aim here is to help you understand core techniques and get starting drawing it. You can use this template to give it a try.

Hope you liked the tutorial and it inspired you to do some pen drawing. If so let me know along with any suggestions for improving the content or suggestion for another tutorial.

Happy Drawing,


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