How to draw lips: some good tips

Over in my webcomic I’ve introduced a female character called Kitsune. One of the things that I discovered when I was drawing her is that I didn’t have a systematic approach to drawing lips. This was a pretty odd experience for me, because I’ve been drawing and painting all my life, but suddenly I’m working in the static cartoon style and my old approaches just don’t work for the medium.

I had a look around for some inspiration on the net and found three really nice pages:

for creative style and inspiration, I love Funny Cute’s lips. Katie Rice, who’s worked on for people like Spumco (best known for Ren & Stimpy), did a really good post showing lots of close ups of different lip styles. She has some really nice tips in there for how to achieve a similar exaggerated look to her own. The images don’t all work as well as each other, but the number of them gives you the chance to compare and decide what you think is best.

if you’re looking for something more realistic or manga styled then try this tutorial from PolyKarbon. The images are pretty clear, but there are some nice tips in the text as well so it’s worth taking a few minutes to read.

finally, there’s this one from SheezyArt. It’s not the best bit of drawing in the world, and it’s very light on technical details, but it was actually a big help in thinking about the process of drawing in the cartoon style. I come from a background where I mix a load of paint then create the lips with a sculpted stroke of the brush, so it was useful to see the cartoon style broken down into simple steps like this.

‘Hope some of you find these useful!

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