Drawing a Realistic Mouth with Graphite | Matheus Macedo | Skillshare

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Drawing a Realistic Mouth with Graphite

teacher avatar Matheus Macedo, Realistic Drawing Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (1h 1m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Intro to Sketching

    • 4. Front View 1

    • 5. Front View 2

    • 6. Front View 3

    • 7. Side View 1

    • 8. Side View 2

    • 9. Three-quarter View 1

    • 10. Three-quarter View 2

    • 11. Intro to Final Project

    • 12. First Layer

    • 13. Upper Lip

    • 14. Lower Lip

    • 15. Final Touches

    • 16. Conclusion

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About This Class

Learn how to draw realistic mouths like a master! This class is split in two different sections: in the first part we are going to learn how to sketch lips and mouths in three different views (frontal, side and three-quarter) free hand with many dynamic exercises; in the second part we will focus on how to draw a super realistic mouth from start to finish using only graphite. 

This class doesn’t require prior knowledge, because there are secrets that make realistic drawing accessible to anyone. Of course, different artists will have different results depending on their experience, but if you are a totally beginner, this is the opportunity to take your first steps :) 

In this class you will learn:

  • All the materials used for realistic drawings in graphite;
  • How to sketch mouths in different views;
  • How to draw a realistic mouth from scratch.

By learning how to approach this theme, you will be able to create fantastic mouths for your portraits using only graphite.

For this class you will need basically paper, graphite pencils and other drawing tools presented in the Materials video and the attached pdf list file.

About me

My name is Matheus Macedo and I'm fascinated by making realistic drawings, especially portraits. I firmly believe everyone is able to draw as I do, so my goal is to help you achieve your full potential as an artist.

Join us in this jorney and follow me on Skillshare to be uptaded about all my classes :)

Meet Your Teacher

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Matheus Macedo

Realistic Drawing Artist



Hello, everyone! My name is Matheus and I am focused on realistic drawing using graphite, charcoal and colored pencil. I have been doing realistic drawings for years, always pushing myself toward improving my skills in order to become better and better.

Through the years I had the opportunity to study with many great art teachers around the world, and each one gave me a different perspective on art. Some of them are able to tackle an entire project in a few hours, whereas others would spend days to go through a drawing from beginning to end, all of that depending on how detailed they wanted their pieces to be, or what materials they use and so on. After all I was able to develop my own approach for black and white and colored drawing... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Matheus Macedo, and I'm a Realistic Drawing Artist. I have been teaching drawing for years and my favorite mediums are graphite, charcoal, and colored pencil. This class is designed for everyone who wants to get better at drawing lips and it's split in two different sections. The first one one focused on sketching the structure. I'll be showing you a method to simplify the process of drawing mouths in three different views; front, side, and three quarter. These videos are short, right to the point, and you'll have a chance to practice a lot with many dynamic exercises. The second section is dedicated to the final project, which is aimed to showing that how to do a holistic shading. I have plenty of tips and tricks to share with you to make your drawing stand out. All the materials will be list and shown and I'll be giving you all the resources you need to enjoy the videos in the best possible way. You don't need prior knowledge or experience to take this class. Just enroll to it and lets draw together. 2. Materials: Now let's take a look on all the materials I used for this class. If you don't have all of them, it's okay. Do your best with the tools you have at hand. Initially, I will be using a common paper for the varied mouth views. It's known as offset or printing paper. Cheap and easy to be found. The final project will be drawn on a piece of Lana Bristol paper. But any smooth, thick paper will do. their are papers in different colors, they may be white or yellowish. You choose the color according to your taste. When it comes to the surface, for realistic drawings, I prefer to work with smooth papers. I would recommend picking out a paper with medium to high thickness. Its weight should be at least 150 grams per square meter. All the drawings are going to be quite small, so you don't need papers bigger than A4 size. For the final projects, I chose Lana Bristol paper. Some other good papers are Fabriano for 4L, Strathmore 300 Series - Bristol Smooth, Hahnemuhle Nostalgie and Canson XL Bristol. There are different grades for graphite pencils and you don't need a complete set to take this class. I'm going to use only an HB, a B, a 2B and a 4B. This is the standard [inaudible] , which is my favorite brand. For these sketches, I will be using the Faber-Castell 9,000 Series, but you don't need to use different brands guys. I use also a 0.5mm mechanical pencil with 4B graphite lead. A kneaded eraser will be used in this class. The Tombow MONO zero 2.3mm stick eraser, and I use a utility knife to chamfer the eraser. Eventually a common figure stick eraser might be useful to. A pencil eraser can be a cheap alternative if you don't have a stick eraser. Blinding stamps or dirty lens, are you going to be used. I have only two in different sizes. Number one and number three. This is the piece of toilet paper, I use as tissue. Fold it in triangles three times, to have more control over it. And fold one of its tips to be able to see what you are [inaudible].[MUSIC] When it comes to sharpening, you can use a pencil sharpener, but you can also sharpen your pencils using a utility knife if you prefer. I use some brushes for blading. They are all flat and I trim one of them to have a firmer brush which helps to make the graphic grip on to the paper. The others are more delicate and helpful for shading too. A soft long haired brush for cleaner your drawings is useful and it's better to use it than blowing the dust and crumbs from the paper. It prevents you from speeding and ruining your drawing. And that's it.[MUSIC] 3. Intro to Sketching: Now you'll watch a series of videos on how to draw lips in different views. These videos will put more emphasis on the structure, on how to simplify the shape and determine the size and placement of the drawing on the paper. I will also show you now how to shade in a fast way. The realistic approach will be presented in the second part of the class. So let's learn how to draw mouth seen front, side and three-quarter views. 4. Front View 1: Let's start with drawing mouth in front view. I like to draw a line that runs through the two corners of the mouth. As it is a front view, this line will be horizontal. I'm using an HB pencil and I know it's going to start off with this pencil. Check the extreme points on the left and right so you are already determining the size of your drawing and where it will be placed on the paper. Let's prepare the mouth outline. I start by drawing everything in straight lines because they are easy to do. Hold the pencil further back so that it makes you draw lighter, and allows you to see clearly taking your hand out of the way. Here, you should pay attention to the proportions. Compare the height of the lips with the width of the mouth to get a better idea of the measurements. Notice how I divide both lips into three parts. Dividing your drawing into simpler geometric shapes makes the process easier. Now we can draw the mouth in its natural shape, adding or [inaudible] lines to the drawing. You can use a darker pencil like the B if you want. In this step, the strokes are firmer, so can hold the pencil closer to its tip, as we do when writing. After that, we are going to erase these structural lines. Our initial sketch is done. Here the video is accelerated because this is not a super realistic finish that I am giving you to this sketch. Anyway, what I'm doing here is, first of all, erasing the construction lines. Then I use the 4B pencil to establish the darkest values of the piece because afterwards, we work with the intermediate tones. I will cover the lips with successive layers of graphite until I reach the shades I desire. For this, I like to start with lighter pencils like the B, and gradually, move on to the 2B and 4B pencils. These two pencils will help to darken the drawing giving it depth. In these sketches, I did not use any tools to blend the graphite, but you can try the blending stamps, for example, if you want. These tools will be used a lot in our final project. Here everything was done using only graphite pencils, which is a good way to understand the possibilities each pencil provides. We are done with our first mouth. Let's move on to practice more. 5. Front View 2: Now we're going to draw another mouth in front view, but this time it is slightly open and showing the teeth. The process will be repeated, starting with a horizontal line which runs from one corner to the other. Set down the extreme points, determine the size of your drawing and the position on the paper. I'm using the HB pencil. Simplify the outline using straight lines. Again, each lip will be split into three straight segments. Having done this previous structure, we will draw the mouth as it is using more natural lines. The challenge here is to get the mouth opening correct. When we're looking at the figure, sometimes we are not able to perceive the measurements very well because we're deceived by the play of light and shadow. In fact, these values influence our perception. Dark areas may appears paler. For example, you have to trust your eyes and you can try to take measurements using your pencil or a ruler. When drawing teeth, avoid doing sharp lines separating one tooth from the other. The separation between them is actually given by a more intense shadow instead of a very sharp line. We are going to work more on the effect when shading. Now we're going to speed up the view to show the entire finishing process, starting by setting the darkest values using the 4B pencil and then going back to lighter pencils like B and some B for the intermediate tones. Make the 1st layer for the entire piece with the B pencil and then push the shadows where you feel like. Let us watch. 6. Front View 3: Our third front view is the smile. The process is similar in the sense that I start again with a line that runs from one corner of the mouth to the other. It's almost horizontal, but it's slightly inclined. The first-line done, now I try to draw the line that separates the upper and lower lips. It is enlarged line because of the smile. Having the corners of the mouth marked, everything gets easier, because we know where the starting and ending points of the arc are. From now on, we follow the process we already know. We did a geometric outline of the mouth, trying to adjust the size of the lips. Bear in mind that here at this stage, you can use a slightly darker pencil like a B, although I prefer to continue with the HB. What we do here won't be that visible in the finished piece, as you may have noticed in the previous sketches. We're going to finish another drawing. Notice, I usually draw not only the mouth itself but also the skin around it. There is a reason for this. The mouth is not an entity separate from its context, from what is around it. I do not recommend, for example, that you draw sharp lines around the mouth because the mouth is different skin, but it's still a skin. We'll see these in more detail when we do the final project. 7. Side View 1: The process for drawing a side view of a mouth has its particularities, but it isn't that hard to do in my opinion. I like to start with a horizontal line for reference as usual and mark where the corner of the mouth we can see is going to be. This horizontal line will help us to draw the opening angle of the mouth. Notice in the photo where the reference points I used are to define the angle. For example, on the lower lip, I used the point where the lip ends and the skin begins under the mouth. You do not need to take the same reference point I took, but you must stick to the points you chose until finishing the sketch. The less structural line is the one that passes through the rightmost points of both lips. This inclination needs to be understood to make your drawing correspond to the reference photo. Now, let's finish it. 8. Side View 2: Here's another side view now with a female mouth showing the teeth. Once again, I start with horizontal line and mark the mouth's corner point. Now we are going to define the opening angle of the mouth, which is always a little challenging. Finally, we make that line that shows how far forward one lip is in relation to the other. In the end, we'll have a triangle. The triangle done, it becomes much easier to draw the mouth as it actually is. When it comes to finishing the drawing, remember what I said about the teeth, do not make very sharp lines separating one tooth from the other, but work the difference in shades of gray so that they will look more realistic. 9. Three-quarter View 1: Now, let's study the three-quarter view. The process is like that of the front view. As usual, I start with the line from one corner of the mouth to the other. Quit often, this line shows a slight declination. Then we proceed with the contour of the lips. Since the corner of the mouth on the left is hidden, the upper and lower lips have a different shape on that side. I felt the need to slice that side of the mouth. Despite that the lips can once again be simplified into three straight segments. While I was drawing I incorrectly estimated the lower lips height. It's no big deal. Do not hesitate to make corrections if you spot an error. Now we have reached the stage of the organic lines. Here, I switch it to the B pencil. There is the last step, the shading. Let's watch the process one more time. 10. Three-quarter View 2: Here we are to another mouth sketch, and this is the last of this series. In this case, the mouth has a slight inclination, so I'll use a horizontal line to give me a hand. I believe this is handy for us to figure out the inclination of the line passing through the corners of the mouth. Sometimes I erase the horizontal line to clean the drawing. After all, its only use is to help with the inclination. Once the width of our outline is established, the next step is to draw the contour of the mouth with straight lines. It's time to add natural lines to the sketch. Notice that this mouth is slightly open, showing the teeth a little bit. They will be somewhat hidden in the shadows, but this is the thing that makes the drawing more interesting. Finally, let's do the shading. Since we have here a black skin, use more of the darker pencils, especially the 4B, but don't forget the highlights. They provide volume to the drawing and are concentrating on the lower lip. 11. Intro to Final Project: We are done with the first part of this class. Now, we move on to our final project. In the next video, our focus will be on how to make our drawings look more realistic. For doing so, we're going to use some blending tools which are tissue, blending stamps and brushes. For the highlights, we are going to use also the erasers. Since we have already seen many examples on how to prepare the sketch freehand, now we're going to start from the shading. Let's get started. 12. First Layer: Well, let's begin with this realistic mouth. As usual guys, I like to start off by setting the darkest values on the paper. Here, I am using the 0.5 Millimeter mechanical pencil with 4B graphite lid. Establishing the extreme values gives us the references we need to work on the intermediate values. Knowing the lightest and darkest values gives you a starting, and arrival point. The darkest values are on the corners of the mouth in the center and below the lower lip; there is not a continuous line separating the lips. Be aware of that if you really want to achieve a realistic result. The following step is to make the first graphite layer. I am using the B pencil. I draw many straight parallel lines. My hand is light, you don't need to force it. The upper lip will be completely covered. On the lower lip instead, leave empty the illuminated area in the middle. You can shade the skin around the mouth as well. Rub the tissue in circular motions to blend the graphite. You can rub it including the area we left blank on the lower lip. It is important to let this area and lighter, but it doesn't mean it's pure white; it's a light shade of gray instead. On the first layer, we are going to repeat the procedure until we reach the general values of the reference. We are not focusing on the details yet, but I'm adding value to the drawing. Anyway, I will do some texture lines because the tissue may make some of them disappear, which is not good. User a B or 2B pencil for this. You may have noticed the upper lip is darker, so I will be using the 2B and 4B pencils more often here. Darken the darkest areas with the 2B for now around the lightest area of this lip. Then later we will blend and drag the graphite to that area using the tissue. On the lower lip, I use more the B pencil for it being lighter. Observe there is a bit of shadow cast by the upper lip on the lower, right there on the top, this is the thing that's important. Don't forget to darken the skin on the lower area of the drawing. We're still going to work a lot on that area until we reach the desired tones. The 2B pencil is a good choice for this task. The shadow below the lower lip is not sharp. There is a gradient around that shadow. Then with the 4B pencil, shade the surrounding area and blend the graphite with the tissue. For a more controlled and less aggressive effect, use a flat or a cat's tongue brush. I use the blending stump to work on smaller areas where there is no problem to work with blemishes. It's the case of the area around in this shadow. Darken a little bit also the skin over the lips, and then we'll move on to their textures. 13. Upper Lip: Now we're going to draw our attention to the upper lip. I will reinforce once again some of the wrinkles using the 2B pencil because I feel the necessity to darken further this lip. That being done, I will keep on darkening the area using the same 2B pencil. The corners of the lips and its lower portion are still darker, so you will probably need a 4B pencil here. For now, I'm still with the 2B pencil. I will start to do the core shadows in order to give volume to the wrinkles on the lip. Here, take some time to observe attentively and ask yourself where the light is brighter. Where are the shadows? Figuring out where the light and shadows are is the key to create the effect we wish. From a general point of view, we know the light is coming down, as you can figure or observe in the darkest shadow below the lower lip and for the light spot in the center of this lip. Later, we will use the eraser to do the highlights. With the 4B graphite, I'll keep on pushing the shadows because I'm not satisfied yet. This is how I work, guys. I hardly darken the drawing all at once. My pace is a bit slow as if I were sculpting the drawing from the surface. Each artist has their particular workflow, and I feel more at ease drawing this way. At the end, use the brush to soften the grainy look of the 4B graphite. Don't use the tissue here anymore. It will undo the careful work we have just done. 14. Lower Lip: Now it's time to give more definition to the lower lip as it is lighter and a bit more careful when darkening it. I started using the B pencil, doing at the same time the shady and the bumpy texture we see on its surface. Also notice the shadow that is on the upper area of this lip that is cast by the upper lip. Use the brush for blending. Here is like we did on the upper lip, doing this shading more attentively. Use the B or the 2B pencil. Try them on a separate paper to see what works best for you. The pencil I use not necessarily will be the same you will. It depends on the pressure you apply on the pencil, depends on the paper you are using, depends even on the brand of your pencil. Let's take a look on how to do the shading. The brush and the [inaudible] stamp are really hand in this step. The former reduce the graininess on the surface, and the latter blends the graphite on more specific areas. Pick a thinner stamp if you have one. I'm using the tissue on the edges of the lip because I feel the transition between the mouth and the skin's not good enough yet. I still need to work on the merging of both areas. We are still going to retouch these parts in the last stage of our class. 15. Final Touches: We arrived at our last stage. I'm using the stick eraser to add the more intense light spots I see on the mouth. Try to bring to your drawing the textures we see on the photo. That the effect of the eraser is a bit too strong, so that I rub the brush later to attenuate the brightness. It's like gray, not white. Do the same on the lower lip. Observe on the reference photo where your highlights are. I'm not satisfied the edge with the skin tone, so we darken it further. If you can, do little blemishes using the B02 or 2B pencil to mimic the skin texture. Then blending the graphic with the brush, the effect will look soft and interesting. Around the lower lip, the skin is a bit lighter, but be careful so as not to exaggerate this value. It's still a dark gray. It's just a little less dark than what we see below it. The border of the upper lip also shows some tiny highlight to the texture. Do them using a pencil eraser if you have or the Tombow MONO Zero Stick Eraser or similar. I'll get a chance to do the texture above using a light pencils such as the HB and the blending stump. Now, I'm doing the last touches to get this drawing done. That's it. I really hope this tutorial was useful to you and it will help you to improve the way you shade your drawings. Thank you so much for watching. 16. Conclusion: Here we are at the end of this class. I really hope you had many insights watching the videos. The final project took me around three hours to be done. If you want to have a result like mine, don't rush. By the way, rushing when drawing is never a good idea in my opinion. I want to thank you for watching the videos. Please, if you like them, leave a review to this class. It will help me and encourage me a lot to keep on recording video tutorials. Thank you so much and see you in the next class. Bye.