How to Paint On Procreate: The Lips | Alessia Sketchbook | Skillshare

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How to Paint On Procreate: The Lips

teacher avatar Alessia Sketchbook, Visual Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

14 Lessons (41m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Overview & Bonus

    • 3. Pre-requisites

    • 4. Class Project

    • 5. Structures & Beans

    • 6. Practice: 3/4 View

    • 7. Practice: Side View

    • 8. Project: Canvas & Structure

    • 9. Project: Basic Drawing

    • 10. Project: Colour Part 1

    • 11. Project: Colour Part 2

    • 12. Export & Share

    • 13. Other Example: Time-lapse

    • 14. Thank You & What's Next

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About This Class

In this class, you'll learn how to paint lips on Procreate, whether it's on their own or as part of a portrait.

We'll be using an iPad Pro, an Apple Pencil, and the app Procreate. 


You can choose to apply the same strategy and method even when you work with any other medium because we'll focus on how to build a structure that gives us correct proportions and perspective since the beginning of the process. 

Portraits can be quite challenging, it can be difficult to convey the personality behind the picture when we're struggling with the basics of drawing.

Once you get all of the technical difficulties out of the way, you can really express your style and message with your art. 

In this class we'll talk about:

  • How to observe an image by sketching on it
  • How to simplify proportions by associations

  • How to draw correctly, no matter how complex the image

  • How to add colour and details for immediate impact

  • How to export the file for sharing

I'll share all my tips & tricks for an enjoyable experience and fast skill acquisition. I've also included a mini ebook with all you need to remember even after you finished your class.

This class is for you if:

  • You enjoy creating realistic art

  • You're familiar with Procreate and you're confident using it independently

  • You want to level up your skills by learning through a new method rather than a tutorial

Class level: 

  • Intermediate - Advanced

If you're a beginner:

  • You're welcome to watch the class and try new things out

  • I've included the link to the Procreate Handbook, so you can learn the basics

This class is part of a series. 
Watch "How to Paint On Procreate: The Eyes" and "The Power of Light and Shadow: A Guide for Beginners" to complement your skills and learn even faster!

Have fun and make art!


Meet Your Teacher

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Alessia Sketchbook

Visual Artist


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1. Introduction: The lips are one of the most important features on our faces. They can communicate happiness or surprise. They can also be painted with makeup and represented in art, whether it's on the run or a spot of a portrait. We can draw them as they are in a realistic way or we can simplify them. Whatever is our choice, I believe that creating something impactful and beautiful can be achieved by anyone as long as we have the right steps in place. Hi, I'm Alessia, and I'm a visual artist based in London. I work in different media from painting to mix media to 35 millimeters photography. But when I started making art, I was initially inspired by people and nature. Every time I can, I take my iPad and I start creating realistic drawing and paintings that I can share with my audience online. Today, I want to invite you to create with me by painting some beautiful lips on iPad Pro and Procreate. Portraits can be especially challenging because they represent human beings and that's the power of it. They can really communicate a lot to anyone looking at them, but at the same time they can be broken down in different parts, such as eyes, nose, and mouth, or lips. This class is part of a series that simplifies all of them. Today we're going to focus on the lips, and we can see how we can simplify them into shapes, line, and circles. We also associate them with other objects such as beans, pillows, and globe maps. I'll show you lots of tips and tricks to draw with the correct proportions and perspective. We can use these tools to help us draw with the best possible foundation so that we can have a beautiful, colorful painting that is going to have your own touch. I've also included a mini e-book that you can take anytime, anywhere so that you can draw on your iPad. This class is for you, if you're already confident drawing on Procreate on your own. Although I occasionally mention how we use brush and layers, I think that these things are not necessarily important because drawing and painting are skills that can be achieved with any technique and is about practice and learning new ways of seeing things. I'll show you my way of doing things from start to finish, but I encourage you to find your own way to work with these materials, even on an iPad. If you want to learn how to draw realistic lips on iPad Pro, this is the class for you. Let's jump to the first lesson. 2. Class Overview & Bonus: In this lesson, we'll have a look at the structure of the class, so that you can have an idea of all the things that we're going to learn in practice. This class can be divided in two main parts. In the first half, we're going to discuss what you need to get started your class project, and the method that we're going to apply to draw and paint on our iPad. It's a very simple strategy that's going to start from, it's a version of our image which in this case is going to be pictures of women, and we focus on the lips in particular. We analyze different views such as brand, [inaudible] and side view, and then we break it down into simple shapes that will help us grow them in sketch with correct proportions, and perspective no matter how complex the picture can look. I'll go through all of my secret tricks that always get my drawing started in the best possible way. In the second part, I'll show you my way of painting the lips from the blank canvas to the final painting, ready to share with anyone you want. The lessons are going to be shaped into bite-sized topics, starting from the setting on the canvas, all the way to the exporting of the file. I've even included a time-lapse painting where I uses slightly different base structure to show how really creative you can be by making your own rule. In the end, I'll guide you through the next steps in classes that you can take to improve your skills even further. It's also worth mentioning that you can find these concept, and processes in a mini e-book that are creative for you, so that you can take it anywhere to remind you what you learned during the class, and apply it even weeks or months afterwards. In the next lesson, we're going to go through a few things that you need to know before starting the class. 3. Pre-requisites: In order to successfully complete this class, you will need a few skills and equipment. I'll be using the first generation iPad Pro 12.9 inches, the app Procreate and the Apple Pencil. I mentioned this because you might see differences in the resolution and a number of layers available depending on the iPad model or software updates. In general, these things are not really important because you can always be smart on how you use a merge layers or you can just choose a smaller canvas. You would also need the previous knowledge of Procreate so that you can work independently and not relying on following exactly what I do. This is very important as I'm not going to tell you when opening a new layer or what brush to use. I believe that independence and freedom to choose your own brushes and workflow is an essential part of growing as an artist. When we lost and we make some mistakes, we often end up with something surprisingly interesting and unique that is going to shape our identity as an artist. My aim today is to guide you to explore your inner artist with the help of a few tricks and steps, but with the freedom and creativity of a child. Have fun, make mistakes, experiment, and you will not be disappointed. If you're a complete beginner, you can still watch this class and trying things out for the first time. But you might find some parts particularly challenging, and that's okay. It's good to be exposed to things that we're not familiar with, because we can decide if we want to carry on and learn further down the line. I've linked the Procreate handbook so that you can search for anything you need to know. Let's have a look at what we're going to do for our class project. 4. Class Project: For your class project, I want to invite you to draw and paint some lips from a reference image. You can choose your own or you can use the picture you see me drawing from. You find it in the resources section. I would like you to choose your own brushes and start whenever possible, so that you can have all the freedom and creativity that is in you by the structure that I'll show you in the class. If you don't know what to use, you're welcome to use what I'm using here, which is usually the Derwent pencil and a wet acrylic brush, although sometimes I change. Make sure at the end you share your work with your fellow students to inspire them and get some constructive feedback from me and the artist community. Let's get started with the first steps for beautiful realistic painting. 5. Structures & Beans : In this first lesson, we'll look at the structure of the human lips by using line, circles, and beans. It will all make sense in a moment. If you're wondering, I'll be using a Derwent pencil for most of this demonstration. You don't have to follow, but if you want, you're welcome to do so. I'm opening a new layer to scribble on the images. I have three skulls on three different layers: a front view, a three-quarter view, and a side view. The main goal here is to identify volumes, and drawing a sphere on top of the skull would guide us through volumes and lines. I say sphere and not circle because we're going to add a vertical and horizontal line as well, right in the midline of the lips. This will give us an idea of a 3D bow with latitude and longitude as if it was a globe map. I want to simplify what I see because the mouth is one of those anatomic areas with so many muscles and movements that it would be impossible to have a rule valid for all the views and positions. I'm going to open a new layer to explore how we can apply this concept to our reference image. This is a front view, so it's quite a simple start. I'm drawing the main spheres and lines, making sure to have the midline and horizontal line where the upper lip and the lower lip touch each other, which is an easy way to make sure we don't get the position and the proportions wrong at this stage. I also mark the corner of the lips. Then I can start building a drawing of the lips by associating it with other shapes. A simple way to do so is to think about beans facing up or down. The idea is to match the shape that we're looking at. Now, most lips will have a cupid's bow, which is that triangle formed by the upper lip at the center. A bean facing up will simulate that. We draw a bean to have an idea of the main volumes. The same thing for lower lip. We can even add the corners of the mouth with smaller beans. This would form our main structure, making it easier to draw the right shapes and volume. An important thing to remember is that all lips are different. Some Some not have a cupid's bow, so maybe a bean facing down would be more suitable. The same for the lower lip, maybe is fuller in the middle. You can use this method for any portrait or lips painting because you can decide the shape, size, and orientation of the beans to match where you're looking at. Now, if we apply this principle to a front view sketch, we can appreciate how most of the work is done easily with these tricks. Because all we need to do is to decide how big or small those beans are, and where they are facing, whether it's up and down. All we have to do is to connect the main reference lines, that we drew earlier with the beans. The result is a basic sketch that we can work with for the next stage of the painting. 6. Practice: 3/4 View: Simplified structures and draw with beans can be applied to any view. We can practice this way of seeing the body by sketching on two different images of various angles. Having a skull photo can help you get started, but eventually, you won't need that. For instance, in this picture, the face, it's turned at about three-quarter. We can still see all of the lips but parts of it will look different than if we were looking at it from the front. The first step is to draw the sphere and the midline, which will be off-centered in this case. This is important for later stages to place the volumes in the right place. When we draw the beans we can imagine them in perspective. It helps to sketch them on the side maybe to figure out how it would look in reality. One side will look a bit squash, a side maybe will look longer than the other. Once we decide what's the right way to draw them in perspective, then we can follow it by replicating that on the sketch. As we saw in the previous lesson, it's up to us to place the bean up and down, depending on how it would fit those specific lips better. Try and experiment. I'm going back to sketch the beans on the side every time you're not sure. When you're ready, reduce the opacity of the current layer to make it less visible, then open a new layer and start sketching the main line work for the lips. This method would be automatic and it will help us to do with portraits or lips painting that we'll work on from start to finish. 7. Practice: Side View: Let's practice with a side view image before starting our main project. I personally find drawing lips from the side the hardest to make it look realistic. I think that's because it's hard to imagine something in full by representing just half of it. Because we can see just the half side of the lips. Most of the time, we risk drawing like Egyptians, and if you're not familiar with that, in Egyptian art, even when the subject is seen from the side, some of the feature are still represented from the front. For example, you can see how in this painting the shoulders and the eyes are frontal, but the feet are seen from the side. Egyptians used to do that because everything had to be represented from the most characteristic angle. Of course, they knew that the human body didn't look like that, but they just follow the route which allowed them to include everything in the human form that they considered important. Although I love Egyptians painting in this lesson, we want to draw what we see and not what we imagine. We can then simplify it and work with it in our art. For instance, I'm sketching the beans in perspective because I want to figure out how they would look if there were observed from the side. As we've done before, we draw them on top of the image. First, the beans or volumes, and then we'll link the lines to finish our base drawing. To avoid having a flat drawing, we can also make an art of the planes. In other words, the surfaces where the light is shining or not is very easy, and the main question is always, where is the light coming from? In here, it comes from the top. We almost have a staircase of alternating light and shadow. This is a good exercise for getting you ready to add values in your drawing later on. 8. Project: Canvas & Structure: Welcome to the main class project. In this lesson, we're going to set up the canvas and the structure of the basic sketch. If you want to follow along, open a 6,000 by 4,000 pixel canvas at 300 dpi, which should give you 18 layers to work with. Then I open the action's tab and I click on "Insert Photo" to add the reference picture that you can find in the resources section. I decided to add both in tired and cropped version so that I can swap if I want to. I'd like to change the background color as well to give me some contrast and making more interesting than a white page. Once this is done, I open a new layer and we can start where we've been practicing in the previous lesson. Drawing this structure is the first step, so I choose a brush most suitable for that. As I always say, you can choose whatever brush or technique you want and this is about applying some step to get a rise structure when we drawing lips. I also suggest opening a new layer for every stage of the process. You can always merge later if you want to use the blend tool. Let's start with simple lines. In this picture, the face is slightly tilted. I want to make a note of that by drawing a vertical line that passes through the midpoint of the lips, up to the middle of the nose, and down the middle of the chin. Doing this will prevent the drawing from having incorrect proportions and perspective. Then I can apply the sphere, latitude, and longitude lines and a good tip is to draw two horizontal curved lines if the lips are apart. Also remember to mark the corners of the mouth before starting drawing the beans. In this case, I think that the bean with the two tips pointing up is more suitable for the upper lip and the opposite is true for the lower lip. Or at least that's what I see as an association. Depending on what image you are drawing from, this might not be the case. Sometimes I also add some vertical lines to mark the most prominent curves of the lips and some reference point for the base of the nose. Once I'm happy with this structure, I duplicate those layers altogether so that I can have identical size for my drawing. It's a trick to save you time, but you can skip that and draw the whole thing again if you find it more helpful. Do you remember how in our side view we filled in the darkest areas? We can do the same here by figuring out where the light is coming from and then observing the dark areas on the image. In this case, I believe the light is coming from the front slightly to the right. We can see that the right side of the lips is more reflecting. If you observe the eye, we can actually see a ring light reflected on them. This exercise will remind us where to place the values when we start with the color. You can use a color that you can clearly see on a separate layer and you can always come back to it when you need it. 9. Project: Basic Drawing: In this lesson, we can pick up the main colors and start drawing the shape of the lips. I'm using a Derwent pencil, and I'm adding the colors to a new palette as you can see here. To pick the colors in the image, tap and hold to get the eyedropper tool. Then add it to your palette and do the same for the three main colors; a light one, and medium one, and the darkest. If you're not familiar with these gestures, I've linked the Procreate and the book as well as the project started back in the resources section. So that you can learn fast ways to do all of these by yourself. It is completely up to you to choose the color you want to use to start the drawing. Just pick one from now and don't worry about it too much. There is no right or wrong way to do it. For simplicity, we can also add white and black to the palette for an immediate contrast. In this basic sketch, I keep looking at the image and I connect the main points between the beams and the corners of the mouth. This is your chance to get to know the shape you're working with and fix any mistake that you might have done in the structure phase. If you're not sure how aligned everything is, try and draw some lines on a different layer to adjust your sketch and to be ready for next stage of the process. 10. Project: Colour Part 1: In this lesson, we lay the first base colors that we're going to set the tone for the next stage of details and reflections. Start with the three colors that you selected earlier and use the one in the middle. It shouldn't be the darkest or the lightest at this stage. I'm choosing the wet acrylic brush for a smooth, glossy style. Fill in all the spaces between the lines, drawing with red, then add immediately some contrast so that you can start and see what is going to look like very soon. In this case, add the black inside the opening of the mouth. As soon as you feel ready, you can start hiding the layers with the structure. Now you can really focus on the shadows, such as the darkest shade of red, and you can either open a new layer for each stage or use the same one so that you can easily blend the colors together. I do a mix of both and I really go with my instinct here. I just want to reassure you that in the beginning, it's going to look very messy and unsophisticated. At this stage, we should also pay attention to the shapes. If there is something you want to fix or change, you can do that now with the color. Here, I'm adjusting the lower lip and making it plumper. For the teeth, try and avoid pure white as it's not going to look realistic. I would say the mix of grays and lighter reflection is the secret to shiny translucent surfaces that we can see on the teeth. You can also have some skin tone around it to connect and finish space to something resembling a face. You can make your own skin color. I'll pick one with the eye tool. I like to add it to my own palette as well. As you can see here, all the shapes look different now, and that's because I covered some of the layers with a skin tone. I've used an eraser to delete that. These usually happen when I'm messy with layering and I lose track of what is up or down. Again, there is no wrong for this. I'm sharing my way of working on Procreate, which is somehow similar to how I would work on traditional canvas, a balance of going over and over again the shapes, tones, and values. Be reassured that at any stage you can completely transform your painting. Keep adjusting and observing the picture. If you're not happy, an easy satisfaction is usually achieved both by adding some strong reflections and contrast. This is just the base-related details, but it's going to give you that confidence to keep going and see the finish line. I'm going to keep observing, shaping, and adjusting the color, and then I'm ready for more details in the next lesson. 11. Project: Colour Part 2: In this lesson, we focus on the last adjustments and details before exporting and saving the file. This is the time to really focus on those details that you usually wouldn't even notice. The perception of dark and light areas are what ultimately affects whether or not we perceive the image as real. For example, the lines of the lips are a bit sharper and darker here. Also there are some subtle skin changes next to the corner of the mouth. Here you can really have fun and be bold with the style that you chose. I also keep adjusting and here I note just that the lower lip was darker than it should have been. That changed the volume that I was seeing. Those little changes can really make a difference. The reflection of the lipstick is going to be the main focus to make this painting stand out. Feel free to change your brush and layers to achieve what you want. Also, have fun with painterly strokes and bold color changes. At this point the structure and the main volumes should be correct, so experimenting with color is always a plus, especially if you do it on a new layer so that you don't have to worry about deleting the good work you've already done. You also have the chance to clean up the canvas or any layer that you don't want. I'm really happy with this painting and I consider it finished now, including the sketchy parts and the color swatches on the side that I'm going to leave for the final version. In next state, I'm going to export it and share it with the world. 12. Export & Share: In this lesson, we'll export our painting and share it with our community. The first thing we want to do is to deselect all the lines that we don't want to see in our final work. Then we want to crop out canvas by clicking on the Action tab, Canvas, Crop and Resize so that you can frame it as you wish. Once you are happy with it, just click on ''Done'', and now you're ready to save the image and share it. I suggest using a PNG file if you want a good quality picture or if you want to set up a transparent background, otherwise, a JPEG will do just fine with the social media use. Now you can upload your work on the Skillshare community to connect to other artists and get some feedback from me as well as from your peers. Scroll down to the project and resources section, click on "Create Project" and upload the image. Adjust the size, write a description, and then you're ready to publish. You can now see your painting with all the other projects from your peers. I would encourage you to post your project because constructive feedback is the best way to grow as an artist. In fact, one of the things that you would do in art school, you would present your work to teachers and to your peers and you will make notes on the thoughts and ideas that they share with you about your work. This might sound very scary at first, but it's hands down the fastest way to grow when combined with practice. Now we're done with this project, I hope you enjoy it and in the next lesson, let's have a look at different examples on how to use this method. 13. Other Example: Time-lapse: In this lesson, we will observe how those simple steps can be tweaked a bit to obtain a similar result. I'm using the same campus as the previous project, 6000 by 4000. This is a time-lapse, so it's a quick way to see how the drawing builds up over time. Don't worry about layers or brushes too much. Try and see beyond that into a different way of working. As for all my classes, I want to emphasize the fact that these are strategies rather than step-by-step tutorials, although they might start that way at first. I find that working in a way that can be applied to all media, is the key to master realistic art. In this picture, the head is very tilted and that can create some difficulties when we're trying to work symmetrically. Instead of beans, here I'm using a heart-shaped cushion in the middle of the upper lip, two drop-shaped cushions on the side, and two on the bottom. Then I use parallel curved lines to make sure the lips are going to meet symmetrical. You can use as many or as little as you want. You want to create a map as detailed as possible so that you can have the best start. I'm even drawing a small grid to imitate the side that the inclination of the lips. This will help you with proportion and perspective as well. It's easy to get it wrong when you need to figure out the angles and the distance between the various spot. Once we are ready to draw, as before, we choose an average color to start with and we make note of the direction of the light. We can clearly see that the upper part of the face is well lit compared to the bottom, such as the chin. We can decide to start with the lightest color this time. Because of the green background, the contrast with those lighter areas are very apparent immediately. But I will suggest not going over with a black for the dark areas. Use the same layering and adjusting until you get the colors that you want and then finish up with details. I'll leave you to the rest of the time-lapse and I'll see you in the next lesson, where we're going to sum up and talk about what to do next to really level up our skills. 14. Thank You & What's Next: Thank you so much for painting with me in this class. I hope you enjoyed the process and this class inspired you to own your own style and try different things by removing all the other obstacles that we encounter with realistic drawing. From proportions to perspective, from colors to details. Now we experience are using different techniques and tricks can give us structure and guidelines and can make us more free and creative with our own art. I would absolutely love to see your painting, so I invite you to share it below with our community by clicking on "Create Project". I would also be so thankful if you leave a review telling me and your peers what you loved about this class, and maybe sharing your own tips with the community here on Skillshare. If you have any questions, you can start a new discussion and I'll reply as soon as possible. This class is part of a series. From here you can check out my other classes about drawing in the eyes and you can also improve some basic skills necessary to draw and paint realistically. In fact, I have a class on the power of light and shadow, where I go through a super simple method that I call observe, shape and value to create any really thick drawing from scratch. This class I'm going to give you the basics and most of the processes that I use in my art. Make sure to follow me here on Skillshare to get notified every time I have a new class or a giveaway. On my profile you can find all the links to the social media including YouTube. Thank you for joining me in this class, and I'll see you in the next lesson. Bye bye.