How To Draw Heads & Faces: Drawing The Mouth | Clayton Barton | Skillshare

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How To Draw Heads & Faces: Drawing The Mouth

teacher avatar Clayton Barton, Harness the Power of Dynamic Drawing

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Mouth Front View


    • 3.

      Mouth Side View


    • 4.

      Mouth Muzzle


    • 5.

      Mouths In Perspective


    • 6.



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About This Class

Draw Expressive Mouths From Any Angle - Like a Pro

The mouth is one of the most expressive facial features of the human face. Along with the eyes, mouths convey different feelings, emotions and contexts of communication. So it's important to know how to draw them, if we're going to draw them.

In this class you'll learn a simple, easy to use technique that will help you draw the mouth from any point of view you can think of - and I'll show you how to use each of the techniques you're about to discover for drawing mouths, with step-by-step, real-time demonstrations.

Follow along at a comfortable pace, and apply what you're learning to see immediate results within your work from enrolling in this class.

Here's a break down of everything we'll be covering:

  • The Line Method (The best way I know for drawing mouths with ease)
  • How to draw the front and side view of the mouth
  • The Mouth Muzzle (A simple model that lets you draw the mouth from any angle)
  • How to draw mouths in perspective

By the end of this class you should have the knowledge and confidence to draw the human mouth from multiple angles, without breaking a sweat.

Let's begin!

Meet Your Teacher

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Clayton Barton

Harness the Power of Dynamic Drawing


Often I’m asked how long I’ve been drawing. The truth is I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t. I was like any other crayon wielding kid, the only difference being that I never let go of that yearning for artistic venture.

I still remember the walls being filled top to bottom with the felt tip scrawling’s of an artistically fiery five year old. Maths books filled with cartoons instead of numeracy, English books littered with more pictures then poetry. It went on and on and it never stopped.

My first love was Comic Books, my second was Video Games. Realizing that I wanted to build a career in both I spent most of my late teens immersing myself in constant study, practice and improvement to harness my skills in multiple fields. It was a ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hey, it's clayton. Welcome to my class on drawing mouths. Throughout these lessons, you'll discover how to draw the human mouth from the front and side views in different expressions. And then I'll show you an easy to use technique that will allow you to draw the mouth from almost any dynamic angle that you can think of. All right, let's jump straight into it. 2. Mouth Front View: You should define a mouth with just a line. So I'm gonna get my blue pen out here. Let's draw them out. We'll draw them out from the front and we'll draw it from the side and a three-quarter view that standard views to begin with. Let's just draw a mouth opening. I always start with the mouth opening first and we can define that as a line. And the really cool thing is that you can define a sad mouth like this or a happy mouth. I know that seems really oversimplified, but I'm telling you it doesn't need to be more complicated than that. And let me show you why. Because I'm going to turn these all into finished mouths that we're looking at from the front. I'll get my black pen out here and check this out. What I'll do when it comes to laying in a mouth, when it comes to drawing it out. The final version of it, because I start with the middle, which is basically a little downward triangle, an arrow. And I'll draw out a line from there, from the middle point that runs out to the sides, on either side of the mouth and into the corners. I usually break that line. So if I was drawing the mouth opening up here, this is what it would look like. The darkest points are going to be in the middle and at the sides. Will draw that out. Then once I've got the mouth opening in, it's just a matter of placing in the lips. Place in the top lip on a female character, of course, ellipse is going to be fuller, plumper, juicy are looking than on a male and also more defined as well. Again, they've got more contrast. Usually. You can get lips of varying thicknesses and shapes as well. It also comes down to style, the way in which he liked to draw men or women. If you take, for example, Michael Tanner, he draws very big, plump seek looking lips. And then I'll lay in a fairly defined, dark looking line for the bottom lip. I'll even indicate the underside plane, the bottom of the mouth, muzzle. And then I'll lay in the sides of the lips. The bottom of the lips. You'll notice that they're not a defined line. Okay, So I'm not drawing this. I'm not drawing this single line all the way around. That would work, but it wouldn't look as good. Then we could do the same thing for these other mouth examples. Okay, so this one's going to be a slightly sad amount. So you can really go ahead and create an expression for the mouth with a single line if you want to. You can do it quite easily and quite simply. Adding a little dip for the top lip. Then indicate, in other words, not fully defined, but just indicate visually the outline of the tuplet. For the bottom lip. Well, oftentimes what you'll find is that the chin muscle. Who was the lip up? When the mouth is looking a little sad. Something that looks like this. If you want to take it to the next level, you can you can start shading the lips. I don't really shade the lips of male characters. But if I want to show that this female character, for example, is wearing lipstick, and what I'll do, I'll go ahead and start laying in some rendering. This is quite sketchy for comic book art. Oftentimes you don't even need to lay in any rendering. This is only if you're doing that like really ultra detailed stuff. What's cool about showing you how I would shade the lips here is you get a good idea for the forms. Again, adding a little bit of a reflection if you want to give the lips a nice shiny look. And don't worry, we'll go over some more male looking lips and just a little bit. Let's go ahead and do a smiling mouth now. Now, you'll notice that as the mouth stretches and becomes a wider to create the smile, well, so does the shape of the mouth opening it, it starts to flatten out a little bit. You'll notice that dip in the middle isn't as accentuated. And the same goes for the outline of the lips as well. It's going to be stretched out, flattened out, and less compressed. And when the mouth is rested. Okay, but the shape is still there. The shape is just being pulled as just being narrowed a little bit. Okay, so now we've got another interesting expression for the mouth. We can take a look at here. Remember we got the middle a little bit. We got the corners of the mouth, and then we've got the bits that join them together in between. So this is a bit more of a smirk that we're looking at it. Just to give you an idea of the anatomy I guess that we're dealing with. In other words, the pockets of fat within the lip. You've got this little bit here in the front. Looks a bit like a love heart. You've got these bits toward the ends of the lips. Again, little pockets of fat. And then you've got the adjoining areas. The bottom lip that these two giant pockets of fat. Again, I'm just trying to show you the forms here that are going on within the lips. Then of course you've got the little dip up above your lips that you'll also probably want to consider. You've got the underside plane of the mouth and the mouth muzzle. Of course. Let's go ahead and just do a few more mouths drawn from the front. I'm going to draw some different mouth expressions. Okay, so we've got a bit more of a smile here. As the sides, the corners of the mouth or pulled outwards. And you might get a look at the teeth, which you never wanted to find like this, that's going to look scary. Usually just a fine teeth look at some very simple, basic lines. Nothing too crazy. Next up. Some men looking lips. So some lips that aren't going to have the outline for their lips as defined. You know, it's okay to shade the top of the male lips because sometimes they go into full and shadow and that's fine. But really you don't want it. You don't want to make it as pure as though they're wearing lipstick unless they are, of course, which some dude characters are wearing lipstick like the Joker may be, for example. You're just going to be going ahead and defining some of the anatomy a little bit more on dude. He might add in some, some actual shading around the muzzle of the mouth, at least in the lower areas there. So let's do another male mouth. Again, starting with the opening during the lip outline around the opening. Then that's about it. Once again, if this is a dude's mouth, I'm gonna give him a nice amount of shading underneath it to define those forms. Thus, get that masculine appearance to come across a bit more clearly. If you want a slightly puckered looking mouth with the ladies. Usually I'll do something that looks a bit more like this. Top lip might be raised a little bit. We'll give this particular mouth some really nice full lips. And you can see they look nice and juicy. These days. I kinda drew female lips though that aren't quite as full. They do look a little bit more realistic. If they're if they're not as pumped up, It's completely fine as they are. That's just a stylistic decision and it looks good. No doubt about it. We'll draw one more view mouth, the bottom here. Let's draw really angry one actually, one that's kinda snarling. Why didn't the corners of the mouth there? The bottom lips? Now that we've got the opening defined. And we'll also add in the teeth. And again, we'll get a good look at how to define those teeth without making them look to find, because otherwise, it looks too weird. You don't want the OTs to look weird. They look scary. They looked like monster teeth. If you define every single one of them. It's a big mistake. Most people do define their teeth. They don't know what they're doing and can lead to an outcome that's undesirable. So let's say that this is a man's mouth. So we'll add in some additional definition. That's looking pretty good. So that's the front of the mouth. Let's do some side view examples. 3. Mouth Side View: As far as the side view goes, You're still gonna be working with the opening of the mouth. But you're also going to be defining the outline of it as well. So the outline of the lips, at least at the front of them from the side ellipse kinda look like this. Hey, we're drawing some nice female lips here again. There's another way that you can approach it as well, rather than defining the opening of the mouth first, you can to find the outline. And I'll show you that in just a moment. Actually. It's probably more the way that I would draw the lips from the side. For example, when you're drawing the head side on and it gets to the point where you're laying down the lips. Sometimes what I'll do is just something that looks like this. Then once I've got the outline for the lips to find, I'll go ahead and then add in the opening afterwards. That can work just as well. It ultimately comes down to going with the method, the approach that is most comfortable for you. If initially you find that what I'm showing you just doesn't quite feel right if it's not working for you. Definitely try to mix it up and try to tweak it, modify it so that it is enjoyable. Usually what you'll find is that especially on women, the top lip will hang over the top of the bottom lip. It's not always the case and it doesn't always have to be the case. Usually if you're drawing the mouth like this, where you've got basically an under bite for your character that looks more a fish. And so it's, it's more appropriate for like a butcher looking masculine dude. So you might end up with something like this. Even though it's already a little confusing as to what we're looking at. This. But others, whether it's a man's mouth or a woman's mouth. But to make it less confusing, Let's just take out some of the outline. And that'll certainly make it more obvious that what we're looking at is a, is a male mouth. Let's actually do some expressions for the mouth. In this view, we could draw out an open mouth that's screaming. That might be fun to look at. So from this angle, the opening of the mouth would stretch all the way down. This might be that the lips here. And you can see how the mouth opening is now pulled forward. Again, that's because it's stretching, right? I'm like elastic. As the jaw moves open, you'll be able to see the teeth. We could draw out an open smile. A smile where the teeth are being revealed. Case starting with the opening and then dropping the bottom lip down. Again. We've got the lips. I'm only, I'm only doing a bunch of elliptic lady looking mouse because once again, it gives us a good look at how the shape of the lips would be defined in these different views. So there's our side views. They will come pretty solid. I think. Let's do some, some male mouse from the side just to mix things up a bit. You'll notice here that I'm going to invert the teeth and increase that under bite with this example is probably way to exaggerate it actually. But we are getting into a little bit of facial expressions here. Once you know how to draw the basic math from the side and from the front, it becomes fairly easy. There's not a whole lot that really has to go into over complicated honestly. So then in order to make it interesting, we can start expressing the mouth, expressing emotions through some of these facial features. The last thing I'll go over is just a bit of a description of the geometry that we're dealing with in the side view. What the side view offers us is a really good look at the mouth muzzle. The actual form around the mouth as it sits on to the head. Then of course you've got the lips and remember, the lips. They're going to angle inward, back into the face toward the mouth opening. Always think of it in that way because when you start to move their head and you start to rotate it, it gives you an idea for what planes are going to be hidden them up planes are going to be more revealed in any given perspective. 4. Mouth Muzzle: If you think about the basic head, so let's draw it out real quickly here. You've got the cheek bones. You've got the top of the skull, the bottom of the skull. Now you don't have to be a master at drawing the skull. But what it can do is just help you to fit everything together and having an understanding of the structure of the head on a very simple level. If we look at the skull, what we can see is that on a simplified level, the mouth is going to sit on what seems to be essentially a tuna can. And we're looking down on the mouth in this example. If we get that tuna can out here, you can fit your mouth around it. And the reason this works is because the opening of the mouth actually follows this form. It follows the curvature in the same way, the eye-opening follows the curvature of the spherical form of the eyeball. Well, the mouth opening is going to follow the form of the mouth muzzle, I guess you could call it underneath the skin. What we end up with is something that looks a little bit more like this. I actually have a very basic representation as a skull inside my mind when I'm drawing sometimes especially on very dynamic angles. But let's say that we're looking up at the face here. This is how I'm thinking about mouth and where it's going to sit. This interpretation of the skull. It, it really does help me out and I think if you can study it and just memorize it, at least it'll help you out as well. Like you don't have to become good at drawing. You can see I'm barely drawing anything that another way that you can think about the mouth muzzle is a little bit more like this. I like to think of it as more of an organic shape. And I'll sometimes draw cross contour around it. One running around the horizontal plane, one running along the vertical axis. And then I'll draw the mouth on top of it. That's going to work just as well as the tuna CAN works. The reason that I like to use this more organic representation of the mouth formation is because it's a less structured version of the chain and can't because the tuna can, you can get really stuck on drawing a perfect cylinder. I wanted to draw a perfect tunic and I just want to draw a mouth. And I feel like this is also a better representation of the actual muscle that resides around the mouth as well. So what I'd say you'd want to start doing just to begin with, is practicing this basic math form and practice drawing it, for example. Or from below is if we're looking up at it, all, it might look something like this. Some erasing here that's a little bit rough. You can get used to just this shape. Maybe we're looking at it from the front a little bit more here. And we're looking down on it. So we can draw out this very basic shape. If we can get to know it. It'll make drawing the mouth from these different points of view much, much easier. So we can draw up a few of these. Just to familiarize ourself with it. Try to challenge yourself to draw this basic maths, muzzle shape from a multitude of different angles. It's simple, it's easy to draw. Notice that I'm just focused on the outline and then I lay in the cross contours and that's what makes it look and appear 3D is if there's some kind of curve applied to it. The more you can draw it, more comfortable you get with it, the more confident you are going to feel when it comes to actually drawing the mouth. Do some studies of the human skull as well. I mean, that's going to help you out Who great extent. I know it seems pointless in the beginning and really over complicated and kind of useless. But I think it just gives you some idea as to what's happening underneath the skin. The skull is responsible for forming a lot of the shape of the head. And because most of our faces bone throughout the rest of the body, we've got lots of different pockets of fat and muscle. But we've got very thin layers of fat and muscle that sit on top of the skull. So it's really the skull that defines most of the phases shape. 5. Mouths In Perspective: So let's say that we wanted to draw a mouth that we were looking up at. Well, at start out with my mouth muzzle like so. The center line that runs down the middle and the one that runs around it. Then once those are defined, it's really just a home run it drawer in the mouth opening, adding the corners of the mouth. When you're looking at the mouth from below, you're going to see more of the top lip. Then you will the bottom lip. To visit our first mouth example. What if we were looking up at the mouth but directly from the front? How would that appear to us? Let's have a look. I haven't really seen the mouth being drawn in this particular way before in a book or anything like that. This is something that I came up with. So in other words, reason I'm telling you that is you can really come up with your own way of drawing this stuff. Figure out what's going to work for you. What makes the most sense to you? And she'll just interpretation really. So again, go ahead. Jordan. The opening of the mouth will show more of the top lip here than we will the bottom lip. What you notice is that because we're looking up at the mouth, all of a sudden we see an upward curve for the mouth opening. Now if we're looking down on the mouse while we see the opposite effect happening. So let's draw an example of what happens when we're looking down on the mouth. It will draw now cross contours. One running around the horizontal axes of the mouth muzzle, the other running along the vertical axis. So we're adding the opening of the mouth. And of course, now, which way is it curving? It's curving downward. And what's the other thing that's going to happen? Well, the reverse of what happened in the upward view. Now what we're going to see is less of the top lip and more of the bottom lip. What if we push these angles even more, right? So what if we went ahead and we really made it so that we had turned the mouth all the way upward so that we're looking almost directly underneath it. Okay, let's try and extreme angle here. Now we're really pushing the roundness of that mouth muzzle. Everything that we've been doing so far is going to be exaggerated. So we'll add in the opening of the mouth here. It's going to follow the curve of the mouth muzzle. Going to see way more of the underside of the top lip. And the bottom lip is also going to be pushed up and curved quite a lot. In this example, the nose might even be sitting right above the mouth. So let's do another extreme example, looking down on the mouth. So we'll go ahead and add in the mouth opening just as before. Being pushed in the opposite direction. This time. The top lip is barely visible. Since we're so high up above the lip this time. I work here. I'm also thinking about the geometry of the lips as well. So let me get my red pen out. I'm thinking about the angles that the lip is slanting out on. Always be thinking in a 3D mindset when it comes to drawing. Because as a result, what will happen is you will find that your drawings begin to look three-dimensional by default. Okay, so now let's just do whatever we like. Let's do a few more random examples of the mouth muzzle, representing it from a multitude of different angles. And we'll draw the mouth and on top of it. These won't be as extreme though. I just wanted to show you the extreme examples to give you an idea of just how far we can push this. The reason we don't have to use references with these particular views so much is because you can really just get your head around the concept of what's happening when you start to represent the mouth on these different angles. What I mean by that is you start to understand really what happens to the geometry and how it's manipulated by perspective. And as long as you know, you know how the forms being modified or being skewed and distorted, when you start the foreshortened them, you're gonna be fine. You can literally put the mouth in any angle, may be in a default state. Sure. Let's see if we can do some interesting expressions here. Actually. Let's draw a mouth that's a little bit more surprised because I've got an idea of the geometry that I'm dealing with. A mouse opening will be here, for example. And the mouth might be hanging open a bit. We can add in the loop on top, which by the way will be very, very low down because now the mouth is stretched as it opens up. And the other thing that's going to happen also is we're going to see the teeth in the mouth actually start to go backwards. Yes, it will see the bottom set of teeth, especially curve back up into the mouth. And the bottom lip sitting below the opening of the mouth. And we'll see a fair bit of the top of it. We'll define the mouth opening a little bit here. But as you can see, the mouth opening actually, it determines a lot of how the mouth is going to be drawn. And so it's really the key thing to focus on from the get-go. You can see that I've tweaked the shape of the mouth there multiple times in order to get it to look right. You might see just a glimpse of the top row of teeth there. Let's add those in. Now, of course, that bottom part of the mouth is extending past the mouth muzzle. And the reason for that is because now the jaw has opened. Let's see if we can come up with another expression this time one that we're looking up at. Again, some of these can be very complicated, especially when you start adding movement to the facial features. It'd be too hard on yourself if you can't get it to look right straightaway. We really do have this crazy expectation that we're gonna be able to draw everything perfectly the first time we learn it, but that's just not going to be the case. Maybe we could draw a smiling mouth. This one will be interesting because you would think that a smiling mouth might stretch up this way, but actually it won't. Instead, what will happen is it will still follow the mouse muscle except that it will widen. And the other thing that'll happen is there'll be the bottom mouth that actually dips down a little bit and it will still follow the mouth muzzle as well. But you can see that what defines a smile mostly is the way in which it stretches out. At either side. Of course, the lips are going to stretch along with it. Again, it's very easy to just stop and throw in the towel at certain points. Mean drawing the same thing over and over again isn't exactly the most riveting experience in the world, but it is something that's required if you want to get comfortable drawing whatever it is you want to get good at drawing. Okay, This one will draw a mouth that's slightly open. Mouth that's a wilted. And eventually, one day if you're doing your own comic book, you'll never stop practicing. You're always going to be drawing mouths. You're always going to be drawing eyes and you'll be doing it over and over and over again. So hopefully you enjoy it is what I'm saying. It's one thing to do a study like this, but when it's, when you're drawing a mouth in the context of a finished comic book panel on a character. It's a little different. There's a purpose beyond just learning how to do it and getting good at it then. Okay, I'm going to draw a mouth that's screaming. Maybe. You can see that I am now opening the mouth a little bit more. With this example. This does look kind of messy, but you'd be surprised at how messy certain comic book artists started drawing that. It's even crazier than this. And then sometimes I'll go riding over the top and just start inking it out. I'd always amazes me when people are able to do that summer and it'd be great to get to a place like that or any artist of course. Anyway now you might have the tongue layer as well sitting inside the mouth. Okay, great. And then we'll just draw one more down here. Let's draw two more. Actually, we could fit two more on the page. And it's all about practice, practice, practice. And we'll just draw some standard regular mouse. Just to wrap this up. And we'll do one more from above. Moreover, the top lip, the bottom lip, and make sure that the whole mouth there is curving around the mouth muscle. That is my approach for drawing the human mouth a multitude of angles. 6. Assignment: Thanks for watching. I hope that you enjoyed this class and that you've got a ton of value out of it. But now it's time to put what you've learned into action with the assignment that I'm about to give you, open up your sketchbook or your favorite digital drawing application. Your task for this assignment is going to be very simple and straightforward. What I'd like you to do is to draw up your own set of mouth this time. First from the front and side views and a number of different expressions. And then from those more trickier dynamic angles using the very same methods that we discussed throughout these lessons. Once you've completed the assignment, be sure to submit it in the project section of this class for feedback. Good luck, and until next time, keep drawing.