How to Draw a Mouth – Part 1

How to Draw a Mouth – Intro

How to Draw a Mouth – Part 1

How to Draw a Mouth – Part 2

How to Draw a Mouth – Part 3

How to Draw a Mouth – Part 4

How to Draw a Mouth – Part 5

How to Draw a Mouth – Part 6

How to Draw a Mouth – Part 7

How to Draw a Mouth – Part 8

Set Up the Grid

Use Photoshop to Make a Grid for the Reference Photo


I have this photograph opened in Photoshop. We are going to use a grid to draw this mouth. A grid is very helpful for draw an accurate likeness of your subject, and our grid will be extremely helpful in drawing the teeth. Photoshop is a helpful tool for creating an accurate grid for a reference photograph.


If you go up to View and click on Grid…


You will see a grid laid over the photograph. However, as you can see, this grid has some large grid squares when it comes to us drawing teeth. We can use this, but it will be much more helpful to have smaller grid squares. That way, we will have less room for error when we get to drawing the teeth.


In order to adjust the size of the individual grid squares, go up to Edit, go all the way down to Preferences, and then slide over and down to Guides and Grid.


Then look at the Grid section. If our grid squares are too big, that means we need to make the number for the “Gridline every” box smaller. Right now in my box, it says 2.


Make sure in the “Gridline every” box, you have the number 1 for 1 inch. As you change the number, you should notice the grid squares get smaller on the reference photo too. There is also lots of overlap with the teeth. We see almost every tooth overlapping into multiple grid squares, which is what we want. Click OK.


Click on the Typing tool in the Draw box on the left side of the screen. Type 1A in the first box. You can adjust the font, color, size, etc. in the Tool Options at the bottom of the screen. Keep typing letters B through N across. Use the space bar to center the letters in the boxes the best you can. Click the green check mark if everything looks good.


Next, go to the Tool Options below and change the Type to Vertical. It’s the green “T” with the downward arrow next to it. Type 2 through 9, again using the space bar to advance between each number. When you get to the two-digit numbers, like 10 and 11, you will have to switch the Type back to horizontal.

Use Word to Make a Grid for the Drawing Paper


Open up Word. When you first open Word, the new document is usually oriented in Portrait layout. However, since our grid is 14 squares across and only 11 squares down, we need to change the layout to Landscape. Click the Layout tab. Then go to Orientation and Landscape.


In order to have the best chance of all of our grid fitting on one piece of paper, let’s make the margins smaller. Go to Layout and Margins, then down to Narrow, with each margin set at 0.5”.


Now to make the grid, go to the Insert tab. Go to Table and down to Insert Table.


Change the number of columns to 14. Change the number of rows to 11. Keep everything else the way it is and click OK.


Now we have a 14 x 11 table, but the boxes are not squares. Next we will make sure the grid is centered and change the boxes to squares.


Select the entire table by clicking on the tiny box with the plus sign in the upper left-hand corner. Right-click in the table. Then go down to Table Properties.


The table is pretty much centered already, but it’s a good idea to be certain. Click the Alignment box that says Center.


Click on the Row tab in the Table Properties dialog box. In the Specify height box, type 0.6. Change Row height to Exactly.


Go to the Column tab next. In the Preferred width box, type 0.6. Leave the Measure in box as Inches. Click OK.


Now we have a 14 x 11 grid that fits on one page.


We still need to label the grid. Let’s center everything first. Select all of the grid boxes by clicking in the first box and dragging across the grid. Then go up to the alignment icons at the top and click on the Center icon.


Right-click in the grid. Go down to Table Properties.


In the Table Properties dialog box, click on the Cell tab. Change the vertical alignment to Center. Click OK.


Now every box is aligned vertically and horizontally to the center.


In the top row of boxes, type 1A, B, C, and so on all the way to N. In the first column under 1A, type 2 through 11. Now we have the same grid that we placed on our reference photograph! This grid is ready for you to print.

Place the Grid and Drawing Paper on a Light Box


Tape the grid you just made and printed in Word onto a light box. Try to ensure your grid is centered for the most part, with the edges of the paper parallel to the edges of the light box. Put one piece of tape at each corner.


Now, turn your light box on. Take your drawing paper and lay it over the grid. Depending on how your grid was aligned on your paper when you printed it, you may have to slightly adjust the placement of the drawing paper so the grid will be centered on the paper.


Hold the drawing paper steadily in place as you put a piece of tape at each corner of the drawing paper. Make sure you keep your paper nice and flat as you tape.


As a little extra piece of mind, it’s a good idea to make little marks on the grid paper next to the drawing paper. This is just in case if, during the drawing, the tape comes loose and the drawing paper gets misaligned from the grid. Trace the edges of the tape at the corners, then trace along the edges of the drawing paper.


Now we are ready to begin drawing our picture.

How to Draw a Mouth – Part 2

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