How to Draw a Mouth – Part 4

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

Shade One Side of the Face

Apply Light Tones to the Face


Now that we have finished the line drawing of the mouth, the next phase is to add some shading.

Let’s focus first on the right side of the face, which is on our left. Use a 2B pencil and some short diagonal strokes on the cheek. Use the guidelines placed earlier to help you determine where the dark values and light values should meet. You can use the light box and reference photo in addition to the value guidelines for extra support.


Keep the lines going in the same direction and very close together. Keep shading the lighter areas of the cheek around the darker part from the previous step.


Extend these same tones down the side of the face. This will establish a base value of tones for us to build upon as we build up layers of graphite on the drawing surface to build realistic shading.


Continue these pencil strokes around other parts of the face, around the corner of the mouth, and down toward the chin area. Keep the same light value as before. Be careful to not press too hard on the paper with the side of your hand as it moves back and forth to make the base value. That will create some serious smudging on the teeth we worked so hard to draw!

Apply Darker Tones to the Face


From the dark area of the cheek, extend this darker value down the side of the face. Leave the space in the middle lighter for now. Use the same diagonal strokes. Don’t make a harsh outline to separate the darker and lighter areas.


Now as for the lighter area in the middle, it is still almost the same value as the two areas on either side, but it is still a little bit lighter. So as you shade this middle area, make it almost a match for the adjacent areas.


Keep on going farther down the face, applying a darker layer than the base value. Leave a tiny bit of space along the edge of the face for reflected light.


Work on the smile line near the corner of the mouth. There is a really dark area where the muscles of the face meet to form the smile, so put more pressure on your pencil.


Here I’m turning on my light box to get a better look as I darken the smile line that extends down from the cheek.


There are also some tones at the corner of the mouth that we need to place. It goes from D3 to the upper corner of C3.


Put some slightly darker tones along the smile line going down. I am applying these tones in a vertical direction rather than the diagonal strokes of the base value from earlier. Put a few more darker tones closer to the lip.


Put a dark shadow just alongside the bottom edge of the lip. Keep extending some of the other dark tones from the side of the face to the lower part of the face and chin area.


Go back up to the cheek area to better define the ball of the cheek. Just like any kind of sphere, you want the cheek to be lighter in the center where the light is hitting it and darker as the sphere shape recedes away from the light. That’s why I’m putting a little more shading on this other side of the ball of the cheek.


Take a step back and look to see if any darker tones are needed. Just by looking at the smile line with the very dark curved tone at the corner of the mouth, I can tell that I need to go back and put a similar dark tone along the edge of the face, darker than I did earlier.

Blend the Tones of the Face


Let’s use our blending stump to start blending the tones of the face. Start blending the lighter areas first. For these lighter base value areas, you can use variations in the direction of how you blend. You can do some blending in the same direction as the pencil strokes. You can do some circular strokes too. When you get to certain contours of the face, you should blend in the same direction as those curves.


Continue to work your way down, blending the lighter areas first before blending the darker areas. Wherever you see a change of value that is slightly darker, try blending mostly in the direction of the pencil strokes.


Move on to the darker areas on the side of the face. Use firm pressure on your blending stump as you blend to really get the graphite into the surface of the Bristol board paper.


As you blend along the edge of the face, be careful to leave the little strip of reflected light present. Use the tip of the blending stump to smooth out the pencil line that is the outline of the face. Any smudges that go beyond the outline can be cleaned up using the edge of a kneaded eraser, but we can focus on that more later.

Layer Additional Details on the Face


Now we are going to layer in additional darker tones over the area of the face we just shaded. Begin by using the mechanical pencil to darken the smile line.


Let’s try to make the ball of the cheek darker to stand out more. Put another layer of dark graphite over the first dark layer of the cheek and below it.


Darken the lighter strip going down the middle of the two darker strips, still keeping the middle strip slightly lighter.


Be aware of areas that need to stay lighter as you darken areas farther down the face. Maintain that dark-light contrast wherever appropriate.


Blend the areas where you just applied extra graphite to see what it looks like. Remember, we want a smooth rather than rigid transition from darker to lighter areas, so it’s important to still blend along the edge where the dark and light areas meet for a more natural look.


Touch up areas as needed with either a little more graphite from your pencil or more graphite from the tip of your blending stump.


Use the kneaded eraser to pull out areas that need to be lighter.


Use the blending stump to gently soften the edges and the intensity in the middle.


I still see the pencil line outline edge on the side of the face, so I just softened it up with a tortillion, and now I am using a kneaded eraser to clean up the edge.


Immediately to the right of the line along the edge of the face, use your kneaded eraser in a wedge shape to pull out the reflected light. Begin where the head meets the edge of the neck and work your way down.


Like before, use the blending stump to softly go along the edge to make it less harsh.

Shade One Side of the Neck


We are going to keep working on the left side of the drawing, focusing on the neck now. We are going to do the same kind of thing for the neck that we did for the face. The neck is going to have more darker areas because more of the neck is in shadow.

Start by doing some preliminary shading to identify the darkest areas. Use the reference photograph and your drawing to make the best decisions about which areas need to be the darkest.


Begin shading the dark areas of the neck. As you shade the top side corner of the neck just under the jawline, you can see how the reflected light serves as a border to separate the dark area of the neck and the dark area of the face.


Use the preliminary shading from earlier to help you identify and shade the next dark areas to shade. Just to be clear, most of this area of the neck will be in shadow and have very dark values. We are just trying to establish the difference between the darkest areas and the slightly lighter (but still dark) areas.


Shade the areas in between, which will be almost as dark. Outline the jawline to better define it. It’s okay to have a harsh outline here since the neck side will be in deep shadow.


Keep shading in a side-to-side motion as you work your way down the neck. This is the same initial layer of tone that we did for the side of the face. We will most certainly put another layer of tones here on the neck shortly.


Take your blending stump to blend the tones of the neck you just shaded. Put firm pressure on your blending stump and blend in the general direction of the pencil strokes.


Now it’s time to go back and darken up underneath the jawline, as well as the other darker spots one more time.


The mechanical pencil is really good for getting in the tighter areas and making a sharper, cleaner jawline that maintains the reflected light.


Blend the extra layer of tones with the blending stump. That pretty much takes care of this part of the neck. Since so much of the neck is in shadow here, there is no need to use our kneaded eraser to pull out areas of highlight.


Instead, use the kneaded eraser to clean up the outer edge of the neck.

How to Draw a Mouth – Part 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.