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How to Draw a Mouth | 03 |

Drawing Male and Female Mouths

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difference between male and female mouth drawing 01

The First Major Difference When Drawing Male and Female Mouths

Here you can see the male mouth drawing on the left and the female on the right. Even when starting with the middle line of the mouth that the male mouth appears more flat and the female mouth is more defined.

You will continue to build on this concept as the lesson progresses.  The main reason for the difference in the two mouth drawings is that the male lips tend to be thinner, while the female lips are thicker.


drawing shading the upper lip

Shading the Upper Lip

When drawing the male mouth the upper lip is only lightly defined. The shading is left very light, and the only real line work that is added is a light line to indicate the mid-point on the upper lip. You can see the light shading the curved line on the upper lip above.

When drawing the female mouth the outline of the upper lip is more pronounced, and you can add in more shading. Shading becomes even more important if you are trying to represent a woman wearing lipstick, as this will generally darken the color of the lips.


drawing shading the lower lip

Shading the Lower Lip

For the male, the lower lip is not going to be very defined. You can see in the example that a line has been drawn to establish the lower lip, but this line does not extend up towards the corners of the mouth. The only real shading that has been added here helps to show the thickness of the lower lip by indicating the shadow under it.

For the female you can use a line to fully establish the outline of the lower lip. Notice in the above and below examples of the female mouth drawing that the creases at the side of the mouth have been darkened to give a more three dimensional feeling to the edges of the mouth.

Some shading has been added to the upper lip, but not as much shading is added to the lower lip. This is because of the angle of the overhead light will cause the upper lip to be in shadow. The natural gloss and wetness of the lips will often catch the light on the lower lip and create a nice highlight from the overhead lighting; giving them a lighter appearance.


male mouth drawing

Here is a close-up view of the shaded male mouth drawing.

female mouth drawing example

Here is a close-up view of the shaded female mouth drawing. Some additional light shading has been added to the area just below the lower lip to help give more depth to this part.

male and female mouth drawing from the side

Drawing the Male and Female Mouths from the Side View

There’s no real magic to drawing the drawing the lips from the side view, and you’ve covered this in previous lessons. The real difference is between the thicknesses of the lips.

The same guidelines for placing the mouth half way between the nose and the chin still apply, but with the female mouth you can see that the lips are thicker, making the distance between the nose and the upper lip smaller.


Here’s a List of the Main Differences between the Male and Female Lips:

  • The male lips tend to be less full and flatter
  • The male’s upper lip isn’t as tall as the female’s
  • There is less shading on the male lips
  • The male lips should not be fully outlined
  • The shadow cast by the lower lip is lighter in the female
  • Women’s lips are more rounded and curvy

In the next lesson you’ll put all of your mouth drawing knowledge together as you learn how to draw mouths when the teeth are showing.

Return to the How to Draw a Mouth Lessons Page


3 Responses to “How to Draw a Mouth | 03 | Drawing Male and Female Mouths”

  1. sophie says:

    soo helpful thank you so much!!!!

  2. Rodrigo Eller says:

    it was really helpfull!

  3. Ian says:

    Why does the female mouth end up with lipstick? That’s not part of a woman’s mouth.

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