Drawing Expressions | 02 |How to Draw a Smile

Drawing The Head

how to draw a smile sketching

The first step in learning how to draw a smile for your character is drawing a circle for the top of the head.

While you are drawing a circle on your page, it’s actually best to think of this as more like a sphere that has depth in 3d space because you’re going to be tilting your characters face to the side.

As the sphere comes down from the forehead and into the nose and cheeks the shape is going to change.LaurieB!’s characters have an exaggerated lower half of the face that pushes the nose, cheeks and mouth out a bit further than you would see on a realistic human.

When learning how to draw a smile, it’s good to be aware of how different artists exaggerate their characters, so always be on the lookout!

Draw the middle line down the center of the face so that you can place the symmetrical features, like the eyes, on each side of this line while also taking into consideration things like how the angle of the head will affect how these features look.

Study the image on the right closely because once you’ve finished this first step, even though your lines might be a little rough, you will have most of the major forms of the head finished.

You’ll just need to go back and refine some of your lines with darker stroked to get a nice polished look.

Adding the Eyes

Draw in the pupil and iris inside the eye to finish them off.

When learning how to draw a smile, notice the nice, big highlight that’s been added to the upper left part of the pupil (the colored part of the eye).

Adding highlights to the eyes is a great way to bring out the personality of your character, no matter if you are drawing a smile, or any other expression.

Remember to pay close attention to how the cheek gets pushed up as the mouth opens for the smile.

drawing a smile line art

how to draw smiling lips final sketch

Finishing Up

Finish up this lesson on how to draw a smile by adding in some little details like eyelashes on the eyes, hair, the neck and some definition to the ear.

There’s not much more to this one! Let’s move on to the next lesson and keep learning about drawing expressions.