Stylized Painting | 09 |Adding Details to the Mouth

comic painting in photoshop alice finished painting

Take a look at how your painting will eventually look in this comic painting in Photoshop series

In the previous lesson on comic painting in Photoshop, you learned how to add shading and achieve subtle blends with the ear. Now, you’re ready to finish off the face by adding another important feature – the mouth.

Whether frowning or smiling, open or closed, the mouth is one of those areas in your painting that people will be instantly drawn to.

So, getting this feature right can make a huge difference to your painting and make your work stand out from the rest.

paint alice in wonderland finished eyes

Smile! It’s Time to Work on the Mouth

After making some small adjustments to the nose, Sycra’s going to move on to painting Alice’s mouth.

For this comic painting in Photoshop tutorial, the first stage when working on the mouth is to create a new layer and hold down the Alt key to turn this into a Clipping Layer.

Then, don’t be afraid to go back and re-work any areas of your painting as you see fit. Sometimes, you only notice an area that needs a little more work when you zoom in to work on another one, so just keep correcting things as you go and you’ll be fine.


Here, Sycra adds a little more shading to the nose and softens up the philtral dimple – the indentation in the skin between the nose and the mouth.

Once you’re ready to start work on the lips, it’s a similar process to the other features.

You need to get rid of the original dark lines by adding color to them and blending them in to the colors surrounding them.

Starting with the line where the lips meet, pick up a dark red color and blend out the line beneath.

Create the lip shape by using a lighter reddish tone, and then add some highlights to areas such as the top of the upper lip.

At the corners of the mouth, you’ll want to make the lines much softer so they just look like subtle creases.

Just go right ahead and blend, blend, blend! If you need to, re-establish some of the dark line between the lips by taking a darker red shade and applying this.Moving on to the lower lip, you can take the form from your original line art and expand upon this, adding some defined areas of shape, shading and highlight using colors picked up from elsewhere in your painting.

As with the eyes, this is one part of your painting where using more vivid colors is ok.

In this comic painting in Photoshop tutorial, notice how Sycra takes a saturated pinkish red and adds this to the top of the bottom lip to draw attention to this feature.



Adding Texture to the Lips

Add some texture to Alice’s lower lip by drawing some lighter lines which curve and follow the form of this feature.

Then, start blending these lines into the darker color according to where the light source is coming from.

Notice how Sycra uses a harder line to define the lower lip on the right-hand side because this part is in shadow.

Next, add an indentation in the center of the lower lip by picking up a darker, more saturated color and drawing a thin line.

Looking in his Navigator Window, Sycra can see that the lips are now starting to look a little too pink – as if our young girl Alice is wearing lipstick!

Because Alice is only seven-and-a-half years old, this is not a look we want to be going for. So, to make the color of the lips more subtle, take some of the lighter skin tones and blend these in to knock the brighter pink colors back a little.

Once you’ve done this, soften the other corner of the mouth using the same technique as before. Take a bigger brush to add subtle areas of color and keep zooming back out of your painting to give you a better idea of how everything’s looking.

Moving on to the lower lip, add a small area of highlight to give the impression that this is protruding out from the face.


Lighten Your Workload With the Liquify Tool

By this stage in our comic painting in Photoshop lesson, you should have ended up with a really cute mouth that works well in your digital painting.

Looking at the left-hand corner of the mouth, Sycra decides he wants to move this up slightly to give the impression Alice is smiling.You can do this quickly and easily by using the Liquify Tool. Draw a marquee around the area you want to change, and then go to Filter > Liquify to apply your changes.

When you select this option, you’ll see a new window appear, where you can pull the area you want to change around slightly and get it into the right position.

Once you’re done, hit OK and the corner of Alice’s mouth will now be in the new position.Stylized_mouth_07

Get Some Color in Alice’s Cheeks

Next, add some more form to the cheek by making brush strokes that follow the form of the face. After a while, you’ll end up with a round cheek that looks amazingly 3D.

Taking a reddish tint, add some color now to Alice’s cheeks. Remember the cheeks are usually larger in young children, so making Alice’s cheeks quite big will give the viewer an idea of how old she is.

Tweaking the Nose

Having finished the cheeks, Sycra takes a look around his painting and decides to smooth out the bridge of the nose a little.

As we mentioned earlier, you’ll often notice parts of your painting that need some more work when you’re attending to other areas.


Don’t worry – this is all a perfectly normal part of the creative process!

Keep making adjustments wherever you think necessary. The main thing is that you end up with a good solid painting at the end of all this.

Next up, you’ll be learning how to edit the background of your painting and picking up some more pro tips from Sycra Yasin.

We hope you enjoyed this lesson on comic painting in Photoshop and that it’s given you confidence to try out some of these techniques in your other paintings!

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