How to Draw Anime Lips Tutorial

This tutorial will show you how to draw manga and anime lips with different variations of various angles (front three quarters and sides). The tutorial focuses on female lips, but certain examples could be used to draw male lips.

How to Draw Anime Lips Tutorial

It is commonplace to see mouths in manga and anime to be drawn with lips. However, certain styles (usually those with more realistic designs) do include lips. Lips are often depicted in close-ups of manga and anime in styles where they aren’t shown in other styles.

Anime lips drawing examples

Lip Structure

Anime lips structure example

When drawing lips that look like anime it’s crucial to comprehend the form of the real lips. To achieve this, you can draw a mouth that is slightly open in a somewhat relaxed state. So, the form of both the top as well as the lower lip is visible, but not too stretched or deformed.

In a relaxed state, the upper lip appears to be an elongated “M” shape. The bottom lip is typically drawn using a smooth, upward curve, but when you look at the lips closely (this may differ from one person to another) the bottom lip can be seen to have two extremely light curves on the lower portion which join to form a larger shape. The upper part of the lower lip is two curvatures that run from the outer portion of the lips towards the mid-line as seen in the example above.

Create manga or anime-style lips using the following sequence:

  1. Sketch the contour of the general form of the lips.
  2. Draw the contours of the lips
  3. Then draw the mouth’s insides your mouth (if the mouth is opened)
  4. Color your lip drawing, if necessary.

The lips of each person differ from one to person, and also from style to style, but the example above is an excellent basis to build on.

Drawing Anime & Manga Style Lips

Drawing anime lips in front view

Like real lips, anime and manga-style lips are available in various dimensions and shapes. There are various levels of realism and complexity based on the style as well as the preferences of the artist.

In the illustration above, you can observe the evolution from realistic examples to more stylized examples. The more simple the design, the more the various components of the mouth are mentioned or are not visible completely.

You can play around with various levels of complexity and discover what suits the style you want to achieve.

 

Coloring anime lips front view example

In certain instances, the color determines the lip shape rather than the outline. Also, you can see in the examples above that the “M” shape of the upper lip isn’t displayed in any way. This is especially common in the less simplistic anime styles, where the person is wearing lipstick.

A fascinating aspect of applying color to define lips is the fact that the lack of an outline can make the lips appear softer.

If you are certain that you are going to color your lips, but you are drawing in a simpler style, draw some guidelines to determine the overall shape of your mouth. You can erase or remove them in the future if you want to.

Drawing Anime & Manga Style Lips in 3/4 View

Drawing anime lips 3/4 view example

In a 3/4-view draw the part of your lips that is closest to the viewer for longer than the lip that is further away. There are two main reasons why you should draw this way. The first is that the further lip’s side faces away from the view creating the impression of being “shorter”. The other reason is that of perspective.

To gain a better understanding of perspective drawing, you might want to read:

Perspective Drawing Tutorial for Beginners and How it Relates to Anime

To see an illustration for drawing lips onto a face with a 3/4 view, see:

How to Draw an Anime Female Face 3/4 View

Drawing inner part of anime lips in 3/4 view example

The inside of the lips is set and, therefore, should be drawn further in the back than the outer lip when drawing the lips in 3/4-view.

Coloring anime lips 3/4 view example

The coloring of lips in the 3/4 view is the same as for the front view, so simply refer to the 3/4 view portion of the instructional.

 

Drawing Anime & Manga Lips From the Side

It is possible to imagine drawing lips from a side view as drawing half the lips of the front view, which are horizontally squeezed.

Anime lips side view drawing example

It is evident in the above illustration how with a few adjustments you can alter your lips’ frontal view in order to get that side-view.

There is no need to draw out each step as shown in the previous example. They’re there to help you will have an idea of how to create that side-view of lips from the front view, and also the things that need to be adjusted. It is easy to draw the final illustration from the perspective of the sides immediately with the front view as a guide.

Another aspect to keep in mind in the drawing is the top lip tends to stick out a bit greater than the lower lip.

Drawing Anime & Manga Lips With an Open Mouth

A general rule of thumb will be the larger the mouth opens, the smaller the lips appear when they are stretched out more and more. When the lips stretch out their overall shape will be less distinct.

To draw teeth, refer to:

How to Draw Anime & Manga Teeth Tutorial

Front View Open Mouth

Anime lips open mouth front view drawing example

For the view from the front of a mouth that is open, begin by drawing the shape inside of the mouth using 2 curves (one to represent the upper lip, and the other for the lower). After that, you can add a slender “V” shape to the upper lip and the hint in two curves downward close to the middle of the lower lip.

Be aware that certain details could be left out dependent on the size of the mouth and the design.

If you color or shade your mouth, remember that inside your mouth is almost always darker than the lips.

 

3/4 View Open Mouth

Anime lips open mouth three-quarter view drawing example

For the 3/4-view, keep in mind that the lips form a curve in the direction of your mouth. It is possible to think that each one of your lips is a kind of half-circle.

Similar to the example of the closed mouth, the side that is closest to the camera appears to be larger than the side that is further away.

 

Side View Open Mouth

Anime lips open mouth side view drawing example

To draw the side view, you could apply the same method that you used for the side view with a closed mouth (drawing an elongated half of a mouth from the front view, with a few adjustments).

It is important to remember that you don’t have to draw all the steps each time you draw the side view of the mouth. It’s more of a practice and helps you learn the right proportions.

Drawing Anime Lips on the Head

Anime girl lips on head drawing example

As you see in this illustration, you can keep the anime style even when drawing lips for your character. Make the lips appear small when compared to your facial characteristics.

For more information on drawing anime characters with lips that are similar to the ones in this tutorial, see:

  • How to Draw Anime Kissing Lips & Face Tutorial
  • 8-Step Anime Woman’s Head & Face Drawing Tutorial

Conclusion

Lips can have a variety of irregular forms based on the character that you are drawing is doing. It’s difficult to include too many examples in a single tutorial, but these will give you an idea about how you can draw the lips of anime with a few common angles.

For additional examples of drawing mouths from anime, you can also check out:

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