Quick tip #2: Painting Lips

Tip 1: Skip the outline

To create the softest lips ever the most important thing is to not paint hard edges where there aren’t any. Sometimes outlining the lips in the sketch phase can make us want to sharpen the outer edge of the lips. So, instead, I skip the outline altogether and just line the corners of the mouth and the parting of the lips.


This trick will not only give you the freedom to alter the shape of the lips during the process, but It’ll help you avoid the sticker look. I call it the sticker look when the edges of the lips are so sharp that it looks a more like a sticker than something that’s part of the face.


Tip 2: Don’t over-detail

This was painted for a demo video that’s why it’s so elaborate, usually, I won’t go into this much detail.


Before starting a painting always consider two things:

– The size of the paper it will be printed on.

– The distance the painting will be most likely viewed from.


For example, a playing card size or a billboard-size painting doesn’t need very fine detail because one is viewed from very far, the other is too small. Fine detail can become noise, which distracts the viewer from the focal points.

To reduce unnecessary details try painting paint zoomed out!

Tip 3: Improve your anatomy

You don’t have to memorize the name of every crease or muscle there is, you just need a general knowledge of the pieces that make up the lips. So you can add variations to your paintings and not fall into the trap of the “same face syndrome”.


The lips are built up of squishy pillows, five in total. If you change up the shape, size and the placement of them you can create any type of lip from imagination.

Next time you use a reference to paint lips try to locate these shapes, maybe even draw them on the reference. Exercises like this will help you build your visual library. If you want to dive more into this Proko has amazing tutorials on everything anatomy: Drawing lips: step-by-step Drawing lips: anatomy and structure


Happy learning

♡ Csenge


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