Pucker Up: Drawing Lips

892836742_58a81b4d2e_b Jeff Kubina via Compfight

This week, I drew lips. It seems like as these months go by, each week is getting progressively harder; I’ve certainly learned so far that drawing requires patience. But, at the same time, I’ve had fun doing it; even though I’ve wanted to scream and crumple my paper many times, I’ve learned that perseverance is key!

I decided to look up resources on Pinterest this week to see what I could find. My sudden interest in Pinterest is due to Joey’s, Gaby’s and Amy’s wonderful Pinterest presentation and screencast. I have a feeling that Pinterest might be another procrastination tool that I get into during the school year!

So, the first resource I looked up on Pinterest was this one. I like this picture because it does everything in steps and you can see with each step how the shading goes more in depth and the lips start to look more like lips. I like how there is nothing particularly fancy about the different steps and so I decided to do my own drawing of the picture to get into the grove of things.

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By this time, I was thinking that Pinterest was a really good resource for drawing and so I decided to draw this one. Now, I wasn’t even going to include the next drawing in this post because it’s not very good; however, I think it is a good lesson on the limitations of Pinterest. I found that, with the picture I copied this from, there were not enough steps and I found myself floundering, not knowing what to do with the shadings or the proportions. Unlike the drawing above, this was a fairly complex, realistic picture of lips and so unless you already have a solid background in drawing, I’m not sure if looking up these particular kind of resources in Pinterest would be beneficial.

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After this semi-failure, I went back to YouTube tutorials. One of the most helpful videos that I used this week was this one.

I learned a lot of things in this video, things that didn’t just pertain to drawing lips. The first thing that I learned was that you should always reference a real photograph when you are drawing. I haven’t been doing that these last previous weeks – I have just been mimicking what the resources showed me. This isn’t the best for my personal learning, I have realized; I should really be observing closely what I want to draw first – in real form – before jumping right into it. This way, I can identify exactly what needs to be drawn, especially the subtle things (i.e. the small creases in the lips).

Like the video shows, I used a grid to get the proportions of my lips right. I’ve done this most other weeks, as well, and it is great for beginners because it trains your brain as to how the different parts of the face are proportioned.

I followed this video exactly as the author set it out. The only thing that I found difficult was the shading. The man in the video was able to shade everything perfectly with just his pencil. For the smooth look that he was portraying, however, I had to use my blending stump. I read an article once that some artists consider using blending tools – like a blending stump – cheating. But, I was definitely not accomplishing anything by just using a pencil for blending; besides, in my opinion, one should do whatever s/he wants when drawing. It is a hobby, after all.

Needless to say, in this video, I was able to practice shading immensely. It really is amazing how different something looks pre and post shading. Shading makes everything look real – it creates dimension, it creates shadows, it creates different values. Having good technique for shading really is important if you wish to be a good drawer and I am glad that I brushed up on my blending skills the second week of the Major Learning Project.

To add to this thought, the author said that there really shouldn’t be any artificial lines in any realism drawing. What he meant by this is that all the lines in the drawing should be natural lines created by value differences. This brought me back to high school as this is something that my art teacher often said. You want everything to look natural and a harsh black line looks out of place against the backdrop of different, softer values.

Anyway, this is the drawing that I produced from watching the video.

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You can literally spend hours and hours on one drawing; that’s what I have learned. Even when I was in art class in high school, there was never a time when I thought, “Ok, I’m done!” Instead, deadlines always demanded when I had to hand in my work. I feel like this is the same for every artist out there. A sign of a great artist is that s/he is never happy with their work; there is always room for improvement somewhere!

Finally, I drew a variation on this video.

I started out trying to mimic what the author was doing but then I found that I wanted to make my own changes. For example, I wanted to use a darker pencil and I wanted the lips to look like the were wearing some sort of lipstick. This is not the most realistic drawing of lips ever, but I found it fun to kind of branch out and put out my own interpretation on a particular set of lips.

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Well, that’s it for now. I think I’m going to do hair next week – it sounds easy but I’ve heard from people that it isn’t. Any tips out there for how to draw hair? Anything a beginner like me should know?

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2 thoughts on “Pucker Up: Drawing Lips

  1. Wow! These look awesome. Really great choice for a learning project. I like your comment about art and the fact that it’s difficult to sit back and say “it’s done!” I think this is a good way to teach students that no one and nothing is perfect – there is always room for improvement!

    Liked by 1 person

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