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Art Lessons: The Mouth

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Hey, everybody.
I'm Bau and you are about to learn about
the mouth.
So, let's break the mouth down in very
simple terms.
I like to break it down into a barrel.
That's what this whole thing is it is a
So, I think about it like a bow.
I think about it like this and
I like to make sure that everything that
I'm drawing is very sculptural,
so that you feel like it's actually three
dimensional on the page.
That's the magic of drawing.
So with the mouth [NOISE] there is as it
turns back into space,
we really feel like it's volumetric.
So you wanna almost, as you're drawing it,
you wanna make sure that.
If there were ants crawling along the
barrel of the mouth,
you'd feel like they were actually going
around that form.
So that's really important.
It, it is to keep a sculptural quality to
everything you draw.
[SOUND] Now I like to actually draw
draw the lips as one unit.
So, it is perspecting and space.
It is acting like a barrel.
But I like to draw the value very close
cuz I don't really believe that there are
lines in nature.
You know, Delacroix the great painter
said, that there are no lines.
And of course, here his nemesis Jean
Dominique Ingres.
The teacher of Edgar Degas.
And actually the student of Jacques Louis
David, totally disagreed.
Said that there were lines everywhere.
But really in nature there are no lines.
So, I'm a little bit more on the Delacroix
So, I like to really draw using lines as a
stylistic thing and
as something to really accentuate a point.
And that's really important.
So when I do the lips, I like to draw
the top lip, which is the, the red lip.
I always think about the temperature of
the lips, so
I think of this lip as the red lip and as
this is perspecting back into space.
This is connected to the bottom lip.
And there's the under-plane here.
And everything has a gradation.
So the under-plane is graded into dark to
So we're going dark here to lighter.
Now we're hitting the top of the chin.
And then we're catching that light.
And then we're gradating dark to light.
So everything in nature has a gradation.
Doesn't matter what you're drawing,
there's always a gradation.
Remember that.
Write that down.
Did you write it down?
Write that down now.
Always a gradation.
So, this piece right here is called the
And you should really always locate the
Because that's going to give you your
The philtrum is always going to tell you
exactly where the center of that mouth is.
So, I'll just do an accent here.
Where the nodes are.
Right here.
And here.
So I'm drawing the end of this mouth, the
top lip and the bottom lip.
Kinda the same value.
Top, top lip is wedging down.
And then the bottom and the top lip are
going back in the space.
Because basically we're drawing it on top
of a barrel, like that.
There's a big muscle that goes around the
barrel of the mouth.
So that, as right here.
It's called the orbicularis oris.
And there's a bunch of muscles that
connect here,
that's where you see these little nodes
right here.
Like that.
So, [NOISE] top plane, bottom plane,
a little bit of a line separating right
An easy way to remember this is to do an
elongated M for
the top lip and a elongated W for the
bottom lip.
Let me show you.
So, elongated m.
This is an iconographic way to show this.
And a elongated w.
So you're basically just stretching it
And what you have.
Is the beginnings of
la bouche, like this.
See that?
So obviously, in case you ever forget, you
could always just say, wait a minute.
I gotta do a elongated M for the top lip
and an elongated W for the bottom lip.
That makes sense.
It's a easy, quick way to remember.
What you're doing.
now let's look at this from a profile
It's really important to understand the
direction that the mouth is taking for
a profile.
Because this is going to show you how
geometric the mouth actually is.
So, from the profile view,
the mouth is kind of wedging down.
It's like a wedge.
And if the light was coming down from
here, the light would hit
the top plain of that muzzle right here,
of the barrel.
And then it might catch the bottom lip,
this plane here.
I'll draw the nose, just to contextualize
what I'm talking about.
And it is really important for that top
lip to interlock that bottom lip.
The interlock.
It's a really important word.
So it's actually holding it in place.
That's really important for this.
So this is.
Now if we're painting the top lip,
that's gonna be redder.
The bottom lip, it's gonna be not only
but it's gonna be lighter in value.
Okay, so.
Contextualize this nose.
Here, in his mouth, this top lip is
interlocking this bottom lip.
As I draw them, I am drawing them
So I'm kinda doing a glaze over that.
Like that.
There's a cast shadow onto that top lip.
And there is a form shadow of the bottom
lip, here.
And a core, a core shadow.
And here, the ridge is always light on the
ridge too.
So obviously, as the ridge is going back
into space,
we're going to, it's going to be not as
As where the ridge herem We could
exaggerate and say, well,
the light is actually catching that right
And then, we will also say that the light
is catching the corner of the bottom lip
right there, as well.
So now, we kinda want to think about, how
does that mouth look, in three quarter?
So we have to think about that whole
muzzle like this.
Or the barrel, like this.
And as you can see, look at my line.
Look at my arrow.
We have to always find the center point.
That's how we're gonna keep our
No matter what we're drawing.
If we're drawing the torso, the foot, the
hand, the face, the eye,
it doesn't matter.
You have to find the center point.
So, when I draw the mouth from a
three-quarter view,
I'm immediately thinking okay, this is the
philtrum, right here.
So, here's the philtrum and that's going
to give me the center.
Here is that top lip.
Here is that bottom lip.
I'm not gonna do this on my finished
drawing, but
I'm doing this to, I'm just doing this to
show you.
So arrow representing that philtrum,
the mid-section of the top lip, the
mid-section of the bottom lip, going down.
And then this is wrapping around on this
Wrapping and tucking.
And as I draw one side, I'm always drawing
the other side.
So as I'm drawing this side, I'm
immediately thinking about that side.
That's important.
Wedging down.
And remember, same plane.
Underneath the lip.
Right here.
Catching light here.
Thinking always about that center, though.
Remember I talked about the gradation?
Another gradation here.
Dark to light.
Here, light to dark.
Same with the mouth.
Dark to light.
Changing planes.
Changing planes.
Drawing the top and
bottom lip as it's perspecting away from
the light source as one value.
Basically called, that's called grouping.
You're kinda grouping everything.
Never lose track of that center.
Once you lose track of your center, then
you basically,
you have no idea where you are and you're
gonna be out of perspective and
it's gonna look distorted, which is fine
if that's what you're going for.
And it's all, it's all within that muzzle
shape like that.
So, you think about it all as a barrel.
And as it's going towards the light, this
is going to be darker on this side.
And lighter on the top planes here, here,
and the nose is gonna cast a shadow, etc
and so on.
let's talk about where the mouth sits.
It's important to know the proportions of
the mouth as well.
So if we have a quick iconic,
iconographic head, we know that halfway
down, between the chin and
the top of the head, is going to be the
brow ridge.
Halfway down between the brow ridge and
the chin, there's gonna be the bottom of
the nose, quickly just figuring this out.
Halfway down from the nose to the bottom
of the chin is going to
be the bottom of the mouth.
Now, the ears which line up with the brow
ridge and the bottom of the nose.
The top ear goes to the bottom of that
The other plane goes
through the corner here, that.
So now, it's just important to know a
couple little clues.
Number one, the corners of the mouth, if
you're looking at me straight on,
the corners of the mouth usually line up
at the jaw.
Every face is different.
We know that.
Every face is different.
So everyone's proportions are gonna be
slightly off, slightly different.
It just depends on if somebody has a
gigantic mouth.
Or, you know, like myself, I have a really
big mouth.
So my mouth is gonna be proportionally
different with the rest of my face
than other people.
But in general, the rule of thumb is that
the corner of that mouth
lines up with the corner of that jaw like
So, it's actually on a straight line, if
it's not,
if you're not looking up, not looking
three quarter,
if you're looking straight on eye level,
that's exactly what it's doing.
Now, the other important thing is that the
corner of the mouth,
if you draw a straight line up, it
actually goes right to that pupil.
So right here.
Lines up right like that.
So, those two measurements, corner the
with the jaw and the corner that mouth
with the pupil.
Those are really important.
So, you should memorize that.
[NOISE] And then you can play with that
when you distort it, too.
Now there are a lotta different types of
mouths, right?
So there is the, here, I'll just show you.
There are different angles and
ways to draw mouths that are very
So if you're designing a character, or
you're creating a person, or
you're looking at somebody and trying to
get a likeness,
you have to be mindful of these things.
So, here's what represents this, the
Some mouths, actually C-curve up and out,
like that.
So, some mouths actually go that way, see?
They C-curve that way, then they pull
That would be this kinda mouth, like that.
Now, other mouths actually do the
The other lips, they cut inward, like
So, they actually cut like that.
And we all know people who have these
different kinds of mouths.
Like that.
[NOISE] And still others
are much more like do,
do, do, do, French.
Very French super, super, uper French,
like this.
So it's a little bit more bowey and
And that one kinda comes up.
It's a very exaggerated version of this.
A very full.
Now we see it a lot in the Renaissant
paintings when they're doing especially
like cupid stuff, and that's kind of
really, really bowy.
That comes up like that, and then like
And so, that has a tendency, a tendency to
be a lot more round, like that.
A lot more exaggerated, a lot more
and you could even exaggerate it more if
you're doing cherubs by making that like
those lips, really pure red, like really
There you go and then just a little
So, you get that kind of bowy thing.
And you know a lot of people really look
for that.
I mean.
I have very full lips, but a lot of people
go for the botox look, and I can show you
what that looks like, and it's easy to
just kind of change the mouth like that.
So, this is the normal lips.
Here's my botox.
You see the difference.
A lot of people actually wanna have that
Like this.
It's interesting, huh?
But that's what you can do as an artist.
You can design your own lips.
You can design your own mouth, and you
could play with that.
So, you know, you're thinking, well wha,
what is in a mouth?
Why is that so important?
Well, I'm showing you.
There's a million different types of lips
and mouths, and
if you wanna really design your own one,
you could have so much fun with it.
You could have like the best time ever.
Another thing to think about, just on this
note, is
getting into a little bit of the jowls.
So oftentimes as we age, the actual lips
start to lose that silica, that juiciness,
and they start to kinda flatten out.
So it's important when you're drawing
older people,
you'll notice that, you know, their lips
get really thin here.
Like that.
And even my lips one day will be thin.
It's going to be a long time though, you
know what I'm saying?
So, they're really thin.
They get really thin, and the mouth starts
to lose the elasticity, and
the muscles start to drop, right here.
You start to get that thing going on, and
those nodules kind of just become jowls.
And so, you gotta really look for that
when you're designing your mouths,
especially like, it's not very mindful to
be designing
a bunch of older characters and not be
mindful of
these certain rules, as it's not mindful
of designing a cherub but giving them,
you know, cherubs this, these kind of
lips, it's not gonna work.
You know, so, every character that you
design has to kind of come with their own,
specific set of lips,
and heads, and toes.
And, you know, like these lips have to
match the toes.
And these toes have to match the elbow.
I mean it's really all part of designing a
whole character.
So if you look at like a Rockwell
those lips really belong to those eyes of
this character, you know.
And if it was all his different characters
had very specific features.
So, when you're designing a mouth,
think about all those things and practice
at home.
And practice makes perfect, and a perfect
practice makes a perfect drawing.
Have the best day ever.