This tutorial shows how to draw an anime mouth from the front, 3/4 and side views. A total of three variations with multiple examples for each.
The focus of this tutorial is on the basics of drawing an anime or manga style mouth. It explains how to achieve the anime look and how to place the mouth on the head.
Overall this is a simple but fairly extensive guide that can help you gain a better understanding of the style.
Drawing an Anime Mouth From the Front View
In this view anime/manga mouths are commonly drawn without showing the lips (though there are exceptions to this as well).
The entire mouth can pretty much be drawn as a light curve, often with a bit of a gap in the middle (as shown in the example above).
The reason for adding the gap may be to give a hint of the tip of the upper lip (the tubercle) which sort of “cuts” into the opening of the mouth making it look like there is a break there.
You can also make the mouth lines narrower towards the gap and wider on the edge but this may be more difficult and/or not necessary when drawing the drawing is very small or when the outlines are very thin.
While having this gap is fairly common it’s not necessary. Some anime characters and styles have it while others don’t. It’s really up to you weather or not you want to draw the mouth with it or without.
One way to place the mouth is to vertically divide the head up into eight evenly spaced sections. The bottom lip are will start one section up (1/8) from the bottom of the chin with the mouth just a tiny bit above that.
As mentioned earlier when it comes to anime and manga the bottom lip itself is often not shown at all. However knowing where it should be located can help you place the mouth.
Above you can see what the mouth can look like if the lips are drawn.
Keep in mind that this placement method is just a suggestion to help achieve an anime looking character. Different styles and characters can effect how the mouth is position on the head.
Another thing to be aware of is that the mouth can somewhat shift based on the facial expressions. For drawing these see:
You can also use a slightly different placement method for the mouth if you are going to be drawing the entire face. You can see that option towards the end of this tutorial.
Drawing an Anime Mouth From 3/4 View
In 3/4 view anime mouths are again often drawn as pretty much just a curve with no lips. But in this case the curve will not be symmetrical as in the front view example.
The middle of the mouth will be shifted in the direction of the turn of the head and the gap (described int the previous example) can also be moved along with it. When drawing the mouth in this view make the side closer to the viewer longer and the far side narrower.
Placing the mouth on the head in 3/4 view is pretty much the same as for the front view. You can again divide the head up into eight parts (vertically) and place the mouth slightly above the first division from the bottom.
Above you can again see what the mouth looks like when the lips are drawn.
Drawing an Anime Mouth From the Side View
Drawing from the side view is more complex then from the front and 3/4 views. Though the mouth itself will pretty much look like half of the mouth from the front view (slightly narrower) you will also generally need to show the lips and nose.
When drawing the lips you can show them as pretty much an outline/silhouette. A good way to draw them is to first have the area between the nose and the chin as pretty much a straight line and then use this line to help you position the lips.
For a fairly generic looking you can position both lips just touching the line.
However as you can see in this next example you can also change the shape of the lips as you like depending on the character look you are going for.
For more examples of drawing anime lips see:
The little gap in the mouth in this case will be between the outline of the lips and the opening of the mouth. You can make the mouth line narrower towards the gap and thicker towards the edge of the mouth. Again keep in mind that both adding the gap and the varying thickness of the line is optional (as was already explained in the first example).
In the above example you can see the positioning of the mouth. Again the bottom lip area will start 1/8 of the way up from the bottom of the face with the mouth opening slightly above that.
When drawing in this view it’s important to note that the “bottom lip area” refers to the actual red part of the lip and not the area where the chin starts to curve into the lip. You can see this in the example above.
Finally it can also be helpful to know the placement of the nose when drawing the side view of the lips. Unlike in the front and 3/4 view you can’t really avoid drawing it when outlining the head.
Generally the placement of the nose will be with it’s tip just above another 1/8 of the way up from the bottom of the lip (about 1/4 distance up from the bottom of the head). Again remember that this can change depending on the character and style.
For more examples on drawing anime mouths from the side view see see:
The tutorial has some overlapping information at the start but provides many more examples.
Drawing Anime Mouths With the Entire Face
You can see the overall placement of the facial features for the head used for this tutorial in the example above.
When drawing the entire face there is no need to divine the head into eight portions. You can instead start by placing the eyes below the vertical halfway point of the face, position the nose halfway between the top of the eyes and the bottom of the face and position the bottom lip halfway between the nose and again the bottom of the face.
This method works for all of the head views shown in this tutorial. It or similar methods are also used for most of the face drawing tutorials here on AnimeOutline.
Some examples of these are:
- How to Draw an Anime Girl’s Head and Face
- How to Draw Anime and Manga Male Head and Face
- How to Draw an Anime Female Face 3/4 View
- How to Draw Male Anime Face in 3/4 View Step by Step
Anime mouths are generally highly simplified compared to real mouths (drawn with the bare minimum of details). This tutorial provides a good template for drawing them and for achieving an anime look. There are however many variations in the anime style based on the character type and the artist’s preference. You can always try and experiment for yourself and see what looks right.
For detailed explanations of drawing other facial features in the anime and manga style also see:
- How to Draw Female Anime Eyes Tutorial
- How to Draw Anime and Manga Ears
- How to Draw Anime and Manga Noses