How to draw anime mouths from a side view


When drawing the side view of a Japanese anime style character, how should we simplify the realistic human lips to create a character profile view that does not look unnatural?
Today we will be learning how to draw a character’s mouth from the side!


Use realistic lip anatomy and adapt and simplify it

A realistic human mouth protrudes forward like a bird’s beak, as shown in the figure below.

If this protruding lip is illustrated as it is, the face will look uncomfortable as shown in the picture below.

Female anime characters have small chins, so if the curves of their mouths are drawn exactly like real life, they will look a bit monkeyish. For male characters, the mouth should be drawn more realistically, but if the nose is too long and unbalanced, the lower face will be giving us monkey vibes again.
This is one of the most common mistakes made by beginners, so be careful!

So how do we draw the mouth correctly from the side?
Here are some character profiles drawn with attention to the key points we’ll be introducing below:


The ideal character profile is one where the protrusion of the lips is less prominent than that of the chin. For female characters, the outline and dips and bumps of the lips can even be omitted like above. For male characters, make the length of the nose and the length to the chin the same, so that the lips are balanced.

Enjoy drawing your characters in side profile!

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