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    People who are not artists believe that the eyes are the hardest part of the head to draw, but in my
opinion, the eyes are simple compared to the mouth. Each time a new thought passes through
your sitter's mind his or her mood changes, and the expression around the mouth changes as well.
Anger, boredom, fatigue, disdain, petulance - all these feelings and a million more show around
the mouth. Let me just give a word of advise: When you're working on your portrait and you get
to a stage where the mouth is just right, LEAVE IT ALONE! Don't go back to the mouth for any
reason. You can lose the likeness in a split second by adding just that "one more touch" to the
The lip tissue is darker in value and warmer in color than the surrounding skin. When the mouth is open and the lips are parted, we see the teeth. Infants have very full, soft, rounded lips. In old age, the lips become thinner. 
The upper lip is often in shadow, as it is a receding plane. The lower lip catches the light, as it is a
projecting plane. The mouth is the most challenging part of the portrait for the artist because it is constantly changing, but the changes are usually extremely subtle. As John Singer Sargent once said, "A portrait is a picture with something wrong with the mouth". 
When drawing the mouth, remember that the upper lip is made up of three parts, the lower lip of
two. (see drawing above) The line between the upper and lower lip should be broken, varied in
weight and intensity, to avoid a strained expression.
In every part of the portrait you want to give the illusion that the image MIGHT move. Nowhere
is this more desirable than the mouth. We must be extremely careful not to draw firm dark lines
AROUND and BETWEEN the lips. The edges must be drawn or painted softly, particularly on
women and children.
Note the way the corners of the mouth tuck into the adjoining cheeks. Pay a great deal of attention
to these corners. Do they go up? Down? How dark are they? If you paint them TOO dark, the
mouth will appear very tight.
In a small child the upper lip is frequently much larger and more protruding than the very small
lower lip, for the lower jaw is undeveloped.
Study your mouth in a hand mirror. See how soft the lip tissue appears. The center of the upper
lip projects, and the corners really recede as they go back into the cheeks. Turn your head slowly
to one side. As you approach a three-quarter view, the far corner of the mouth tucks in and
disappears. Turn slowly to the other side; watch as the other corner disappears.
Now raise your chin, putting your head back. See how the mouth curves around the teeth. The
corners of your mouth point down in this perspective. Try smiling. What happens then?
Put your chin down on your chest and notice how the mouth curves around the teeth. The corners
go up now; they go up even more when you smile. Throw your head back and look up at your
mouth. The lower lip appears thinner than the upper lip. Conversely, when your chin is down on
your chest and you are looking down on your mouth, the upper lip appears thinner than the lower
1.Studying your mouth in a mirror, indicate with a light line where you want the mouth to be
     on your paper. Look first for the corners of the mouth and place them.
  2.The line between the lips comes next. Try not to draw this as one continuous line, but break
     it somewhere. This little break softens the mouth and prevents a tense expression. The viewer
     will mentally complete the line for you.
  3.Now form the upper lip, developing it from the three oval parts. The light coming from the
     upper left or upper right throws the top lip into shadow. Add this tone.
  4.While you're working on the upper lip, note the vertical indentation from the nose down to
     the lip and the shadow on the plane slanting back toward the cheek. If you're a man, you'll
     have facial hair growing in this area, which will tend to darken this part of the face.
  5.Now look for and place the shadow under the lower lip as it travels down to the chin. Squint
     hard and study your mouth. Do you need to add tone to the lips? A woman wearing lipstick
     may need to add tone; a man might leave the lip as is.
1.Now let's try drawing the mouth in profile. Holding a mirror at the side of your face and
     looking at the reflection of your mouth in a second mirror, block in the mouth by first
     indicating the angle of the line between the lips.
  2.Block in, in a straight line, the angle of projection of your lips. Is the upper lip protruding
     more - or the lower?
  3.Tuck in the corner of the mouth.
  4.Darken the upper lip if it appears to be in shadow.
  5.Add the shadow under the lower lip and at the corner of the mouth. Keep the edges soft
     where the shadow blends into the light. Is the lower lip darker than the skin surrounding it?
     Add this tone if you see it. Now, with your eraser, pick out the highlight where you see it.
     You'll find the mouth is there without lines circumscribing it.
1.Study your mouth in the mirror. Keeping your lines soft, draw the line between the lips, and
     break it somewhere.
  2.Lightly block in the upper lip by drawing the three ovals. Squint hard. Where do you see
     shadow? In the vertical indentation between the nose and the upper lip? On the shadow side
     of the lips from the center to the far corner of the mouth?
  3.Tuck in the corners of the mouth. On the far side, the side turned away from you, the corner
     may not be visible at all. Don't put it in if you don't see it!
  4.Add the shadows under the lower lip. Is the upper lip in shadow? Should the corners of the
     mouth be accented with darks? If the lips are darker than the surrounding skin tone, darken
     them. Now lift out the highlights with your eraser.

Students think ears are more difficult to draw than they really are. Some dedicated observation will eliminate this fear. Whether ears are quite flat or protrude, it's convenient to think of them as flat oval disks set at the side of the head. The ear is made up of cartilage, not bone, and has virtually no movement, so it doesn't change as ones expression changes. On an adult, the ear extends in a vertical shape from the brow line to the base-of-the-nose line. 
In profile, the ear begins at the halfway mark between the front and the back of the head and
extends toward the back. It also slants backward slightly, sometimes paralleling the line of the nose. 
The inner line around the top of the ear seldom follows the outer shape exactly. Don't forget that both ears usually line up with each other and are seen in perspective when the head is tilted. 
Oddly enough, although ears usually don't contribute very much to the likeness, when they're
incorrectly placed they can cause you a great deal of trouble. And it's a very subtle kind of
trouble, for no one is expecting ears to matter much. The face can be perfect, the ears beautifully
drawn, but you'll sense there is something wrong.
For students, the biggest problem seems to be aligning the ears with the eyebrow line and the
base-of-the-nose line. Make sure you follow the curving eyebrow line when the head is tilted and
hang the ears from that. Like the mouth, when the head is tilted back, the ears appear to be lower;
head tilted forward, the ears appear higher.
Before you start to draw, sit up very straight, holding your head absolutely erect, and look in a
mirror. Envision an imaginary line at the top of the ears and another at the bottom of the ears
extending across the face. (see drawing above) As you learned from the lesson on the proportions
of the head, we have a rule of thumb that tells us the top of the ear usually lines up with the
eyebrow, and the bottom with the base of the nose. But YOUR ears may be positioned differently;
look hard and decide.

You will need a pencil, drawing paper, kneaded eraser, and mirror for this exercise;

  1.Block in the full-face diagram of the head using a light line to position the ears, top and
     bottom, where you see them.
  2.Think of the ear as a flat oval disk and begin drawing your ears with that form on both sides
     of the head. Now refine the outer shape of the disks into the actual shape of your ear. (see
     drawing above)
  3.Add the inner line curving around the top to form the rim or fold, called the helix, as shown
     above. Now define the bowl-like indentation of the ear and the small flap at the lower area.
     Draw the small flap at the front of the ear opening. Follow this procedure for both ears, and
     be sure to do both ears at one setting. Does your hair cover part of your ears?

1.Draw a square profile diagram of the head and lightly position the ear as indicated here. 
2.Draw light lines indicating the top, bottom, front, and back of the ear (seen here). Then begin with the oval disk, slanting the top slightly toward the back of the head. Now refine the outer shape of the ear, top to bottom, as shown in the top row of illustrations here. 

3.Add the inner line inside the top of the oval as shown above right. From the fold (the helix),
     and carry it down to the lobe.
  4.Draw in the circular line describing the deep bowl; follow it down to the two quite rigid flaps
     which protect the ear opening - one at the lower back, one at the front toward the face. Add
     shadows and highlights. Now turn your head and draw your other ear. It is a different
     experience, drawing an ear from the opposite direction.