Capturing the delicate, fleeting expressions of human feelings in portrait drawing is a test for every draftsperson. There are fundamentally 6 primary feelings: surprise, happiness, sadness, anger, fear and disgust.
The expressions of these primary feelings are instinctual, the muscle relationships and activities are involuntary. Generally, the facial muscles are delicate, finely attuned and easily seen because they lie just under the surface.
The facial muscles not only suggest moods and expressions they also exhibit sympathetic characteristics. For example, when we are threading a needle we usually purse our lips to “aid” the thread through the needle’s eye.
All facial expressions involve the muscles and other parts of the mouth. Therefore, to appreciate the facial expressions we must first appreciate the mouth which is more than just the red lips.
The mouth region reaches from the bottom of the nose to the Mentolabial Sulcus, i.e., the sulk-line of the chin. The mouth is a qiuqiu online convex shape and wraps around the muzzle of the face.
Drawing the mouth should always start with the articulation of the Interstice, i.e., the horizontal line where the upper and lower lips meet. The lips wrap around the convex projection of the dental arch and the interstice roughly corresponds to the middle portion of the front, upper teeth.
Note that the Nodes in the corners of the mouth are lower than the center of the interstice, except in a smile when the facial muscles pull up the nodes.
The lips, or Labia, are composed of mucous membrane whose pinkness results from the blood capillaries lying just under the surface.
The upper lip has three shapes. In the middle is the Tubercle which is non-muscular and contributes to the ‘V’ shape of the upper lip where it meets the bottom of the Philtrum. The Philtrum is the stretched, vertical trough that extends from the bottom of the nose to the tubercle of the upper lip.
The philtrum, which means “love drop”, is bordered by ridges on each side. Practically every starting draftsperson overextends the philtrum, thus placing the mouth too low.
The other two parts of the upper lip are two, horizontal stretched shapes. The muscles here, however, are the visible ridges of the middle vertical fibers of the Orbicularis Oris whose action results in the pursing up of the lips. The various facial muscles fastened to the nodes of the mouth do the pulling and pushing.
The upper lip is flatter than the lower lip. It is a downward tilting plane and usually appears darker than the lower lip. There is a tiny up-plane on the vermillion border of the upper lip that quite often catches a gentle light. For most people, the upper lip tucks into the nodes.
The lower lip usually stops a bit short of the nodes. The lower lip is heavier and fuller. It consists of two stretched shapes that give it a more squared-off look than the upper lip.
A little below the vermilion border of the lower lip is a elevated edge that develops laterally and is more conspicuous at the nodes.
The vermilion border of the lower lip should not be drawn with a hard line, it has to be suggested more than drawn. Otherwise it will look like lipstick.
The lower lip is an up-plane and will often catch the light. Like the upper lip, the ridges of the middle vertical fibers domino99 of the orbicularis oris shape the texture of the lower lip.
The bottom of the mouth region is at the mentolabial. Shaping at the bottom edge of the lower lip’s two stretched shapes are two columnar tubes that radiate diagonally downward. These are the Pillars of the Mouth. This is a down plane and thus will fall in shadow.
With this we end the complete description of the things that make the mouth and in the end the smile.