How to Draw Smiles & Smirks Step by Step Instructions

Hey Artists! Today, we are going to practice drawing Smiles.

This is an exercise, which means practice. There can be many different kinds of smiles.

I know that there is a difference between a smile of pure joy and a smile of appeasement, when you barely feel like smiling.

Also, a smirk! Those are smiles, right?

So many choices…

How to draw a smile

Supplies needed to draw a smile


  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser

  Supplies for drawing smiles

How to draw head shapes for smiles

Let’s get started:

1. Since we are practicing a few different smiles, I will sketch 3 heads, it doesn’t matter the size.

If you already have your head shape in a drawing, look ahead and choose which smile you’d like or practice on a separate piece of paper.

How to draw a face with smile

How to draw open lips smile

drawing teeth & smile

How to draw smiles step-by-step

Ok, we are starting with a genuine smile, this would be one that happens right before a laugh.

1. Draw a crescent shape, this will show the mouth open. When someone smiles like this their cheeks pull up and back, showing dimples if they have them and also exposing the front teeth. Sometimes, you will also see the tongue. 

2. Draw lines for the cheeks, these will be curved lines a little distance from the sides of the mouth.

3. Next, draw in some teeth. Oftentimes in illustrating you do not need to worry about drawing each tooth, but drawing the outline of the row of teeth works well

4. Also, when someone smiles like this their eyes tend to look closed. The eyes look more curved, as the cheeks are pushing them up.

Remember, it’s sincere and not practiced so they don’t try to control every facial movement.

Fun Smile with closed eyes sketch

How to draw a Smirk

The next smile up to try your hand at drawing…. The smirk!

1. This “smile” makes the lips thin, the mouth is spread out but mostly closed. This can look like a line, with small accent marks on top and bottom giving the “idea” of lips. 

2. The eyes stay WIDE open with this smile. They tend to tense up in the middle center.

I have made it more obvious just to show you the idea. 

How to draw a smirk

How to draw a picture ready open mouth smile

The next smile to try to draw is a picture ready smile…

This is a wide, practiced smile. Start by drawing a long curved line for the top lip.

1. Add that crescent shape, for a wide mouth.

2. The top lip is spread thin.

It’s a little tricky to draw, draw a lip line closer to and spread most of the length of the mouth,

3 cute smiles to learn how to draw

There you go! You’ve done it and drawn all the smiles! Which one will you put on your next project? 

 Let’s see what else we can draw together…next time.

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