How to Paint Lips on an Android Tablet

Lips can be quite complicated when you look at them but, when you start to break down their structure you'll learn that they are not as hard to paint as you may have first thought.

I've been asked many times now if there is an alternative to Adobe Photoshop for digital painting that works on Android devices - because not all of us own an iPad.. yet. The short answer, YES! To show you what I use and how, I have painted these lovely lips on my android tablet.

As a quick side note: All the steps you are about to read through can be applied to different mediums - minus the opacity and other things relating to digital stuff of course!

The Blank Canvas

I start by creating a canvas that is 3000 pixels by 2000 pixels and fill in the background with a skin tone colour. For the sketch I used a 6B pencil and used a dark red colour to sketch out the shape of the lips before setting the opacity to 33%.

Lips sketch

First Layer of Colour

Next I put down the base colours of the lips. The dark red used for the sketch and a lighter red for the bottom lip. I used the airbrush to fill in the shapes and give the edges of the lips that nice blurred line so it looks natural.

Base colours of the lips in red

For the highlights and shadow I used 2 more red colours, one dark and one light, to create a 3D shape. I used the airbrush with an opacity of between 4% and 10% for this so I could build on the lights and shadows base.

Note: Start with the shadows.


I created a new layer for the shadows of the lip edges to give them some depth and used a darker red for the creases in the lips. I used the airbrush set to a higher opacity but not too high; up to 20%.

Darker lines added to the red lips for natural creases

Be mindful of the direction of the lines. You want them to go up and round the shape of the lip and become smaller on the outter edges. Try not to go to far either, otherwise your painting won't look realistic.


On a new layer set to screen, I painted in the highlights using a lighter red. I added creases of light on the upper and lower lips and used a light pink colour to create the glossy shine using the airbrush set to a high opacity but again, not too high; up to 20%.

Highlight lines added to creases and a glossy shine on red lips

Intensifying the Colours

On another new layer, I made it an overlay layer and used a bright red to make the colours of the lips pop.

Red lips with intensified red colour overlay

Final Step

The final step was to rinse and repeat details until I was happy with the end result.

Final image of red lips with a few tweaked changes

Now if you have just gone through all the steps or you are about to watch the video, I encourage you to get your art supplies out and show me what you can create with your favourite medium.

Enjoy the process and have fun!

Charmaine x

The Video

For a full length tutorial (with narration) of this and many other illustrations and tutorials, join the Thriving Illustrator waitlist and as soon as it opens you will have access to them!

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Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by Sketchbook or Photoshop and the opinions here are my own.

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