Carving a Woman’s Mouth


Carving a Woman’s Mouth

Simple techniques to make attractive, feminine lips

By Harold Enlow

Many carvers add beards and mustaches to avoid carving lips and mouths. If you plan to carve a woman, though, it’s impossible to hide the lips. Learning these few simple steps for carving lips allows you to carve any face.

1: Prepare the blank. Round the corner of the blank and smooth the area for the lips with a carving knife. Because women have smoother skin than men, the area must be smooth. Draw the lips. The top lip is usually wider than the bottom lip. 2: Carve the area between the lips. Make a stop cut along the area between the lips with a carving knife. The curve of the blank makes this cut curve on both sides as you press it into the rounded wood. Taper the upper lip from the top line down to the center cut. Use the same technique to shape the bottom lip.
3: Shape the corners of the lips. Carve up alongside the bottom lip to the top lip with a 1/8″ (3mm) #11 gouge (or veiner). Cut the chip free with the veiner or a detail knife.

4: Outline the upper and lower lips. Carve above the upper lip and under the lower lip with a 1/8″ (3mm) veiner. The upper lip is slightly pointed and the lower lip is more rounded.


5: Carve the angel’s kiss. Use a 1/8″ (3mm) veiner to carve the slight groove between the top lip and the bottom of the nose.

6: Continue shaping the lips. Use a 3/16″ (5mm) skew chisel. Then, use a carving knife to create the rounded, pouty top lip.

7: Deepen the area where the lips meet. This area, called the embrasure, is the deepest part of the carving. With a carving knife, make a deep cut at a slight angle from the top. Then cut up to the stop cut from the bottom to create a thin, deep groove.


Materials & Tools


• Carving wood


• Knives: carving, detail
• Skew chisel: 3/16″ (5mm)
• #3 gouge: 3/8″ (10mm)
• #5 gouge: 1/8″ (3mm)
• #11 gouge (veiner): 1/8″ (3mm)
• V-tool: 1/8″ (3mm)
• Denture brush


Learn To Carve Faces: Eyes and Lips
By Harold Enlow

Master carver Harold Enlow guides you through the nuances of carving these important but tricky facial features. Study stick also available.

Available for $5.99 plus $3.99 S&H from Fox Chapel Publishing,  1970 Broad St., East Petersburg, Pa., 17520, 800-457-9112,, or check your local retailer.

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