View Full Version : help with face drawing
06-28-2007, 10:26 AM
I have the hardest time add 'emotion' to my facial drawings.. sound crazy i know but my faces are stiff looking with no emotion any help or tips or reference? I'm going for a comic book style just as a fyi
06-28-2007, 10:27 AM
Use your face as reference.
And FYI, eyes/eyebrows make all the difference.
06-28-2007, 01:38 PM
The eyes and the eyebrows in particular do make a huge difference in expressions... it's why we think of cats and dogs as expressive, and why we find insects alien and inhuman.
McCloud does an excellent dissertation on the facial muscles in Making Comics, and how you can break down almost all human expression into six basic expressions (anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise) and then recombine them in different ways to make almost any expression you could need (ex: fear+joy=desperation, anger+sadness=betrayal, etc.)
It's one of the better parts of the book, espescially his nicely simplified face muscle breakdown.
06-28-2007, 02:13 PM
Use a portable mirror and study your own face to help with expressions. A lot of artists do this, and it does help you work out certain expressions and emotional reactions. A big part of emoting is also in the body language. How people stand and use their hands, combined with facial expression is very important in conveying emotion and mood.
06-28-2007, 02:39 PM
The little curl on the side of the lips can really mean the world too. It can mean the difference on a hot girl between being sultry and just pissed off.
This is one of those things I take a lot of pride in. I always try to bring everything else up too, because I don't want to be Kevin Macguire and just be stuck to that, and you also want to watch your body language too, but I always seem to get people saying, "Nice faces." One of the best things to do is definitely to use a mirror. But to be honest, the last time I used a mirror, well, I don't even remember, but that's mostly due to me not having a good one I can take with me all the time.
It's good to start simple, like Ink thinker is saying, that's a definite good idea, don't get too caught up in ALL of the subtleties if this is something your struggling with, but it should be an eventual goal to be able to do that, kinda like why people who work-out with a goal are the ones who get big, and the guys who just go to the gym everyday generally stay the same size/weight.
I personally think that a lot of artists, especially in comics, miss the boat with really good facial expressions. The big problem is actually BECAUSE of using a mirror, as good as it is, not every artist is an actor too, so they don't know how to make every expression, and even when they know how, their face doesn't exactly reflect it, ie. not enough definition, detail, etc. Mines kind of the second one, though I don't know how to make every expression either. I'm saying it's a good idea to first, look into drama, and practice not just facial expressions, but saying the lines in the writing, and seeing just how you want it conveyed and then possibly even just motion capture one of the frames in your mind, and draw that, and second, look into books on the subject, again, like Inkthinker said. One I have to reccomend is, Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists by Mark Simon. Even the cover has a ton of expressions on it and shows how different people making the same expressions can look not the same at all.
But again, main point, start with simple structures, and then roll hard with it.
I have spoken, now let it be law.
06-28-2007, 07:43 PM
thanks so much everyone. I will try out these tips! if I don't crack the mirror with my ugly mug :D
06-29-2007, 08:45 PM
Just adding to what others ahve already said. when you are using a mirror exxaggerate your face for the desired ecpression as not everybody is as expressive, then just tone it down or amp it up according to what desired result you want, ie; nobody's eyes really come flying out of their head obviously but it certainly tells you that they are shocked surprised or otherwise when you see them doing that.
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