Archive for facial expressions


Posted in documentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2011 by applecorecomics

It’s not that big a deal since I’d only finished a bit over one page.  Like I said, it was mainly the facial expressions I wanted to alter.  But to do them convincingly I made the faces slightly more realistic.  But to draw with more detail I have to draw on a larger scale, so the shading ended up being a bit more detailed too.

Here’s some stuff I wrote about facial expressions on, if you don’t feel like going there to read it:

For most artists, rendering humans (or anthropomorphic animals) is definitely an important skill.  Whether they are very realistic or mostly cartoonish, facial expressions will be employed.  The most stylized cartoons stick with very simple mouth shapes and eyebrow positions along with body language to get the character’s emotion across.  For example, in the first page I posted:

The mouths, eyebrows, and occasional beard-stroking were employed to get across a character’s mood/thoughts.  My main inspiration for this simplified style is Walt Holcombe, whom I’ve mentioned before.  His characters convey emotions in this manner.  However, when looking back over the page, my characters just seemed stiff and boring.  So, as you can see in the new page, I’ve attempted to render their faces slightly more realistically and use simplified-yet-accurate facial muscle movements to try and get more emotive faces.  (The more detailed panel is a result of having to draw on a larger scale because I tend to draw larger when including more detail).

Probably the best book written yet on rendering facial expressions (and really just info on expressions and facial muscles in general) is this book:

As you’ll read in this book, there are a surprising lack of artist’s resources when it comes to facial expressions.  Strange, considering they are a universal language.  This book identifies every muscle of the face and where it’s attached and how it moves.  The different combinations and intensity of muscle movements are what give us the wealth of expressions of which we’re capable (and body language adds a whole other dimension).

Just one quick example.  The Zygomatic Major is known as the ‘smiling muscle.’  One end is attached to your cheekbone (one on each side) and the other is attached to the skin at the corners of your mouth.  When they contract, they pull the corners of your mouth diagonally toward your cheekbones, making a smile.  Your cheeks bulge, distinct folds appear from your nose to around your mouth, and your bottom eyelids are pushed slightly up, making a slight squint-like look.  Classic smile.  Now add the Curragator (muscle that pulls your eyebrows down and close together to make mad eyebrows) and you have an EVIL SMILE.  Take the smile away and leave the mad eyebrows, now you look like you’re concentrating or confused.  Pull one half of the Frotalis up (the muscle that pulls your eyebrows straight up) and you could be perplexed yet interested.  And so on and so forth.

Definitely a useful resource.  See if you can buy it from a bookstore or directly from the author (Gary Faigin) before getting it from Amazon for 3 cents.

Story and Art Copyright 2011 Kyle Draper


Everything About “Unicorns: A Year On Religion In South Carolina” So Far

Posted in documentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2011 by applecorecomics

Someone added me on Twitter!  That’s impressive considering I haven’t tweeted in two years (if you don’t count random Conan tweets about winning a car).  Also the guy adding me is Chris Staros, the dude from Topshelf Comix (One of my favorite publishers).  I’m sure he’s adding people with the word ‘comics’ in their name but still, it’s a tad inspiring.  Add me on Twitter if you haven’t already.  I think there’s a link somewhere on this page.  I swear to the no-god that I’ll start tweeting again.

The first page with added crosshatching and more black space.  I recently got some harsh criticism on this, some of which I disagree with, but one main point I do agree with.  The characters are pretty stiff and uninteresting, including their facial expressions.  So I’m redoing this page and this next panel which I finished before deciding this.

I like the design of this panel so it’ll stay similar when I redo it.  I need to add more character to the buildings as well, make them more interesting.  Anyway, I got the name of the rabbi at the local synagogue who probably will be interested in helping me with this project.  So now I’ll be reading up on Judaism (I got “Judaism For Dummies” so far) and then I’ll contact this guy.  I also have a friend who (as far as I know) is interested in following Judaism.  I think it’s part of her heritage, but she has some problems with things about the religion, such as not accepting homosexuals (though the synagogue here is actually reformed Judaism, so they do accept homosexuals).

That’s about the size of it so far.