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Facial Expressions Buddy Sheet (Application #01)

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By darkspeeds   |   
© 2013 - 2020 darkspeeds
An interesting weekend project. This took me literally a whole Saturday to complete with multiple breaks and one exercise session in between.

Remember this Facial Expressions Buddy Sheet? ---> Well here's where you can start practicing the real deal! --->

Go on, do yourself a favour and make a start, you're never too young or old to learn new things or improve upon something that you're already good at!

Some info on this piece: two series I've only discovered these two graphic novel series during my revisit to the United States in 2011 (I was attending Comic Con International 2011 at San Diego with friends) - BLACKSAD and NORDGUARD. I'm starting to see the similarities in art styles and if I could ever get to their level I'd be over the moon.

Take note that the artist who drew Blacksad, Juanjo Guarnido, is someone who's worked in a Disney Studio (Montreuil, France) hence his art style reminds me of Tom Brancroft (who also worked at Disney Studio Florida). I just recently bought two of Tom's books (check out the description on this link), studied them and noticed the ascetics of the Disney style of animation/drawing characters. It's pretty amazing when you start making these connections because then I can set a benchmark of where I'd like to be when it comes to improving my technique of drawing humans and designing characters. I can learn alot from these guys and what they've learnt from Disney Studios, let's see how far I can go when attend art school next year in San Francisco!

Nevertheless the way I've approached this exercise was by applying what is known as observational study. I know I'm got at observing something and replicating it on paper - you can see examples of this when I did some at my local museum in the city. --->

Now there is a difference between observing and replicating what you see on paper from creating something completely from scratch! I cannot come up with something completely new until I've mastered the basics - it's just how I work. I don't feel motivated to draw something completely new until I'm confident in my basic drawing ability (ie human anatomy, dynamic poses etc).

There were some drawings that I did from scratch and check out a reference picture of the character - the only one evident of this is Blacksad himself (find him in the top-right hand corner). Notice how he isn't on par with the original style? Not perfect but at least I'm proud to say that I took initiative on that one. The rest of the characters I have either drawing directly from a comic panel or did that and modified the expression a bit to tailor what's available on the expressions list.

So yeah at the end of the day I end up with something pretty stunning - a wonderful collection of my favourite expressions of characters from two series I highly admire. It's stunning to look at and it's a great resource to use whenever I'm stuck on drawing an expression I want for a character I may be designing.

Good luck guys and gals - get started and get drawing!
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anonymous's avatar
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Alinwa-Abiska's avatar
Alinwa-AbiskaHobbyist Traditional Artist
OMG So much personality in all of the characters! And the expressions! You're so great at them!
KosmoKOYOTE's avatar
KosmoKOYOTEHobbyist Traditional Artist
These are some of the best references of emotional expressions
that I've ever come across!
ThermidorResistance's avatar
ThermidorResistanceHobbyist Digital Artist
Some of these remind me of Blacksad.
JojoDaggerback's avatar
JojoDaggerbackHobbyist Traditional Artist
Looking at the Facial Expressions Buddy Sheet, I wasn't sure if they would be as clear as they should, but after this one, I'm fully convinced these are  astonishing facial expressions :D (Big Grin) , this sure will be helpfull Hug 
Just a quick note, I didin't see much difference between Determined and Desperation, but all the others are amazingCURSE YOU! 
Sashimi18's avatar
Sashimi18Hobbyist Traditional Artist
AWESOME :D (Big Grin) Clap 
Alucard3598's avatar
Alucard3598Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is magnificent!
OfTheBlessed's avatar
Ha ha...Weekly.

Is that picture of Nickle from when he was saying to Pi:  "Don't you wish you knew!"?
darkspeeds's avatar
darkspeedsHobbyist General Artist
Almost! It's from Page 34 where Nick says: "I'm hell in a handbasket lovey! A real live wire!" ^^
OfTheBlessed's avatar
Yeah, that's the same page!  Only in his dreams!
OfTheBlessed's avatar
It's amazing how similar their styles are.

Thanks for compiling this!  Two of my favorite comics.
bluefantasy's avatar
bluefantasyHobbyist General Artist
Wow, this is great, Darks! You've come far from your old Sonic days!
Crimson9876's avatar
Crimson9876Student Digital Artist
I don't know why, but I always get the urge to laugh at determined kitty. XD
Fr0styRyan's avatar
Wow, this is absolutely incredible. Forget Sonic-based characters. These types of characters are what you should be focusing on, because your facial construction is way more appealing here. Like really, these are one of the best sketches you've done in my opinion. ;)
darkspeeds's avatar
darkspeedsHobbyist General Artist
Cheers Raul! These were observational studies and I will continue to hone in my craft of developing my own unique artistic identity. :)
Fr0styRyan's avatar
Can't wait to see more! :)
Risen-Art's avatar
Risen-ArtProfessional Digital Artist
I've seen some scans of Black Sad, the art looks amazing! Well done on the expressions too, I find the reptilian one intriguing. It was weird how the lovei netrest had a more human-like appearance tho, what's up with that?
darkspeeds's avatar
darkspeedsHobbyist General Artist
It's just the way Juanjo approaches his female designs in anthro form - usually beautiful looking and portraying realistic facial features similar to a young and attractive lady. ;)

The reptilian characters in Blacksad had some fantastic designs, go get the book! ^^
Project-GAME's avatar
*impressed whistle*
KentaruZ's avatar
KentaruZProfessional Writer
Blacksad rules! :headbang: Sad it takes them soo long to take out a new novel xD but we can say that the reason they are that awesome is exactly because they put all that work in every novel :thumbsup:
Anyway, amazing work with the sheet! :D It looks fantastic! :clap:
That Nordguard looks very interesting, I will search for it immediately! :sprint:
Thanks for sharing this with everyone =)
DTrain2695's avatar
DTrain2695Professional General Artist
This is good. VERY good.=D
DuskRipper's avatar
Wow amazing Black Sad :D
I love this comic and
the expressions are great.
Tonythunder's avatar
I seriously love everyone's expressions here dude! <33
chao93's avatar
chao93Hobbyist General Artist
JUST when I'm trying to learn to make different kind of facial expression on anthro characters. This is PERFECT!
I think you've done tremendous job here! I seriously love them all! it's hard to pick a favourite! :)
Blader3000's avatar
I know this! I've all four comic books.
Blacksad is amazing! :D

Also the expressions look good.
anonymous's avatar
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