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SeaSaltShrimp's avatar

Art Tips on Facial Expressions

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This took a while, but here's my art tips on facial expressions.
Hope you can understand my weird wording and hope it helps a few.
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© 2021 SeaSaltShrimp
anonymous's avatar
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Viscontielart's avatar

Such a complete lesson, thank u :clap:

Night-Anders's avatar

Have you thought about making a guide focused on expressions for realistic animals? You have a section for it in this one, but it's so short and I feel like it could be expanded upon further. Specially because there are literally no guides whatsoever out there for realistic animal eyebrow expressions. All guides are either about humans, or cartoonish faces.

I have a realistic art style and struggle horribly with drawing facial expressions. I can't quite grasp on how to make my creatures emote without slapping human eyebrows on them like you see in more cartoonish styles. Plus it often confuses me how to combine the brow positions with facial muscle cues to get the right emotion. Even looking at the tips in this guide, I don't know how to apply them to my artwork since our styles are so drastically different -.-''.

SarahLovelies's avatar
It’s crazy detailled ! Wow I love it, it helps a lot
lord-sivler's avatar

*gives tutorial big kiss* mmmm

0Luna123's avatar

For a character who has a more of a deadpan expression, should the rules still apply?

ADRIXXART's avatar

amazing this is good

AroonCat's avatar

Amazing! This is sooo good <3 Just as i'm getting back into dragon art strongly and finally wanna get some damn real emotions on their faces for once x'D

Rosepetullz's avatar

Thaank you so so much for making this and letting us download it!! My savior XD

Caynez's avatar
Super helpful!
ElysLockheart's avatar
I’ m so glad to have found your page 😭 sometimes I’ ve very struggled with expressions, thanks! 😸
RavenNocturna's avatar

This is super helpful thank you ♥

I struggle a lot with expressions (especially when it comes to long snouts like dragons and wolves) but you've really helped show what to do and not to do! I'll try and follow these to help give my characters more than a smiling emotion xD

Moonlidraws's avatar

Thank you so much for making this!! It's very well explained too, good job!

Averyman2005's avatar

This is amazing! This'll really help me with my characters' expressions! Thank you for making this!

Joan-Grace's avatar

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! This helps a TON!!

Cosmic-Cucumbers's avatar
This is great! Making things more expressive has always been a challenge and these tips really help me understand the concept better! I also love the blue screen joke on the staring expression, haha.
IceFlame1019's avatar

"95% anxious - phone call"

...where's the lie though?

I hate phone calls ><

This is a good one :D

Though, I know about jaw hinging and such, but getting an open mouth to look "right" is still difficult without drawing an underlying skeleton. Hm...

Pupils are another big one, but it's interesting to note how most of the time, artwork actually 180-opposes reality with the pupil itself. Fear or excitement make the iris muscles contract, widening the pupil, but in most art these same instances of high emotion are better conveyed by shrinking the pupil. I guess it's exaggerating that "wide eye" look?

ThePsych0naut's avatar

This is one of the most informative tutorials I've ever seen.

SeaSaltShrimp's avatar

Much appreciated! Sometimes I get worried about explaining -too- much.

ThePsych0naut's avatar

No such thing! I can't count the number of times I've seen a "tutorial" that started with lineart then bolted straight to a masterpiece with NO explanation how to get from point A to point Z; that is beyond just SHOWING the art, like the artist was so oblivious of their own advanced skill, they were just like, 'Okay, make a box for the torso and another for the pelvis, now reproduce my masterpiece by staring at it until your eyes fall out.'

SeaSaltShrimp's avatar

The good ol' "make a circle, now draw the rest" tutorials haha

It's important to keep in mind that artists of any level should be able to understand what you're talking about, hence explaining "the obvious" sometimes.

ThePsych0naut's avatar

To be fair, I've never done a tutorial myself. I've done figure studies, and some people consider those helpful, but that was just me breaking down a figure into basic forms for practice.


Your tutorial was elegantly straight-forward, concepts worded and depicted visually in equal measure. Your segment on animal eyes, canine ones, I found especially helpful; and I hope to apply it from now on to my OC.

Rune OC

I never wanted to give her eyebrows, because her nature is lycanthropic, but I didn't think I could emote well enough without them.

RosaieI's avatar

'I often draw lots of different mouths/eyebrows on the same face before settling on my favorite.'

Why have I NEVER thought of this??? This is BRILLIANT. I'm definitely going to have to try this from now on!

SeaSaltShrimp's avatar

It's a thing I do a lot so I thought I'd include it here :) sometimes you can come up with an expression that works much better than what you were initially thinking of

dragontactician74's avatar

Whose pool had those ants in it?

anonymous's avatar
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