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SeaSaltShrimp's avatar

Small art tips - Expressions

A while back on Twitter I attempted a few "quick art tips", to see if I can whip up a tutorial within a day, as I get easily ovewhelmed with longer ones. They were well-liked so I figured I'd post them here too for easier searching.
This one here is a few small tips for drawing facial expressions, and how to keep your character recognizable while doing so :) Please bear with my weird wording.

I'll exceptionally re-open my DA comments just this once, to maybe give extra feedback. Open for now, at least.
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Gracias mil!! Que información mas útil!

savrin330's avatar

I'm sure this is super helpful for many! Your facial expressions are so good!

JennaJinouga's avatar

omg thank you so much for this!

This will be very helpful in the Future!

MarshmallowCoockie's avatar

wow this is really helpful! Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome tutorial <33

Heiyun's avatar

Most people prefer to paint about human beings, so the Dragon painting course is very rare. Your tutorial is useful and valuable.

CamKitty2's avatar

Ooh this is really helpful!! That teeth moving with the lip thing was mistake I used to make so much, and still do sometimes if I don't stop to think about it...

But yeah this is super cool! I've been trying to figure out how to push expressions more; the eyebrow area especially is really tricky to figure out, so this helps a lot!

Lycan-metal's avatar
Definitely needed this, drawing anthro creatures get annoying from side view at times
WisteriaWaves's avatar
Ty this is so helpful.
TheDevilReborn's avatar

Nice. So helpful.

SintelDragon's avatar


IceFlame1019's avatar
Flex them soft spots. Flex em good. Get those expressions.

Sometimes I wonder if I should draw skeletons of characters before drawing the bodies. Might help with consistency...but so much work ;w; hm.

Would be curious to see your take on how to draw "extreme" expressions like rage or happy-gushing. Seeing soft fleshy spots for detail is one thing, but getting a character with a muzzle to look truly PO'd is a whole different level and you've done it quite well on other pieces, especially Hein. The way the skin scrunches, and where, is difficult to nail, even after following references.

Tutorials like this definitely help draw attention to relevant areas in references though, so thanks for the tips and hope more might be added!
SeaSaltShrimp's avatar

Drawing skeletons first and then 'wrapping' the skin around it can be great for practice and studying, as for using it all the time I find that starting with a skeleton base makes your poses much more stiff and less alive, though maybe that's just something that doesn't work with me but works great for others. I like being able to squash-and-stretch the proportions and skeleton bases make it harder.

I'm planning on making another tut that covers expressions more in depth, which includes how to push them to the max ~

It'll be a more complex tutorial for sure so I'll need the right time to sit down and work on it.

IceFlame1019's avatar
Yeah, I can see that too. Last time I tried to use bases for my characters they felt stiff.
ColinJoker15's avatar

Hey seasaltshrimp I'm a real fan of your work. Comics inspired me to make my own comics. If you what to see my work in progress, click on this link . You can also watch me if you like.

MulthelastCelestial's avatar
Omg I actually really needed this because all I can draw is neutral/smile face. I legitimately think your characters facial expressions are the best out there. Thank you so much for this tutorial.
SeaSaltShrimp's avatar

Don't be afraid of exagerating your expressions! It's all in the eyebrows ;D Neutral smiley face will have a completely different look depending on the eyebrows alone.

IceFlame1019's avatar
Fun fact - Wall-E was a result of artists challenging themselves to make a character that was bare minimal yet could still clearly show emotion. All you need are eyes and brows. Especially the brows.

Crazy to think about ō.ô
SeaSaltShrimp's avatar

Eyes are a mirror to the soul as they say :lol:

BlueYoukai's avatar

Simple and helpful, thank you! Stay awesome <3

Fire-Storm-Dragon's avatar

This is surely helpful!

Dragiani's avatar

Awesome! These are very useful!^^

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