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Drawing with Sincerity by tigrin Drawing with Sincerity by tigrin
So I'm home sick for a few days with practically every kick in the mental and physical system possible. I dedicated today to taking antibiotics and writing up this tutorial, as I promised I would at some point. Really this is more of an essay than a tutorial, so be prepared to read a lot of text.

Summary: This tutorial details how to make characters more believable through observation and careful study of the character being portrayed. This tutorial covers topics such as how to see, what to consider when creating emotion in your characters, and what to consider when using body language to communicate emotion.

This tutorial is not a how to. I am not trying to tell you how to draw every emotion out there. The emphasis of this tutorial is applying YOUR OWN way of seeing the world and how you experience a character to your art. I'm just explaining what I take into consideration when I draw my characters, and what I think about when drawing their emotions. My approach is highly inspired by Glen Keane (my animation god), so I've included an excerpt and some of his drawings to illustrate my point. Though i approach this largely from a sort of animator-y standpoint, this can be applied to any kind of creative work that involves characters.

Further Readings/Works Cited:
Glen Keane Gallery - Part of Aimee Major's site, where quite a few of the sketches came from.
Interview with Glen Keane - the interview (also from Aimee's site) where the excerpt is from
Treasure Planet: A Voyage of Discovery - where I scanned Glen's Treasure Planet sketches from. This is an incredible book in general if you have any interest in animation and characterization. There are a ton of articles and artwork in this book about the characters, and it's amazing and inspiring what the artists put into them.
The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expressions - Haven't read this one myself, but I've looked through it. Has a lot of examples of how subtle changes can make a huge difference in what a facial expression is suggesting. very detailed.
The Nonverbal Dictionary of Gestures, Signs, and Body Language Cues - rather interesting site I stumbled upon today through a google search... has quite an extensive number of entries on different body language cues, as well as differences in cultures and media references. kind of weird, but an interesting resource.

err yeah. about it. hopefully someone finds this interesting at least. ^^;
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pongsam Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2010
I have gone through most of your tutorials and i must say they are awesome. All filled with matter. No bullshit stuffs. And this one was, like any one of yours very informative, inspiring and helpful. Thanks.
Flurrin Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very helpful :)
zhoushijie Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2008
This tutorial reminds me why I draw. c: thanks.
Tristan-the-Dreamer Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. <3
tigrin Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2008  Professional Filmographer
No problem, glad you enjoyed it. :)
HuntOfWolves Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2008
Wow, I haven't seen such a good tutorial on expressions yet, It'll help out animating 3D! Thank you (yet again)!
jhubert Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Added to the Art Tutorials Wiki.
fleetfoot Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2007
Thanks very much for posting this!

:thumbsup: Really helpful to, I'm sure, many of us on DA.
Imber-Wolf Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2007
This was really helpful. :heart: :+fav:
kalkie Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2007  Professional Filmographer
Thank you for making this 'tutorial' and posting those helpful links :)
Viethra-Schepherd Featured By Owner May 29, 2007
I've been doing an intense study of animation in prep for my firsty major project and this is really quite helpful. The way you presented the ideas of character portrayal and artistic representation is excellent. I am gonna :+fav: this for future reference.
Loucathwil Featured By Owner May 24, 2007  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I'm faving this now so I can read it properly later.

Thank you very much for explaining this in such simple terms
commits Featured By Owner May 9, 2007   Digital Artist
Wow, I can tell you put alot of hard work into this. <3
It's wonderful, and I'm certainly learned alot from it.
sychoblu Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
I just had to say that this was really helpful, more helpful than any other tutorial I've ever read. So thank you so much for taking the time to put it together and really getting to the heart of what drawing is more than just what a style or your style is. :)
Vol-89 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2007
Thank you so much for this! :D Now I will carry a sketchbook with me everywhere I go. This really made me realize couple of very important things. Thanks, again!
HanaNikko Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2007
Wow, Tigrin. This is absolutely the most insightful drawing tutorial I've ever come across. I can tell from the work you do, you do draw with absolute sincerity and looseness. Specifically the Vampiress and Silence pictures. For years, I've struggled with expressions in all my artistic career, but when I stumbled upon this I enjoyed every single bit of it and is by far the most interesting read I've come across.

I shall continue studying this wonderful information to suck less. XD
silverjackal Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2007
Glen Keane and Chris Sanders have been my two animation idols for years. (Sanders is the one whose story and style they used to make Lilo and Stitch). I still have some of Keane's children's books from when I was little. They are both incredible artists.

Kudos to you for taking the time to create a tutorial for others to learn from. :)
ZeldaDudeBrolyDude Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2007
hey that help me out
TigerDragon00230 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2007
Wow this is really helpful (though I haven't read it all yet, lol)!! Thanks for writing all this out!! I'll read it all sometime later.
Yunimori Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
You have absolutely NO IDEA how much I needed to read has already helped a lot. Thank you so much for taking the time to come up with a tutorial like this. It is well worth it. =^.^=
~Yuni :blackrose:
D-NA Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2006
Thank you so much for this :heart:
MissCassidy Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2006
thanks. This was very encouraging and useful.
Thechemist57 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That was a very interesting tutorial to read. Thank you for sharing these ideas! I will try to incorporate them into my work and hopefully they'll help me out a bit. Thank you! ^^
JeanBean Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2006
Very insightful, was just the thing I needed to read tonight :-)
minionsultd Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's good to know my theories were on the right track. I'm glad to see that the ideals I try in my work are what the big boys do. This brings renewed confidence in my work! Redouble effort! HAAAAAAAAAAA!
Majnouna Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2006  Professional General Artist
This is a wonderful (and wonderfully illustrated) approach to a subject that is not easy to convey to a beginner. It should be an introduction before even teaching anatomy and such. Well done :)
sark Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2006  Student General Artist
wow. Seriously, this is such an awsome tutorial. In my opinion communication is the most important part of art and in so many cases that's lost in 'other' aspects of drawing, but i've never seen anyone who's addressed it head on- points for you! Especially loved the interveiw with Glen, i'm also into theatre so reading what he had to say stuck a very sensitive cord.
laundrys finished.
monkeysumbrella Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2006
wow :eyes:
atomic-light Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2006
wow that is just fantastic of you to do!
the fact that you took time out for this is amazing! thank you for sharing your knowledge with us! :heart:
arjay911 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2006
very well covered :D
prettychaos Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2006
I just stumbled across you and happened onto this beaut. Tucking away for future reference, and I'll definitely keep these things in mind. Thanks you ^__^
batgirrl Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you! this is one of the easiest (?) tutorials to understand. it goes in to perfect detail, but not so much that i got board. it was clear and easy to read. thanks for a great tutorial. i have benifeted from this greatly. :D
RabidFangirlMoo Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2006
Wow. I'm really gonna benefit from this, I think.
tamerofhorses Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2006
This is an amazing AND very unique tutorial -- like I think someone else said, it's more helpful than a step-by-step, since it really gets you THINKING in a particular way. Thanks so much for putting something like this together and saying it all in such an articulate way.
cheeto Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2006
this is very nice, i helps a lot. :3
garrbage Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2006
It's nice to see what goes through an artists head. I guess I've thought about all this before but never applied it.

Great tutorial. :}
Mohegan567 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2006  Student Filmographer
This is one of the most helpful tutorials I ever read. I always think my characters look so emotionless. Now I can try to make them look a bit better. Thanks!
unbadger Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2006  Student General Artist
Wow... Honestly, I think this helped me a lot more than normal tutorials that show you step-by-step stuff. This is very well written. I was easily able to grasp the images you were communicating and apply them to my own drawing habits. Focusing on what goes on behind making a drawing instead of the actual technique was an effective approach. Hopefully this will help be when I'm stuck on expressions. [like I am am at the moment. XD;] Thank you for taking the time to make this, it was very moving. <3

Mikasi-Tala Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2006  Student
this is such great advice and a wonderful tutorial. i applaud you. and i shall use this. lol
Byxx Featured By Owner May 30, 2006
As someone who is, essentially, just starting to really get into the whole 'animator' state of mind, this has been incredibly helpful. I'm currently desperately trying to inject more personality into my sketches, and indeed, characters. Which, it has to be said, is somewhat more difficult than the majority seem to give credit. Its reassuring that it's evidently not something I should innately 'get', but rather, has to be worked at. All that you've written here will be taken closely into consideration.

Similarly, the references you've provided will no doubt be thoroughly investigated. Treasure Planet ref.s are always a bonus, as the art's so darn pretty to look at in any case. :)

Just as a quick, slightly off topic comment: I really like the tone of this piece. It wasn't a 'You've got to do do this' or 'This is the way it is'. It seemed far more of a... well, a guide.

Thanks so much. Apologies for the somewhat rambling comment. ^^;
wanlingnic Featured By Owner May 11, 2006  Student General Artist
Hey, is that Jim Hawkins near the third paragraph?! ^^;

Brilliant ideas, very cute also! :D
tigrin Featured By Owner May 12, 2006  Professional Filmographer
It sure is. :X
Marker-Guru Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2006  Professional Traditional Artist
This is awesome! i am goingto show this to everyone=D
spardle Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2006
This really opened my eyes, thanks! it is awonderful tutorial... art isn't just drawing something material, it is also expressions and feeling! wow. 8D
ziggyfish Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2006  Student Filmographer
Wow. This is a great piece of analyzation. Helps *a lot*.
dwilliams Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2006
:) Nice job. The world needs more tutorials like this (and fewer "how to draw anime-styled eyes" ;) You've been linked at LJ community art_skill_trade
OmniNashi Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2005
This REALLY inspired me! You definately did your job! :glomp:

I loved reading this, it's well crafted and thorough, and I believe you're right. I should bring my characters to life. Heck, I am the characters. Without me there would be no them. I guess I'll find out more about myself in the process! :XD:

Also, I love drawing from what I see. In fact, people every day inspire me. One boy in my class wore the cutest hat, and when I added it onto a character of mine whose design has bugged me for clicked. He looks fantastic. I tweaked him and voila! Finally, I was satisfied. :heart:

:shakefist: I shall go draw! A fave this is!
VinnieTang Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2005
Remarkable! xD it has inspired me even more and i feel, no i know that i have improved on my skills thanks to you! this has help me a lot, thank you soo much. :nod:
secretbear Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2005   Interface Designer
so well written! the examples are really fave is the drawing of tai! :+fav:
i love watching people...
...but havent been sketching too much lately...should start again!
thanks for the kick in the butt i should say! ;)
Augenti Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2005
Very useful. :X
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Submitted on
November 16, 2005
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