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.
: 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.