Drawing with Sincerity
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© 2005 - 2019 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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Comments (123)
pongsam's avatar
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.
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Flurrin's avatar
Flurrin|Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very helpful :)
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zhoushijie's avatar
This tutorial reminds me why I draw. c: thanks.
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Tristan-the-Dreamer's avatar
Tristan-the-Dreamer|Student Traditional Artist
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. <3
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tigrin's avatar
tigrin|Professional Filmographer
No problem, glad you enjoyed it. :)
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HuntOfWolves's avatar
Wow, I haven't seen such a good tutorial on expressions yet, It'll help out animating 3D! Thank you (yet again)!
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jhubert's avatar
jhubert|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Added to the Art Tutorials Wiki.
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fleetfoot's avatar
Thanks very much for posting this!

:thumbsup: Really helpful to, I'm sure, many of us on DA.
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Imber-Wolf's avatar
This was really helpful. :heart: :+fav:
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kalkie's avatar
kalkie|Professional Filmographer
Thank you for making this 'tutorial' and posting those helpful links :)
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Viethra-Schepherd's avatar
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.
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Loucathwil's avatar
Loucathwil|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
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commits's avatar
commits| 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.
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sychoblu's avatar
sychoblu|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. :)
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Vol-89's avatar
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!
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HanaNikko's avatar
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
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silverjackal's avatar
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. :)
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ZeldaDudeBrolyDude's avatar
hey that help me out
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TigerDragon00230's avatar
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.
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Yunimori's avatar
Yunimori|Hobbyist Writer
You have absolutely NO IDEA how much I needed to read this....it 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:
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D-NA's avatar
Thank you so much for this :heart:
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MissCassidy's avatar
thanks. This was very encouraging and useful.
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Thechemist57's avatar
Thechemist57|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! ^^
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JeanBean's avatar
Very insightful, was just the thing I needed to read tonight :-)
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