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Daily Deviation
January 25, 2011
Considering the thought, time and detail that obviously went into *tracyjb's design of Lackadaisy Expressions, it's no wonder why this tutorial became an instant favorite for so many. As several of this tutorial's DD suggesters have observed, this is a useful guide to creating expressions, which will benefit a wide variety of artists within any range of skill. Suggested by ~lyzeman, ~dA-aml, ^sphilr, ~Armonah, ~Chris-Garrett, *Master-Futon, ~P3dy, *12sunlyn, and ~havefaith3x.
Featured by FantasyStock
tracyjb's avatar

Lackadaisy Expressions


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Boy, I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I started this. I've had requests for some sort of expressions tutorial dating back a while now, so I figured, "Sure! I can explain expression drawing...and I'll make it way better than all those tutorials out there that are nothing but charts of generic expressions. Yeah! Just give me a day or two to whip something up..."

Um. Sometime a lot more than two days later, I have this messy behemoth and the realization that I haven't a clue how to teach expression drawing. There's just so much material to cover, and so much of it is like intuitive language translation, I can't figure how to put it into tutorial form any more than I could draw a picture of how to speak Russian. I guess that's why expression tutorials are mostly just charts of what happy, sad, and confused look like.

Anyway, I found all I could really do was try to explain ways to teach yourself...and then add some pictures. Hopefully that makes for something at least marginally informative.

And if you haven't seen it yet, check out this very illuminating look at expressions by alexds1.

Lackadaisy Volume 1 is available here

Other Lackadaisy stuff can be found at the web site.

Site updates are announced on Twitter and Facebook now too, usually before they happen here.

Wow. Thank you to those who suggested this as a DD, and for featuring it. Thanks for all the comments too. I'm both thrilled and honored that this has been deemed helpful or informative by so many!
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© 2011 - 2021 tracyjb
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ShinGallon's avatar

A decade old and still looks amazing, and I still reference it regularly when drawing characters. Lackadaisy is still #art_goals even after all these years.

PepperMint64Nyria's avatar

omg this is so useful

spengli's avatar

An interesting, well-done, and helpful study; Looks like a lot of work - thanks for the inspiration ;-)

MintyZedGrimes's avatar
I remember finding this years ago and I still think about it regularly. It helped me a lot when I was struggling with my art back in 2015, thank you!
ThermidorResistance's avatar
I nominate Tracy J Butler to redo the cast of the movie "Cats" and do it in her style. Anyone with me?
spiritknight777's avatar
The way Serafine makes that kind of smile looking like she's mocking me
KittyWarlord's avatar
OH MY GOD is the mirror pic under Reference foreshadowing for what happened to Rocky??
FantalecGateway's avatar
Best help for expressions I've seen yet!! This looks amazing and the little tips for each are great ^~^ If a tutorial i spires me to gO DRAW NOW then it's a good one, for sure
Xanedis's avatar
This is an absolutely superb resource, even for a comic writer. And I read Lackadaisy back in the day, the writing and the art are stellar.
yainedraws's avatar
HOLY SHIT THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!! Your control of portrayal of emotions is the most complete I have ever seen. Thank you so much for this tutorial!
markferh's avatar
Bea-The-Cat's avatar
This is utterly amazing!
FoxiFinnick's avatar
The subtle cat call pun
DubaiBunniesUAE's avatar
RMAlexis's avatar
Thank you! Your style is really cool and lovely :)
LaughyTaff's avatar
This was really fun to look at! Thank you!
JNerd300's avatar
This helped a lot thank you for making that!
AlexandraAlex's avatar
i was wondering, have you ever read blacksad comics? they have really good animal expressions!! u can use them as references!! :D
AlexandraAlex's avatar
mitzi reminds me alot of betty boop!! XD
has to be one of the best/comprehensive 'single page' emote tutorials I have seen. Thank you.
asyra04's avatar
If it helps anyone maybe start watching Lie to Me? It's a tv series about micro expression and reading into peoples motivations based on those hidden emotions. It's really great for seeing and having explained to you exactly what goes on in your face and your body when you feel something, especially when your character is trying to hide it.
jeanistor's avatar
Huh, this seems quite interesting, especially since I'm interested in both art and criminology. Will do watch it, thanks.
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