How to Draw Facial Expressions

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Facial expression are drawn by adjusting the features as people would as their emotions change, like raising the eyebrows and opening the eyes for surprise, furrowing the brow for anger and adding tear drops for sadness. Draw a variety of facial expressions with a demonstration from a professional cartoonist and illustrator with this free video on drawing.

Part of the Video Series: Drawing & Illustration Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi folks, in this clip I'm going to teach you how to draw facial expressions. Different facial expressions. We'll start right out here with just your standard happy expression. This is one that is probably most basic one. Because you know, most of the time when you're drawing your character. It's just a standard pose. It's usually a happy one. So the best way to do a happy picture or happy expression rather. Is to first of all, the eyes must be the most alive out of all. Then they have to have the eyebrows high. That's one big way to do it. And then obviously the old smile. Doesn't help be there, doesn't hurt, sorry, either. And that would be definitely one way of doing just a happy face. And like I said, happy face being the most basic one. You'd probably ever do. Now obviously the rough design of the face will stay the same. But if you're going to do say, like an angry one. The eyes will change dramatically. One thing, they will angle sharply downward. As opposed to the circular motion we had there. You'll probably have the pupils somewhere in here. You might not even draw eyebrows at all. But if you do, they'll be angled the same way the eyes are. Just like that. And it's all in the eyes that'll sell that face. Now if you were to give this person a smile. It'd go from being angry to being just plain wicked. And laughing at their evil, in this. But we're going to make this person angry. so we can give him like clenched teeth. Maybe draw some real angry lines in there. Just like that. And that changes a lot. From happy to angry. Then same time, we can go over here. And give him more of a sad expression. Where we angle the eyes upward. Like tear drops. Even though they can be eyes just like that. So they look like real drops. And then the eyes kind of in the middle like before. And then obviously we'd angle the eyebrows up, as well. Basically the eyebrows are meant to mere with the eyes we're doing. So sad eyebrows. There you go. Now sad expression, obviously. We give him a small frown or quivering lip. Droopy face. And like I said, the key to drawing expressions, is always going to be the eyes and the mouth. That's where you sell the expression. That's where the most changes occur. Most of the time, the nose and the outer edges of the face won't change a whole lot. The hair, obviously. You can use these things definitely to affect the mood, the expressions itself. But it's always going to be in the eyes and the mouth. And that would be just a few examples of different facial expressions.

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