Popular Comic Book ExpmfllONf

There are as many facial expressions as there are faces, but some are better suited to comic book illustration than others. You could draw a guy with his eyes popping out and his jaw on the floor, but chances are you'd be better off working in an animation studio—or locked away where you wouldn't be a danger to yourself or others. Draw only the lines that actually create the expression. The width of the jaw will vary, depending on whether the character is clenching his teeth.


Eyebrows curve downward, then level off. The line of the mouth is small and taut. The jaw is wide because the teeth are clenched.

Cartoon Furrowed Eyebrows


Lines on the forehead repeat the shape of the eyebrows, which are severely arched. The face elongates as the mouth opens.

Portrait Artist Eyes With Eyebrows


Eyebrows plunge dramatically downward, then flare out at the edges. The teeth are clenched and visible; nostrils are flared.

Teeth ClenchingCartoon Wide Forehead


Eyes are widened, eyebrows are slanted upward, and the brow is furrowed.

Comic Slanted Eyes


The jaw juts forward, the lips tighten, nostrils flare, and the eyebrows slope downward toward the bridge of the nose, creating a crease in the forehead. The face narrows, emphasizing the cheekbones.


ecause they express a variety of intense emotions, grimaces are popular comic book facial expressions. A grimace can convey a fighting mood, a solemn moment, or fury. The characteristic traits of the grimace are intense, down-turned eyebrows, down-turned mouth, accentuated cheekbones, and tousled hair. Below are several types of grimaces, both open- and dose-mouthed, shown from various angles.

Drawing Cartoon Hair

When drawing a figure, the head is used as the basic unit of measurement. According to some authorities, the average person is 6V2 heads high, while other artists use a standard height of W2 heads.

The proportions of comic book heroes are extremely exaggerated. These figures are typically drawn 8 heads high. The smaller the head, the more powerful the body will appear in contrast.

Head Proportions Comics

This guy is 9 heads high—positively huge. These proportions make the figure look massive and unreal—desirable qualities for a comic book hero. Some brutes have been drawn as much as 15 or even 20 heads high, which are highly stylized proportions.

Drawing Comic Body


Look at the basic lines of the body. All its forces are working in harmony. The thick, black lines indicate the position of the major bones, which serve as the foundation for every pose. You can see the weight and mass of the rib cage, the curve and direction of the spine, and the width of the pelvis.

Note that the collarbone is wide, like a ledge, which lays the foundation for a massive chest. The shoulder blades add width to the back. This visual shorthand provides the framework on which the finished drawing is hung. All of your figure drawings should begin with this underlying framework.

Comic Book Drawings

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