Contraction Of Full Orbicularis Oculi

This is the expression of pain. When the entire orbicularis oculi muscle contracts, the eye is buried in a sea of wrinkles. Every feature is pulled toward the inner eye corner. An eye communicating sheer stress and distress is the result. Here the upper half of the muscle, rarely used, adds its action to that of the rest of the muscle. It creates the deep, ray-like wrinkles stretching between the eyes and triggers the pulling down of the eyebrows. We would only expect to see this face in response to some extreme circumstance: intense pain or intense effort.

Orbicularis Oculi Person

A. The brows are pulled down, probably by a combination of the corrugator and the upper portion of orbicularis oculi. Most action is at the inner end. A dimple over the middle of the eyebrows is prominent; also shallow, diagonal wrinkles rise upward on the forehead.

B. Vertical wrinkles (at right angles to muscle pull) may appear on the surface of the upper lid. Lid line itself becomes much straighter; the stronger the action, the straighter the line. Up per lid fold has disappeared completely.

C. Deep, radiating wrinkles emerge from inner eye corner: upward, across, and diagonally downward like spreading fingers. Often, a horizontal crease extends fully across nose. These are signature wrinkles of this action.

D. Crow's feet and the smile-shaped eyelid fold get much deeper, and extra folds appear.

E. Nasolabial fold deepens. Wings of nose are pulled upward, giving the nose a pointed shape.

Fold Nasolabial Smile Lines

The Eye in Movement

Eyes are the most restless feature. Our eyes are constantly moving about, even when we're not; watch someone sitting on a park bench or standing waiting for a bus. Their eyes will be in motion whether their attention is directed outward or inward; thinking or observing are both accompanied by lively, unconscious movements of the eye. When we sleep, our eyes continue their activity, moving visibly behind closed eyelids when we're dreaming.

The Gaze_

The direction of the gaze can be an evocative element in a portrait. Downcast eyes, upraised eyes, eyes looking sideways, even out-of-focus eyes, are all suggestive of states of mind. Generally, any movement at all will be more expressive than simply depicting someone looking straight ahead. Pictures of rooms full of people with fixed gazes may be suitable for covers of paperback books about supernatural possession, or for statements about alienation, but they fall short of being naturalistic. That's not the way people really look.

As with the opening and closing of the eye, the direction of the gaze is telegraphed for all to see by the shapes of the eye whites and the way they frame the iris. But often, what we perceive is the result of very small shifts between the various elements; we rely on our (unconscious) expertise in deciphering the face to follow the gaze and interpret its meaning.

The Upward Gaze

When paintings customarily had a much stronger religious content than they do today, the skyward gaze was used as a convention to indicate an exalted state of mind, or communion with heaven. Even in our secular era, it's difficult to portray someone with upturned eyes without suggesting some level of metaphorical meaning, unless it's made clear that the person is simply looking at something.

We notice instantly when the gaze shifts from forward to upward, but it isn't immediately apparent what is noticed. This is a good example of how

A rather debatable version

There's a strong association between spirituality and the upward gaze. It's not only because heaven is supposed to be up there, but also because we rarely look upward under normal circumstances—it's rather uncomfortable for the eyes. If we do look up, we usually tip the head upward at the same time, so as to keep the gaze level. Looking down, however, is something we do constantly; it's much easier on the eye muscles.

This particular upward gaze is the product of the high arch of the upper lid, the flat line of the lower lid, and the appearance of white below the iris .

Oculi Orbiculari Facial ExpressionsManga Facial Expressions


Isrit it lovely!


ashamed of If.ou.

Isrit it lovely!

When shall we meet aqam ?

much we can perceive without knowing why. In fact, we seem to use several different visual cues in combination. Oddly enough, the most important cue is the shape of the lids and the lids' relationship to the iris. The shape of the iris itself is also a key factor. Only in the extreme upraised position is the white under the eye a major element.

The limit of looking up is reached as the pupil encounters the upper lid edge—this is an uncomfortable posi tion and not one that is held for long. In fact, like most of the positions of the gaze besides dead center, looking upward suggests an active interest, an engagement, on the part of the person, simply because it takes a special effort to do.

The first change we notice as the gaze rises is in the relationship of the iris to the eye corner. On most eyes, when the gaze is straight ahead a small portion of the iris always falls below the level of the inner eye corner. We don't have to be looking up very high before the bottom of the iris rises to this level, then rises higher.

When the gaze travels further upward, the eyelids take on a domelike shape, like a capital/) lying on its back. The whites of the eye are framed by the sharp upright angles of the upper lid, while the lower lid is almost straight. Perspective makes the iris as a whole appear elliptical; the higher the gaze, the shorter the apparent height of the ellipse.

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