The Perspective Factor_
For some reason people are mortally afraid of the subject of perspective in a way they never are of anatomy or proportion, both equally technical. It's all how you approach it. Perspective is basically the science of how point of view affects the way we see the physical world.
Point of view affects the way the mouth looks in two main respects:
1. The curve of the line between the lips is straight when the mouth is on our eye level, an upward arc when the head is tipped up, a downward one when the head is tipped down. This same principle governs the way any curve looks in perspective. Think of it this way: When the head is tipped down, you have to give the mouth a "smile" to make it look like it has no expression at all.
2. The difficulty of drawing three-quarter views of the mouth is also a factor of perspective. It's the principle of foreshortening: objects appear shorter as they turn sideways to our view. In a three-quarter view, the far side of the mouth is going around a much tighter turn than you might expect. The turning of the teeth is very abrupt here, and the mouth follows the turning of the teeth. The near half of the mouth will appear three or four times longer than the far part because the far half is seen practically edge-on; that is, almost completely foreshortened. Beginners tend to make both halves of the mouth equal no matter what the view, leading to grievous results.
The bottom line of this chapter is that facial expressions are only as effective as the head they're on. First, one masters the head, then the features, then the expressions. And how is this mastery achieved? How do you get to Carnegie Hall? The same way—practice.
The mouth curve is greater than the curve of the face surrounding it.
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