When crying fades, the muscles of a sad face gradually relax. First to go is the mouth-stretching risorius/ platysma, then the eye-squeezing orbicularis oculi. As the latter goes slack, the cheeks lose their fullness and the lower lid its tension. What lingers is the pout and the grieving brow. Eventually, even the pout relaxes, leaving the twisted eyebrow as the only sign of the last stage of grief. The sad faces on this page have unhappy-looking brows and strong pouts.
Though her pout is quite strong, this woman (top) looks so terribly sad because of her brow. Cover her brow, and the effect is nowhere near as intense. The downcast eyes and active mouth complement the expression on the brow but cannot replace it; the brow makes us see them as sad.
Inner eyebrow end bunched up by corrugator, bent upward by frontalis; key folds at (A) and (B). Deep nasolabial fold (C) mostly due to zygomatic minor. Lip pushed up in middle (D), LBL pulled down in corner by mentalis-triangularis combination. Chin profile shows action of mental is (E). Curved folds of triangularis (F).
A fine face of sadness, though not the one the model was wearing: this is an "accidental" pout. All the right cues are present: upturned eyebrows, oblique upper eyelids, lower lip with sharp, straight fold underneath; all, according to the student artist, were unintentional. "Mistakes" can sometimes lead to interesting results.
Was this article helpful?
Become the artist you want to be Canvas Painting for the Beginner. Have you always wanted to paint but did not know the first thing about it? Have you sketched thousands of pictures in your sketch book and wanted to put them on canvas? Now you can with the help of this book. We teach you everything to get you started in the wonderful world of fine arts. You can learn to express yourself with color.