The Ambiguous And The Clear

Drawing Facial Expressions

Only expressions in which both key areas—eye/brow and mouth—are involved will communicate a clear emotional message. In the first face (top) only the mouth appears active, and the expression is ambiguous: she might be yawning, taking a deep breath, singing, or pantomiming astonishment. The second face (bottom), with activity in both key areas, is seen in just one way: surprise.

Not only do the active eyes complete the expression, but they change the way we look at the mouth. Cover the eyes and the mouths seem identical. Uncover the eyes, and the lower mouth seems more active, more open than the other. One part of the face "leaks" its influence on the other, changing what we think we see: The mouths are identical.

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  • jussi
    How to draw realistic facial expression?
    7 years ago

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