Only a few artists seem to have more than a hazy idea of the anatomy of the head, or of how the muscles function. If faces were expressionless we might manage with only a little of this knowledge. It is argued that we can depend upon photographs for expression. Frankly, many artists do just that. My contention is that one can learn the necessary principles of anatomy in two or three short periods of study, say three evenings. When so little effort is required, why not spend it to learn something that will always be valuable to you.
Ever)' expression is entirely dependent upon a very few muscles lying under and embedded within the flesh. Knowing where the muscles lie and what they do is the difference between guesswork and knowledge. An expression must carry conviction, and it's easier to convince when you know the facts you are dealing with.
For many years I seemed to have great difficulty in drawing smiles. I had taken it for granted that the smile creases began at the nostrils and ran straight to the comers of the lips. Actually the smile creases run well outside of the corners of the mouth and around them and point for a little way toward the side of the chin. This is because the lips lie in an oval-shaped sheet of muscle and the creases form at the outer edges of this muscle. The small ribbonlike muscles which lead down from the cheekbones arc attached to this sheet of muscle at the outer edge and cause the smile creases. In some smiles the pull of these little muscles actually causes the corners of the mouth to round out rather than to end in a sharp point. For some reason I had not grasped this in my early studies. The experience proved the value of going back to the source when you are in trouble.
One thing that is important in the smile is the way folds of flesh appear under the eyes. -Sometimes these add a good deal of mirth to a smile; sometimes they do not. I cannot tell you why.
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