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Character Design: Emotions and Facial Expressions (Draw Better Faces)

Michelle Tabares, Cartoonist, Illustrator and Traveler

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10 Videos (41m)
    • Introduction

    • What is a Facial Expression?

    • Why Does This Matter?

    • The Four Basic Emotions

    • Analyzing The Face

    • Head Positioning

    • Character Expression Sheets

    • Setting Up a Character Expression Sheet

    • Assignment

    • Closing Thoughts


About This Class

Drawing accurate facial expressions that viewers can relate to can seem tricky, but by understanding the emotions behind each facial expression and how each emotion changes your facial muscles. We'll talk about the four basic human emotions and I'll show you how to look for points of tension on your face so you can get familiar with the specific facial movements of each unique human emotion.

I'll also teach you about facial expression model sheets and walk you through making your own, so you can explore all kinds of facial expressions to get a better understanding of your character's individual emotional range.

Click here for the supplemental PDF facial expression sheet

All music in this lesson courtesy of Joakim Karud:





Michelle Tabares

Cartoonist, Illustrator and Traveler

Hey, it's nice to meet you - I'm Michelle! I'm a cartoonist and illustrator that has lived all over sunny Florida, but I'm currently residing in Tampa. I graduated from the Ringling College of Art and Design with a Bachelor's in Graphic + Interactive Communication and a concentration in Graphic Narrative. I also studied comics for a year at the Sequential Artist's Workshop and hold several certifications from CalArts.

The two things I love most about teaching others is...

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