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Character Illustration: From Feelings to Faces

Christine Nishiyama, Illustrator/Writer at Might Could Studios

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8 Videos (26m)
    • What's That About?

      2:33
    • Project Assignment: Draw a Series of Facial Expressions

      0:41
    • Emotion Tree: 5 Primary Emotions

      2:35
    • Emotion Tree: 15 Secondary Emotions

      5:10
    • Quick Drawing Tips

      5:04
    • Speed Drawing: Core Project

      2:36
    • Speed Drawing: Bonus Challenge

      5:57
    • Wrapping Up

      0:58
47 students are watching this class

About This Class

Learn how illustrator Christine Fleming visualizes emotions and injects genuine feelings into her illustrated facial expressions.

This 30-minute class is broken up into two parts: Learning and Drawing. In the Learning section, Christine will introduce the 6 primary emotions—like joy, surprise, and  anger. Then, she’ll expand each primary emotion and discover the 15 secondary emotions—like excitement, wonder, and rage. As you go through each emotion, Christine will point out universal physical changes in the face that communicate with each emotion using photo references. These physical features are vital in understanding how to draw strong, recognizable emotions.

Then you'll put that knowledge to work in the Drawing section, where you and Christine will draw emotions together through speed drawing exercises! You can choose to complete the Core Project and draw the 6 primary emotions, or go for the Bonus Challenge and draw all 26 emotions! This style of speed drawing is a great way to loosen up and get comfortable drawing expressive emotions.

By the end of the class, you’ll have a full set of facial expressions drawn in your own style that you can use as a reference for future character design projects, or just drawing people for fun!

You don’t need any prior knowledge of drawing or character illustration for this class, and no software is required. All you need is a piece of paper, a pencil, and 30 minutes!

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319 of 333 students recommendSee All

Clear instructions and fun exercises.
Ms. Nishiyama's class is informative and fun, just make sure to participate if you want to get the most out of it. It's also not a long class so I recommend watching it again if you were stuck on some emotions during the challenge.

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Christine Nishiyama

Illustrator/Writer at Might Could Studios

Hallo! I'm Christine Nishiyama, artist + founder of Might Could Studios.

I make books and comics, and I draw a whoooole lot. I've taught over 40,000 aspiring and established artists, helping them explore their art, gain more confidence, and discover their unique artistic styles.

I've been drawing for over 20 years and have been drawing as my full-time career for over 5 years. My core belief is that art is good and we should all make more of it. Might Could is here to uplift and ...

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