Happy, Angry, Awed: Drawing Faces for Webcomics | Shen ! | Skillshare

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Happy, Angry, Awed: Drawing Faces for Webcomics

teacher avatar Shen !, Webcomic Artist, Shen Comix

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Assignment: Create a 3 panel comic with a facial expression as the punchline


    • 3.

      Basic Principles of Drawing Expressions


    • 4.

      Expressions Grid


    • 5.

      Expressions in Context


    • 6.

      The Comic


    • 7.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Illustrating facial expressions in comic art is an essential skill and the best way to drive home your punchline. In this 40-minute class, Owl Turd cartoonist Shen shows you how to translate the range of human expressions into cartoon drawings.

Follow along as Shen demonstrates happy, sad, angry, tired, and infatuated in some of his own characters, using his favorite exercises and drawing processes. He starts with the basics of each expression, explains how to demonstrate each one through drawing, and breaks down how to merge each expression with your comic to create full-on characters in your work.

Plus, he shares additional insights on understanding context for your comics, changing the magnitude of expression between frames, and wrapping up a cohesive narrative with these expressions. Happy drawing!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Shen !

Webcomic Artist, Shen Comix


Hi, I’m Shenanigansen, the author of Owl Turd Comix. I love gaming, technology overall, cats & other cute stuff, bike paths & trails, and eating ice like some kind of a dingus. I have no formal education in art, but have been making comics for a while now. Sometimes create comics for CollegeHumor and LINE Webtoon,and you can also find my work on the Daily Dot. My tools are:

Photoshop CS6 Wacom Intuos5 tablet See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hey, everyone, My name is redacted and I'm part of the redacted, redacted, redacted, redacted, redacted, But you can just call me Shin. I'm known mainly for my work on L Turd Comics and Blue Chair, but have also created comics for websites like slug Books, College Humor and Darkly. I've always been really inspired by cartoonists and animators who make really good use of expressions like Aaron Hansen, Caldwell Tanner and Jon Kloeckner. So that's why I decided to make this video Siri's about the majestic and noble art of drawing funny faces and then using them in funny comics. Don't sit back and relax just yet, though this course is actually super hands on. So sit forward and get ready to dry. Hey, why you making that face? I'm sorry. Please don't leave. Just give me a chance 2. Assignment: Create a 3 panel comic with a facial expression as the punchline: So you may be thinking, Hey, bub, that's fine and all, but what are we wouldn't really actually making here. What's the assignment? Well, I'll be asking you to do two things. The first is filling out a chart of expressions, kind of like this one with different emotions on the Y access and different degrees of those emotions on the X axis. I'll make the template file for this downloadable here and also, conveniently enough, by 11 in case you want to print this out and drawn paper. The second thing is making a three panel comic, the punch line of which is an expression That means that panel number three cannot have any words. It has to be more or less just the face. I'll be working photo shop CS six and with a wack, um, into s tablet. But you can do this stuff however you want, as long as you can upload it to the Project Gallery. Really, all you need is a pencil and paper. So as soon as you're ready, let's dive right in. Good luck, my friend. And have fun 3. Basic Principles of Drawing Expressions: I want to start off by talking a little bit about what makes an expression what it is, and also with the differences between a face that is happy and one that is very happy, or one that's just somewhat annoyed. And when that's absolutely furious. The cool thing about this is that we humans are social animals and actually have a really acute sense of what a face communicates. So you yourself can be the judge of whether your expression does what it's supposed to. Cartoons, air super renegade and don't have to follow the rules of real life. So there's a lot of opportunity for exaggeration and caricature. I'll be sharing some of the basic principles, but you shouldn't be afraid to experiment. So one major thing is thesis. Eyes of elements on the face, for example, of big guys may indicate surprise, fear or awe where a small eyes may indicate suspicion or boredom. A small mouth is seen as cute, but a big mouth is more often seen as funny. Positioning is also very important. Wouldn't surefire way to make a character look dumb or silly is by making the eyes way far apart and bring the mouth up. But if it's the smart or serious character of your comic, then you might want to make both the positioning and the size of their features more or less realistic. Some of the biggest differences are between passive and active emotions in passive emotions like boredom or sadness, the eyebrows tend to be an arresting state just a bit above the eyes, and the mouth tends to be pretty low. On the other hand, inactive emotions the mouth is usually pretty high and the eyebrows maybe very low In the case of anger or nervousness or very high in the case of elation or surprise that you may be thinking, Wait a second, Shen, Surely you take me for a fool, but I am no fool because I know and I've taken biology, and I know that the mouth doesn't actually move along the face. So why why don't you just give up Shane? Why don't you give up on delete your tumbler? Well, what this is actually meant to be is the engagement or lack thereof of your cheeks, which can bring your lips closer to or further from your nose as a demonstration. Try smiling in front of a mirror without opening your mouth, you'll see your lips move up at least a little bit. Speaking of the mirror, the mirror is going to be your best friend and drawing whatever type of expression you need . Personally, I make the face that I'm drawing, regardless of whether or not I have a mirror, even in public. So I hope that you have no shame to the best piece of advice I can give is. Don't be shy about referencing. Look at your favorite comics and cartoons. Pay attention to how your friend smile. Google image, search, sadness. All of these things will develop your ability to communicate emotion in your comics. All right, Now that you know this stuff, let's get started on the first assignment in the next video. 4. Expressions Grid: Okay. Ready? Go. Baba Baba Baba bap bap of a babble Babble, babble, babble. No, I'm just kidding. No explaining a little bit. The basic gist of the assignment is that I want you to fill out this grid. So for every emotion, Happy said angry and infatuated, I want you to draw a face that is somewhat that emotion. Moderately, that emotion and very that emotion. You can either print out the provided PdF or pull it up and photo show. You're gonna be drawing 12 of these faces so you don't have to make them to detailed or anything. Most importantly, just have fun with it, especially with the very calm cause Come on like it's the very calm. There's no limit to how angry, very angry face could be. I didn't choose thes for emotions for any particular reason, but I feel like this exercise is a good first step in improving your skill and versatility in drawing expressions. Once you're done, upload what you've made to the Project gallery and you get some helpful critique and advice from both your fellow classmates and myself. Feel free to ask me anything in the discussion section. Aside from that, good luck. Have fun and I can't wait to see what you come up with. 5. Expressions in Context: There's actually one major thing that determines what a face communicates, that I tactically forgot to mention context. Imagine for a moment somebody with a very bored expression sitting in a classroom. Now imagine that same exact expression. But on somebody in the middle of a house fire, the context completely changes what the expression could mean. In the first scenario there just a typical student this interested in the lecture. But in the second scenario, there's clearly something more going on or the bad ass. Have they just witnessed something traumatic? Are they just generally indifferent to the perils of life? I don't know, and in fact, I would need even more context to find out. The reason I bring this up is that any comic you make will have context. For example, there might be humor in a character and getting very happy or very upset over a fairly minor things like not being able to find a pen or reacting surprisingly stoically to something that seems major. That's really how a lot of humorous created it's relatable, but at the same time unexpected and exaggerated. One other thing that I want to bring up in the context of context is the context of culture and specifically widely recognized symbols. If you watch anime read manga, you're probably familiar with the giant sweat. Drop the bleeding from the nose, the protruding X vein and the good old hair and eyes turned into fire. Yeah, you probably know what all that stuff means. These types of symbols exist in American comics to raise coming off the face smoke coming out of the years, eyebrows going off the head. They're important to note, because they're not literal. These things don't literally happen in real life, but they're still totally usable. You just have to keep in mind the context in which you're using them and whether or not your audience will understand them in that context. And with that in mind, let's move on to your second assignment. The three panel comic 6. The Comic: Hello and welcome Teoh assignment to this is the assignment to be at right now if you're not at this assignment than what are you even doing with your life? But, I mean, seeing as as you here in this right now, you're probably had this assignment. So welcome. Your objective in this assignment is Teoh. Use everything you've learned to make a three panel comic, the punch line of which is an expression you might be thinking. What what have I learned this whole courses, Like a minute. Well, given I haven't had a chance to share the entirety of my wealth of knowledge, I would be more than happy to provide advice and critique Teoh. Anyone who uploads their comic to the Project gallery. So even if you're making years on paper, if you have a scanner or a camera, just take advantage of that and upload your comic. Plus, I really just want to see where you made Show me. I'm just gonna leave this running. But if you have any questions, ask them in the discussions section and all of unanswered for you on short notice. Best of luck in the assignment and enjoy the sick jam by 7. Final Thoughts: watch it tells of a chosen one will make it all the way through Sheds class about drawing faces on skill share Are you Are you Oh, my gosh. Are you are the chosen one? Everyone here think, but actually, thank you so much for checking out my class here on skill share. I had a lot of fun making it, so I hope you had a lot of fun taking it. I guess what I want to leave you with is that they're just tomes of resource is on the subject. Some, which I'll try to put in. The resource is Section actually, So take a look through that. And from my personal experience, one of the most important things to dry and expressions for humor is to be uninhibited. What I mean by that is that they're going to be a lot of little debates that happen in your mind. Like, should I add this little detail or should I not? And it's kind of weird. I say go for it, take that risk because it will be fresh. It'll be funny, and it will be fun to draw, so it's kind of like a win win anyway. I'm out if you're looking for another cool class to take on here. That is actually one by Sarah Anderson, one of my favorite Web comic artists who makes Sarah scribbles. And it's about making a Web comic based on your life is something that she and I both do on . You should definitely join us. Join us in this endeavor, and aside from that, I will see you in the Project Gallery show.