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How to Draw Cartoons > Drawing Expressions

A good cartoonist knows which facial lines produce given emotional expressions. He is constantly studying people, and he often takes a mirror and studies himself! Make faces at yourself in a mirror, real faces expressing all sorts of dramatic and deep emotion.



Watch how the brow changes its line, the changing shape of mouth, the expressiveness of eyes in different positions, and the change in shape of cheek line. Note that the key actors in the drama of facial expression are eyes, brows, and mouth. Variations in these affect the entire face.

The faces opposite show some of the major emotions. Note the position especially of brows, eyes, and mouth. There are hundreds of other expressions. Try as many as you can, using yourself as a model. Then draw from memory and compare, after you have made your drawing, with your face in the mirror. Correct your errors, and start again. Facial expression is very important in cartooning.

More Expression

The expression on a face may be completely changed by the mere moving of the line of the brow-nothing else. Or it can change by movement of the eyes, or the mouth and jaw. It is an interesting thing with which to experiment.

Using the examples on the opposite page for a starter, draw a row of faces which are identical. In one row leave out the eyes, and fill them in later. In another row leave out the mouth. And in another row leave out the brows. Make all other features exactly alike in each face. Now draw a varied succession of brows and watch the changes in the whole row of expressions. Do the same with eyes and mouths. Keep them simple until you learn the prin ciple behind the lesson.

These expressions are not extreme, since only one feature is moved at a time. To make more extreme expression, move two or more features.

On the right, below, are examples of typical eyes, noses, and mouths in cartoons. As you see, there is wide variety, and every artist chooses his own favorite. Note the changes in physical features in growing older. The fig ure shown represents a very young man and the same man when he has grown old.





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