I will be the first to admit: when it comes to vacations, I am a planning machine. There is something magical about seeing all the little details of our trip… planning makes it even more real. But, when it comes to characters… the process is a bit daunting. I never could figure out why, until I realized that the act of staring at a blank sheet of paper scares me. My mind goes blank.
Once I figured that out – Eureka! A character expression sheet was born! Below you can see an example of expressions I created to help me come up with the finished illustration to the right.
It really helps me, and I hope it helps you, too!
*Update – 7/22/2016*
I recently came across a wonderful, (extremely!) in-depth article on this subject: “Human Anatomy Fundamentals:Mastering Facial Expressions” by At one point, the author discusses different cues used by performers when conveying an emotion. They use different tones of speech and exaggerate body movements while “an illustration needs to make up for real-life clues that are not present on paper.”
She then continues to break down a litany of different facial expressions and the subtle differences in features that make up these emotions. It’s a brilliantly written how-to article and I highly recommend it.
While I think my expression sheet is a great starting off point, in the near future I plan on incorporating many of Ms. Medlej’s tips into a more comprehensive Character Profile document, so be on the lookout! ♥