Making Faces: Drawing Expressions for Comics and Cartoons (Anglais) Broché – 29 août 2008
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The goal of "Making Faces" is to teach the eager student of drawing how to draw facial expressions - specifically, to get beyond the big expressions like, as the book says, "happy," "sad" and "angry" and be able to communicate more subtle emotions. Here, the author (8Fish, an animation/design/illustration group) attempt to do this via an exaggerated, cartoony style meant to help those interested in comic book and cartoon illustration. The book begins with some words of wisdom (principles behind expressions, the tools of the trade, basic facial features and construction) and then gets into little mini "tutorials" for drawing expressions based on different scenarios (a superhero slugfest, for example, or a first date). Here they focus on one or two characters in each scenario and discuss how to portray their expressions. The final chapter focuses on storytelling, encompassing body language, page layouts, etc.
The Good: There are some great tips in this book, everything from how to slowly build up a drawing with light sketches first and then darken what you want to emphasize, all the way to how to maintain an expression when a character you're drawing is far away (something I've always had a problem figuring out). Also, the methods presented for how to initially construct a face are well presented and easy to learn overall.
The Bad: For all of that, what this book offers is a little too shallow and fast. There are discussions on how to construct draw faces head-on and from profile, but the more difficult and frustrating 3/4 views are rarely, if ever, covered. Additionally, the "tutorials" aren't especially helpful since they don't teach how to apply the lessons learned into other drawing styles. Essentially, the expression being drawn works for the particular character, but the underlying principles aren't clear enough for you to transfer what you learned to your own creative work.
For those just starting out in drawing and trying to learn how to draw faces, "Making Faces" will probably be a good purchase. However, those who already know the fundamentals and want to innovate their methods will want to look elsewhere. Probably the best books on the subject are Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists (a must for any artist of any skill level), Secrets to Drawing Heads (an ingenious and easy-to-understand book that will revolutionize your artwork almost instantly) and Drawing the Human Head (Practical Art Books). Good luck!
Because expressions are more extreme in cartoons, you learn what to
do easily. I plan to use these skills in making drawings for carving
caricature figures. Neat stuff.