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The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression

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This instructional and reference manual is a visual index of facial expressions. It centres on the muscles of expression and their effects as a basis for understanding and analyzing those expressions they see on models and in photographs. Artists will be aided in understanding expression and in creating expression. The book is organized around three parts - part one analyz This instructional and reference manual is a visual index of facial expressions. It centres on the muscles of expression and their effects as a basis for understanding and analyzing those expressions they see on models and in photographs. Artists will be aided in understanding expression and in creating expression. The book is organized around three parts - part one analyzes the basic structures of the head, the fundamental forms of the skull and recurring proportions, all in preparation for understanding full facial expression in part three. Part two describes the muscles of expression in the three key parts of the face. In part three, the basic facial forms from part two are combined to form the six basic human expressions - joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust and surprise. Each expression is depicted in steadily increasing intensity. Examples of facial images are drawn from a variety of photographic art and artistic sources.


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This instructional and reference manual is a visual index of facial expressions. It centres on the muscles of expression and their effects as a basis for understanding and analyzing those expressions they see on models and in photographs. Artists will be aided in understanding expression and in creating expression. The book is organized around three parts - part one analyz This instructional and reference manual is a visual index of facial expressions. It centres on the muscles of expression and their effects as a basis for understanding and analyzing those expressions they see on models and in photographs. Artists will be aided in understanding expression and in creating expression. The book is organized around three parts - part one analyzes the basic structures of the head, the fundamental forms of the skull and recurring proportions, all in preparation for understanding full facial expression in part three. Part two describes the muscles of expression in the three key parts of the face. In part three, the basic facial forms from part two are combined to form the six basic human expressions - joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust and surprise. Each expression is depicted in steadily increasing intensity. Examples of facial images are drawn from a variety of photographic art and artistic sources.

30 review for The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression

  1. 4 out of 5

    Parka

    (More pictures at parkablogs.com) This book should be a compulsory book for all artists, all those that draw faces anyway. It's a in-depth instructional art book on facial expressions. The three main sections are on head structure, facial muscles and the six basic human emotions: sadness, anger, joy, fear, disgust and surprise. Every little nuance or muscle twitch on the face is analysed and explained. Other than the drawings created by the author Gary Faigin himself, there are also tons of ex (More pictures at parkablogs.com) This book should be a compulsory book for all artists, all those that draw faces anyway. It's a in-depth instructional art book on facial expressions. The three main sections are on head structure, facial muscles and the six basic human emotions: sadness, anger, joy, fear, disgust and surprise. Every little nuance or muscle twitch on the face is analysed and explained. Other than the drawings created by the author Gary Faigin himself, there are also tons of examples included from other media like posters, cartoons, etc. The write-up is really exhaustive and interesting. You'll find out why smiling too much hurts, the differences between a sleepy eye and one that's looking down and a whole lot more. It's not only useful for drawing, but also very practical in real life with the new found ability to differentiate real from fake expressions — reading faces. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fenra

    I bought the book because I like to draw people and wanted to improve myself and this book helped actually a lot. It's built up very well and shows very clearly how people perceive various facial expressions and when they seem kind of off to us. This book shows things like false smiles which is really not that easy to describe and even harder to draw. I think everyone who wants to illustrate the inner thoughts of the persons he's drawing should have a look at this book. I bought the book because I like to draw people and wanted to improve myself and this book helped actually a lot. It's built up very well and shows very clearly how people perceive various facial expressions and when they seem kind of off to us. This book shows things like false smiles which is really not that easy to describe and even harder to draw. I think everyone who wants to illustrate the inner thoughts of the persons he's drawing should have a look at this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anna C

    I wasn't totally sure about this book at first, because when I flipped through, many of the sample images seemed to be very overwrought and over-exaggerated portrayals of emotion. I was afraid that this book, like a lot of tutorials on drawing facial expressions, would be overly cartoonish. However, I didn't need to be alarmed. This is actually a super detailed, nuanced, and anatomy-focused drawing guide. The text and illustrations are clear, with precise detail about the names and functions of e I wasn't totally sure about this book at first, because when I flipped through, many of the sample images seemed to be very overwrought and over-exaggerated portrayals of emotion. I was afraid that this book, like a lot of tutorials on drawing facial expressions, would be overly cartoonish. However, I didn't need to be alarmed. This is actually a super detailed, nuanced, and anatomy-focused drawing guide. The text and illustrations are clear, with precise detail about the names and functions of every major facial muscle. I learned a lot, and fully expect to reread this book in a few years, when I've reached a higher skill level and can work with some of smaller and more technical aspects of expression.

  4. 4 out of 5

    James

    This is a great reference for anyone portraying the human face in any medium. It is both practical and thoughtful; it draws examples and illustrations from all cultures and historical periods, and shows in great detail, feature by feature, how the face reflects each of the primary emotions, down to the underlying musculature that causes our expressions to be what they are. I used this when making some mask-type sculptures and found it helped me achieve much more powerful, authentic, and effectiv This is a great reference for anyone portraying the human face in any medium. It is both practical and thoughtful; it draws examples and illustrations from all cultures and historical periods, and shows in great detail, feature by feature, how the face reflects each of the primary emotions, down to the underlying musculature that causes our expressions to be what they are. I used this when making some mask-type sculptures and found it helped me achieve much more powerful, authentic, and effective finished works. It also fascinates me as a psychotherapist - just browsing through this book helps me get better at reading subtle nonverbal cues when I'm talking with people.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anna Morgenstern

    An extremely detailed, well-explained book about facial expressions and the movement of the face muscles. Good for reading and understanding better how expressions look and how the face twists to make that happen. Would also be great as "just-reference" book. I cannot recommend this enough. An extremely detailed, well-explained book about facial expressions and the movement of the face muscles. Good for reading and understanding better how expressions look and how the face twists to make that happen. Would also be great as "just-reference" book. I cannot recommend this enough.

  6. 5 out of 5

    RatCreature

    It's a very cool book with a great systematic approach as a reference for expressions. My only quibble with it is that the green overlaid color is on some pages slightly out of alignment in my copy. It's only a few millimeters but that kind of printing fault shouldn't happen in an art book. It's nowhere bad enough to impede usefulness or legibility, though. It's a very cool book with a great systematic approach as a reference for expressions. My only quibble with it is that the green overlaid color is on some pages slightly out of alignment in my copy. It's only a few millimeters but that kind of printing fault shouldn't happen in an art book. It's nowhere bad enough to impede usefulness or legibility, though.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Billy

    This book i indispensable to me as an artist. I cannot praise it enough. It is a detailed book with many drawings that I found very educational the first time I read it and the perfect reference each time I have read it or referred to it since. There have been many times I have turned to this book to work out sketches and character designs.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Harlen Astrid

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. it is good

  9. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    Very helpful and a book I will refer to for years to come!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ross Cline

    the best guide to facial expression I have ever read

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maria Fontes

    I'm a 3D rigger/animator and I'm focusing in realist facial rigging/animation. I can't explain enough how much this book has helped me. Now I just work with this by my side. You can see several references and understand why and how the face works, how the muscles move and how much we communicate and show our emotions with our face. Amazing book! I'm a 3D rigger/animator and I'm focusing in realist facial rigging/animation. I can't explain enough how much this book has helped me. Now I just work with this by my side. You can see several references and understand why and how the face works, how the muscles move and how much we communicate and show our emotions with our face. Amazing book!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Barbara K.

    I've seen this book recommended for two very different purposes, the intended one as art instruction, another as an aid in helping those with Asperger's or high-functioning autism learn more about facial expressions. It's a wonderful art instruction, in that it covers the anatomy of the face as well as the full range of facial expression. I'm not a serious portraitist, but I find that even my casual drawings of faces have tended to lack something in the past, something I wasn't coming to grips wi I've seen this book recommended for two very different purposes, the intended one as art instruction, another as an aid in helping those with Asperger's or high-functioning autism learn more about facial expressions. It's a wonderful art instruction, in that it covers the anatomy of the face as well as the full range of facial expression. I'm not a serious portraitist, but I find that even my casual drawings of faces have tended to lack something in the past, something I wasn't coming to grips with. Even in drawing a cartoon face it's helpful to understand the structure of a real one and the subtle changes in muscle tension that create expressions. This book will help anyone who's interested in drawing more realistic or expressive faces, from beginner to advanced.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Even though I'll likely never be able to duplicate the level of art demonstrated in the book, I enjoyed it nonetheless even just as a tool to practice emotional recognition. It also teaches about WHY the face looks the way it does during emotion, including musculature reactions. Even though I'll likely never be able to duplicate the level of art demonstrated in the book, I enjoyed it nonetheless even just as a tool to practice emotional recognition. It also teaches about WHY the face looks the way it does during emotion, including musculature reactions.

  14. 4 out of 5

    JordanDunn

    I think this book is really interesting and educational for artist and readers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jertalbot

    A must have for anyone doing human based computer graphics

  16. 5 out of 5

    Geoff Sebesta

    One of the two best artistic anatomy books I've ever seen. Filled with information that will, no joke, change your life. One of the two best artistic anatomy books I've ever seen. Filled with information that will, no joke, change your life.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Silvia

    A wonderful resource for both artists and readers interested in the work of Haggard and Isaacs, and Paul Ekman.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Scott Kroll

    I took this out from the library, but I think I need to own it. Such a good book on facial expression.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Serge Pierro

    An excellent book for learning how to draw facial expressions. It clearly illustrates and explains the details necessary to convincingly pull off the expressions.

  20. 4 out of 5

    John Paul

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anouar

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Logan

  23. 5 out of 5

    Esteban Sanjuan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeric

  25. 4 out of 5

    Atia

  26. 5 out of 5

    Scott Berger

  27. 4 out of 5

    McKenna

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aditya Pratama

  29. 5 out of 5

    Faizan Arshad

  30. 4 out of 5

    Online Mentor

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