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Tips for drawing expressions

Do you love emojis? I do. And I love drawing different emojis onto balloons for children’s birthday parties. I enjoy filling my cards and letters with smiley faces. Plus, I like to doodle characters with interesting expressions.

You can change the expressions on your face without changing the shape of the face. But, is it really that easy?

Here are some tips for drawing cartoon facial expressions:

  •  Change the shape and size of the eyes and mouth to represent different emotions. Happy emotions usually have larger eyes while sad emotions are usually smaller. When a character is surprised, the mouths are usually smaller and oval-like. If they are angry, they are usually stretched out and take up much of the bottom portion of the face.
  • Eyebrows play an important role in illustrating expressions. Happy and content are usually curved eyebrows while angry is usually furrowed or straight/slanted eyebrows.
  • The nose actually doesn’t play as important of a role in facial expressions, especially if you’re going with a simple face where the nose is a just a circle. However, the size can change the ratio distance between other important features like eyes and mouth. Start with the nose in the centre of the face, but slowly move it if the ratio doesn’t match.
  • Use teeth for the mouth when the character is overly happy or extremely angry. Sad faces usually don’t show teeth.

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