How to depict

Emotions & Expressions

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Learn all about how to draw these different expressions in my How to Draw Emotions & Expressions tutorial. Click on any of the emotions below to view that expression’s lesson. 

This video is a part of my People Skills series – a FREE sequence of tutorials, lessons, and assignments that will get you familiar with the basics of drawing humans and help you develop your own people-drawing style. Find the organized list of lessons on the People Skills home page

Emotion

Eye Shape

Pupil

Eye Gaze

Brows

Mouth

Other

Example

Happy

a little squinted, bottom edge curves up

normal

any direction

normal

forms a grin or small smile

chin might be titled up slightly

EYE SHAPE: a little squinted, bottom edge curves up

PUPIL: normal

EYE GAZE: any direction

BROWS: normal

MOUTH: forms a grin or small smile

OTHER: chin might be titled up slightly

Nearly closed

hidden

hidden

raised

wide open smile, teeth visible

features might be more spread out over face

EYE SHAPE: Nearly closed

PUPIL: hidden

EYE GAZE: hidden

BROWS: raised

MOUTH: wide open smile, teeth visible

OTHER: features might be more spread out over face

Sad

outside corners turned down

large

looking down

inner corners pointed up, arches down

downturned, frown

head tilted down, eyes might be welling up with tears, extra reflections to show that eyes are wet

Sad

EYE SHAPE: outside corners turned down

PUPILS: large

EYE GAZE: looking down

BROWS: inner corners pointed up, arches down

MOUTH: downturned, frown

OTHER: head tilted down, eyes might be welling up with tears, extra reflections to show that eyes are wet

nearly closed, sloping down at outside corners

hidden

hidden

furrowed brow: skin wrinkled between eyebrows, arches down

open, corners down

head may be tilted up, if crying out in pain

EYE SHAPE: nearly closed, sloping down at outside corners

PUPILS: hidden

EYE GAZE: hidden

BROWS: furrowed brow: skin wrinkled between eyebrows, arches down

MOUTH: open, corners down

OTHER: head may be tilted up, if crying out in pain

alert, wide, outer corners tilted down slightly

small

might be  looking to the side at possible danger

furrowed and inside corners raised

slightly open and corners turned down

someone scared might be sweating or breathing heavily

EYE SHAPE: alert, wide, outer corners tilted down slightly

PUPILS: small

EYE GAZE: might be  looking to the side at possible danger

BROWS: furrowed and inside corners raised

MOUTH: slightly open and corners turned down

OTHER: someone scared might be sweating or breathing heavily

eyes super wide

tiny

looking at the source of danger or darting around looking for an escape

brows furrowed, eyebrows raised vey high, with inside corners up 

wide open, teeth visible, screaming

features might be more spread out over face

EYE SHAPE: eyes super wide

PUPILS: tiny

EYE GAZE: looking at the source of danger or darting around looking for an escape

BROWS: furrowed, eyebrows raised vey high, with inside corners up 

MOUTH: wide open, teeth visible, screaming

OTHER: features might be more spread out over face

wide open

small

looking straight ahead

raised, no furrow

very small, slightly open

the face remains fairly relaxed other than the changes described.

EYE SHAPE: wide open

PUPILS: small

EYE GAZE: looking straight ahead

BROWS: raised, no furrow

MOUTH: very small, slightly open

OTHER: the face remains fairly relaxed other than the changes described.

very wide open

tiny

looking straight ahead

raised very high, no furrow

forms an O shape, no teeth showing

the jaw drops making the face appear longer and the features appear more spread out vertically.

EYE SHAPE: very wide open

PUPILS: tiny

EYE GAZE: looking straight ahead

BROWS: raised very high, no furrow

MOUTH: forms an O shape, no teeth showing

OTHER: the jaw drops making the face appear longer and the features appear more spread out vertically.

inside corners sloping down

dialated, touching upper lid but not lower lid

Looking straight ahead as to intimidate

lowered, arches up, inner corners down, brow furrowed

frowning, lip pursed, corners visible

head tilted down, features appear closer together vertically

EYE SHAPE: inside corners sloping down

PUPILS: dialated, touching upper lid but not lower lid

EYE GAZE: Looking straight ahead as to intimidate

BROWS: lowered, arches up, inner corners down, brow furrowed

MOUTH: frowning, lip pursed, corners visible

OTHER: head tilted down, features appear closer together vertically

eyes wide with inside corners sloping down

small

Looking straight ahead as to intimidate

lowered, arches up, inner corners down, brow extremely furrowed

wide open, snarled,  screaming, lines around mouth

features appear farther apart vertically

EYE SHAPE: eyes wide with inside corners sloping down

PUPILS: small

EYE GAZE: Looking straight ahead as to intimidate

BROWS: lowered, arches up, inner corners down, brow extremely furrowed

MOUTH: wide open, snarled,  screaming, lines around mouth

OTHER: features appear farther apart vertically

wide

normal

looking ahead, or perhaps in different directions

normal or raised

get creative! grinning with tongue out, or wide open with toungue out

there are so many ways to draw a silly face!

EYE SHAPE: wide

PUPILS: normal

EYE GAZE: looking ahead, or perhaps in different directions

BROWS: normal or raised

MOUTH: get creative! grinning with tongue out, or wide open with toungue out

OTHER: there are so many ways to draw a silly face!

wide or irregular, each eye can be a different shape

normal

eyes crossed or pointing in different directions

normal or raised

get creative! grinning with tongue out, or wide open with toungue out

try tilting the head for extra silliness, and make the proportions really out of whack!

EYE SHAPE: wide or irregular, each eye can be a different shape

PUPILS: normal

EYE GAZE: eyes crossed or pointing in different directions

BROWS: normal or raised

MOUTH: get creative! grinning with tongue out, or wide open with toungue out

OTHER: try tilting the head for extra silliness, and make the proportions really out of whack!

eyes narrowed, squinting or scrunched

normal

looking toward source of disgust

brows lowered, furrowed

corners of mouth down, lower lip sticks out, tongue might be out

nose scrunched up

EYE SHAPE: eyes narrowed, squinting or scrunched

PUPILS: normal

EYE GAZE: looking toward source of disgust

BROWS: brows lowered, furrowed

MOUTH: corners of mouth down, lower lip sticks out, tongue might be out

OTHER: nose scrunched up

scrunched or closed

hidden

hidden

inner corners pointing down brow furrowed

open with outer corners turned down, tongue sticking out

whole face may be scrunched up, features appear smaller on face

EYE SHAPE: scrunched or closed

PUPILS: hidden

EYE GAZE: hidden

BROWS: inner corners pointing down brow furrowed

MOUTH: open with outer corners turned down, tongue sticking out

OTHER: whole face may be scrunched up, features appear smaller on face

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