Day 13 // How to Draw a Silly Expression

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The silly face is an attempt at looking comical. Someone behaving silly usually has a goal of getting others to laugh by doing something unexpected — that’s why the features of someone pulling a silly face look very different than what is considered to be “normal”. Humor is based on surprise and laughter is the result of a release of tension. An effective joke or funny story builds up in tension. When the punchline is delivered, and the tension is revealed to be non-threatening or unexpected, laughter ensues. 

Today we are drawing silly faces! Learn more below and check out the Table of Expressions to see all the emotions and how they can be depicted at a glance. 



There a no rules for what a silly expression must look like, but try to think of something unexpected from what’s “normal”.

Facial Features


PUPILS: normal

EYE GAZE: looking ahead or possible in different directions, eyes may be crossed

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!

Intense Emotion


If you want to make a face look absolutely ridiculous, make everything look off-kilter. Comedy is about unexpectedness, so really push the envelope!

Facial Features

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, possibly each doing something different

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!


Draw a face that conveys humor or silliness. Determine your character’s neutral expression and then use the guidelines on this page to manipulate those feature into a silly expression. Draw the emotion as well as the intense version of that emotion, ridiculous and everything in between such as crazy, foolish, playful, and more. Look up reference photos of silly, funny faces and figure out as many ways as you can to depict expressions of silliness.

Keep researching, observing and learning! I’ve made a Pinterest board full of additional resources to help you learn more about drawing expressions.

This lesson is a part of a month-long series that will get you you familiar with the basics of drawing humans, and help you develop your own people-drawing style. To learn more, check out the People Skills Intro, or continue on to the next lesson below.