One of the books that sees a lot of wear on my bookshelf is The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression by Gary Faigin. It’s a very comprehensive look into what happens to the face when certain emotions come into play, and shows how to draw someone displaying those emotions. That’s a pretty important skill when doing visual storytelling, and caricature artists can learn a lot from it as well.
The author will be conducting a five day (FIVE DAYS?!?!) workshop on the subject this upcoming December at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, WA. The workshop must give thorough and comprehensive an entirely new meaning, because you can read the book itself in an afternoon… but no question Mr. Faigin knows his stuff so The workshop is bound to be enlightening. If you are in the Seattle area it might be worth a look see.
Here’s the official announcement… it says you can register online but I didn’t see it listed yet:
UNDERSTANDING & MASTERING FACIAL EXPRESSION
Five-Day Workshop | Mon, December 6 – Fri, December 10, 2010
Teaching Artist: Gary Faigin
Author: The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression
Lecturer: Industrial Light & Magic and American Academy of Plastic Surgery
Consultant: Animation Production Capstone, Computer Science Dept, UW
Despite our familiarity with faces, a discrepancy can occur between transferring the facial expression one sees in real life into the representation of one. Gary Faigin, artist, author and acclaimed lecturer will address this phenomenon and other common problems in a five-day workshop at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle. While countless workshops offer instruction in depicting the head, this workshop offers forensic experts, animators, cartoonists, plastic surgeons as well as those curious to learn about the mechanics of a smile, a unique and comprehensive opportunity to understand facial expression.
Through a series of lectures, demonstrations and one-on-one instruction, Faigin offers students thorough instruction on how to convincingly portray emotion. Working at their own station, students are provided with drawing materials, a plastic skull, modeling clay and a mirror, and begin the week by drawing their own face in relation to the skull underneath.
Students also gain an objective understanding of the face through a systematic exploration of the muscles that control expression. Working with modeling clay, students form important muscles of various expressions which are later positioned onto a plastic skull. Using this foundation, students are then able to use their own face as a model to draw front and side views that highlight the various muscles in action.
Working in conjunction with Faigin, students also learn how to depict the six categories of emotion (sadness, anger, joy, fear, disgust and surprise) and progress to life drawing from an actor or model at the week’s close. Students also examine a variety of visual sources, including cartoons, master paintings and other artistic depictions of facial expression to inform their work.
At the end of the week, students leave with an increased understanding and command of facial expression, taking home their expression notebook as well as a completed clay-model muscular skull.
Register online at www.GageAcademy.org or call 206-323-GAGE (4243) or 1-800-880-3898
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