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Thread: Why So Glum?

  1. #1
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    Why So Glum?

    Another one of my totally irreverent threads.

    No matter how sexy a lot people paint/draw women, they look so miserable or even worse, blank. You'd think after developing a certain level of skill artists would try to liven up the face, but no. The same expressionless face stares back at me time after time.

    Yes, I am aware that a smiling face is harder to do than a blank one, but isn't it all part of the learning curve? Why stop at the one expression?

    Please air your excuses.
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  3. #2
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    Even Sargent complained about the subtlety of facial expression with his quote "A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth."
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    Good one!I was stuck with the same expression on woman faces as well for quite some time.Because it worked and woman are such beautiful creatures it's hard to give her an expression that would reduce it. What worked for me is not thinking about the gender too much, just draw them as diverse as you would with man.They have the same muscles in the face.So why? because the gender you are attracted to you idealized too much.Not that I feel attracted to the apathetic.
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    When I draw a blank expression the drawing isn't meant to read as sexy, because expressionless/miserable people are not sexy. At least not to me.
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    It's all inherited from fashion photgraphy in my opinion. Most of fashion models have blank half-open-mouth expressions. People take it as reference.
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    Try painting a smile without it looking like a bad snapshot.
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    That's no excuse. Norman Rockwell did loads of smiling people.
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    What about this excuse: I always have to mimick the expression I am painting, so anything that is not neutral/expressionless might lead to severe jaw cramps or even wrinkles...

    Good reminder to practice some expressions, thanks!
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    It's called lazy illustrators.

    Learning the muscles of the face and knowing how they work would help in understanding how to draw a smile that looks less goofy.
    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    That's no excuse. Norman Rockwell did loads of smiling people.
    Different time different ideals. His illustrations were snapshots of a time. Our time has a different look
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    most of the sexy girls I draw have guns or swords. A happy expression would just make them look like psychotic killers who enjoy their work

    A couple of reasons you may not see a lot of it.

    - A lot of artwork on here is concept art, smiles not important, outfit is.

    - A lot of concept art is of violent nature, guns n' swords.

    I agree that having an expressive face adds a lot to character, just like expressive hands. I also agree that both are hard to do well hence we don't see much of it.
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