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Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists Paperback – Jun 1 2005

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Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists + Facial Expressions Babies to Teens: A Visual Reference for Artists + The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill; 1st (first) Printing edition (June 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823016714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823016716
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 1.8 x 27.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #78,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Mark Simon owns A&S Animation, a cel animation house, and Animatics & Storyboards, the largest storyboard house in the south. His previous books include Facial Expressions and Storyboards: Motion in Art. He lives in Orlando, Florida.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE FOLLOWING LIST of emotions and ideas was used to inspire the models to exhibit a variety of facial expressions. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D.N. on Nov. 7 2005
Format: Paperback
Between this and Bob Clampett cartoons (see: Looney Tunes dvds), you're primed for a great love affair with expressions and exaggerations that you need in a career of animation or just about any other artform. There's a wide variety of expressions which are very well photographed in black-and-white and a large cull of different faces and colours.
If you're into art, BUY IT! It's a great book for its price and it actually makes the subject more interesting instead of drying it out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Moore on Dec 3 2008
Format: Paperback
A very good reference book, loaded with images of a nice variety of models, ages and body types, with expressions ranging from the normal to the downright silly. Photographs are approx. 2" x 2-1/4", and printed 16 to a page -- large enough to view easily.

I appreciated the multiple angles on certain poses, and high- and low-angle shots. There is also a phoneme section (same size photos, but zoomed in on the mouth and jaw), a headgear section, and a kissing section. The example art scattered throughout the book is fun.

My quibbles? I wish that either the photos a) were in colour (the book is B&W), or b) were printed on a higher-quality paper, so that the images appeared a little crisper. This isn't to say that the photo quality isn't good; I just wish it were sharper. I also wish there was some sort of pattern to the order of photos. (Images are grouped by model, starting from youngest to oldest, but the expressions are somewhat random.)

Overall, I'm glad I bought it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extremely well made reference book on expressions which is not an easy thing to draw.

I always carry this book with me for quick references on how to draw any specific emotions when I'm Storyboarding.
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By Amy Shearer on June 25 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love it.. Glad I bought it, very helpful with my arts. Helps with creative thoughts and patterns, unique ideas, wonderful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 117 reviews
80 of 85 people found the following review helpful
Not bad, but too over-the-top June 10 2007
By GameMaker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has it's uses. It is organized by the age of the model, and varies from 20 to 83, both male and female. The pictures are clear and usable, and I was pleased that they were large enough to work with. Note that these are head-shots only. Then at the end of the book, there is a brief section on "sequential poses" which basically gives you some still frames in transitions between for example a happy and sad face. There is also a few pages on models speaking the phonemes if you need to do morphing.

The problem that I have with this book though is that, like others mentioned, WAY too many of the expressions are these really outrageous over-the-top kinds of things. I guess you could best describe them as "silly". If you are doing some type of animated cartoon or something, these might actually be real useful. But for any other use they are not nearly as much help as they could be.

For comparison's sake, I also have "The Artist's Complete Guide To Facial Expression" which I feel is a little more useful. It is organized by expression, and contains a lot of discussion about each one. The weakness of that book though is that it doesn't have near as much reference material (i.e. pictures) as this book, but at least the ones it does have are in general more useful.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
All the facial reference you need in one book May 5 2005
By Daniel Antkowiak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Capturing a person's expression is often the key to a successful illustration. Sometimes you have to translate your own features from a reflection and apply them to the face you're drawing. This book alleviates a lot of guesswork and opens up scores of options with the variety of kinds of faces included, the range of distrortion the models allow, and the multitude of angles from which we see the faces. What's great about the collection is it isn't just faces, it's the other details that can sometimes present challenges, from hairstyles to types of shirts and collars, to a specific section devoted to various hats and headgear. All these seemingly obvious things are necessary to include at one time or another, and can present challenges to an artist. Just a sliver of the possible interpretations are included in the book as well, as several artists have contributed sketches based on the actual photos you see. Caricatures, animal characters, sculptures, it goes on and on.

I see this as one of the few staple books for any artist to keep on their shelf, that covers a broad ground within a single volume.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
It's really the best *right now*- get it while it's in-print... July 11 2006
By "extreme_dig_cm" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is currently the best and most cost-effective photo reference for heads, features, faces, expressions, angles, and different ethnicities, genders, and ages available today *in-print*. A great price & above-average quality- it's pretty easily worth getting. See also his 2nd book: Babies to Teens.

Some ideas for next edition- mainly my own preferences: more younger models- less older; white pages with white backgrounds- instead of grey pages with black backgrounds; get rid of the skull sections; get rid of the 'art inspired by' amateur art; get rid of the sequential expressions section; expand the kissing section- younger models please; and give us more of the model on pages 234-235! :)

Some of the criticisms here by others really amaze me(!). This is the *only* book of its kind available today- there's simply no competition. Sure, other photo references exist, but none with this specific content. Where else can we find so many expressions, ethnicities, and extreme angles of view? This is a tremendous help in learning to draw heads from memory. Combine this with some of the better how-to-draw type books, and it's hard to find a better value these days. Photo-reference books can sometimes be expensive!

It's unfortunate but true: some of the *greatest* photo reference books ever created seemed to quickly go out of print. Sometimes they popped back into print; sometimes they didn't. The Illustrator's Figure Reference Manual series is a great example of this, as is the Elte Shuppan Pose File series (currently a 9-volume series). Awareness seems key to their survival. It's just a simple reality: these books are intended for a very special & specific audience, and if demand for these books fades, even for the briefest of times, these books go out-of-print & then often become extremely expensive to get. I've written a few reviews for these out-of-print books, but happily *this* book is still available today. Get it while it's in-print!

Also recommended: Andrew Loomis' Drawing: The Head; George Bridgman's Constructive Anatomy & Heads, Features and Faces; Jack Hamm's Drawing the Head and Figure; Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy & Drawing the Human Head; and even How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. Check 'em out!
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Pretty useless June 1 2010
By C. Wajda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After leafing through this once it arrived, it became clear that for me this book was essentially useless, and I put it up for sale the next week.

Here's what made the book unusable for me:

The bulk of these expressions seem insincere and overly-exaggerated. These are not actors, but everyday people grimacing and mugging in front of a camera. There are not many 'real' emotions here, but mostly cartoony rubberface contortions, done by people who are not trained in subtlety conveying everyday emotion in front of a camera or audience. Some people may want this kind of thing, but I have a hard time seeing how these could be truly useful to any artist for real-world work.

The art 'examples' of how to interpret these images (also largely done by amateurs) serve absolutely no purpose and are quite distracting, as they are given more weight than the source art itself (!).

Worst of all, a bulk of the photos are badly lit, and poor adjustments were made for subjects with darker complexions. I was amazed many of the subjects were not lit to highlight what the book is supposed to be all about, facial expressions (?!). Often the strongest light source was situated on the top rear of the head -- yielding many completely flat photos.

Many of the best-lit facial poses stare directly into the camera (!). It's very rare that an artist ever needs to break 'the 4th wall' for their work, so these are also all a waste.

The author and his staff definitely put a lot of work into this book -- it's got a lot of different models and it's almost an inch thick -- but I need to be honest and say it really is a whole lot of nothing. At the end of the day, the best source for reference is a mirror by your table (like Disney animators do), or a quick camera phone pic of friend, to give you the emotion you need.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Not good for serious sculptors March 24 2008
By R. Stewart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book to use as a reference for sculpting faces on dolls. The book shows different angles of the expressions and that was what I needed. Unfortunately what I did not need was an entire book filled with goofy expressions that you'd never even see on a human face!! There was no romantic expressions or serene, contented, laughing mildly at something mildly funny expressions. Just over the top, completely over exaggerated mutated faces! If you need some serious or normal faces, Don't buy this book.