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Making Faces: Drawing Expressions For Comics And Cartoons Paperback – July 25, 2008


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Making Faces: Drawing Expressions For Comics And Cartoons + Creating Characters with Personality: For Film, TV, Animation, Video Games, and Graphic Novels + Character Mentor: Learn by Example to Use Expressions, Poses, and Staging to Bring Your Characters to Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: IMPACT (July 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600610498
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600610493
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.5 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

8fish is a jack-of-all-trades creative workshop that has been producing mind-blowing animation, design and illustration for over ten years. The secret to 8fish's success is a fiesty team of incredibly talented and versatile artists who constantly challenge themselves and each other. Their clients include Nickelodeon, Writer's Digest, Wendy's, Direct TV, Franklin Covey, among others.

Customer Reviews

The book uses cartoon faces to show you how to express emotions.
A. Juhasz
This book was something I picked up as a quick inspirational read.
Danielle Abel
Well put together and very useful/ easy to understand and follow.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By CB on February 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Let's face it - drawing faces is probably the most difficult task for an artist of any skill level and no single book is going to teach you what it is you need to know. As it is, "Making Faces" is a valiant effort but spends too much time on "fluff" that really isn't helpful.

The goal of "Making Faces" is to teach the eager student of drawing how to draw facial expressions - specifically, to get beyond the big expressions like, as the book says, "happy," "sad" and "angry" and be able to communicate more subtle emotions. Here, the author (8Fish, an animation/design/illustration group) attempt to do this via an exaggerated, cartoony style meant to help those interested in comic book and cartoon illustration. The book begins with some words of wisdom (principles behind expressions, the tools of the trade, basic facial features and construction) and then gets into little mini "tutorials" for drawing expressions based on different scenarios (a superhero slugfest, for example, or a first date). Here they focus on one or two characters in each scenario and discuss how to portray their expressions. The final chapter focuses on storytelling, encompassing body language, page layouts, etc.

The Good: There are some great tips in this book, everything from how to slowly build up a drawing with light sketches first and then darken what you want to emphasize, all the way to how to maintain an expression when a character you're drawing is far away (something I've always had a problem figuring out). Also, the methods presented for how to initially construct a face are well presented and easy to learn overall.

The Bad: For all of that, what this book offers is a little too shallow and fast.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Danielle Abel on December 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was something I picked up as a quick inspirational read. But I find that no matter how many times I read this book, I learn something new or come up with new ideas for my own art. As a character designer and concept artist working for a professional studio, I'm always looking for ways to improve my designs and come up with the best characters to fit the current project of a competitive industry. This book shows designs of multiple styles and creates a story behind each character to fully test the expressions per personality. With a documented thought process and heartwarming characters, you'll find this book a pleasure to browse through or study. Whether beginner or expert, this book is sure to please!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Clark on May 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
This was one of several books I bought to help advance my understanding of comics and to give me insights into techniques used by profressionals to help advance my own skills, practically. This book isn't too big on understanding the subject, it's way more about doing. It could go a lot further in explaining what builds up believable characters, body poses, facial muscles, anatomy, how to achieve shades of emotion as opposed to extreme ones. It should also tone down on #1 putting the authors on a pedestal, they could almost be the centrepiece of the book. And #2 There's a lot of superfluous commentary, especially on the pages where the reader is guided through drawing various expressions. However there are a lot of good insights and useful tips interspersed throughout the book. This book is much more suitable for an artist who wants to mimic the style of these artists rather than learn about comics drawing in general.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Juhasz on December 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book uses cartoon faces to show you how to express emotions.
Because expressions are more extreme in cartoons, you learn what to
do easily. I plan to use these skills in making drawings for carving
caricature figures. Neat stuff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JoshS on December 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
Was expecting an easy cartoonish type beginner book. I was wrong, surprisingly great detail on how to make some awesome characters!
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Lars Kingbeard on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, Id like to make it clear that this is a kid's book and is in no way a serious treatment of the subject. But even kids would benefit from good information and sound instruction, neither of which are found here. The collection of artists who put together this book are in no way qualified to do so. It seems like most of them are recent grads, and frankly it shows. Annoyingly, they don't seem to realise how bad they are. The purported subject of the book is barely dicussed before the ragtag crew launches into a series of awful step by step demos that display a total lack of subtlety or insight. You would be much better off buying a book by an experienced, talented artist such as Ben Caldwell, or picking up a book on Disney animation and just studying the expressions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kyanzasu on January 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Packaging, shipping, and condition all as promised. This book is a very good learning tool for beginning to advanced artists. I am an Illustration major attending a university and I enjoyed learning from this book just as much as I do from the teachers at my school.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Joyce on March 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Virtually Maria (Virtual Trilogy)

As someone who wanted a simple guide to creating realistic expressions on my cartoon characters, I was delighted to find this book on Amazon. While many artists (myself included)find the task of conveying emotion in their characters challenging, this book gives a series of simple step-by-step examples of how an entire spectrum of facial expressions can be conveyed in a well laid-out easy to follow style.

While by no means as academically comprehensive as some of the more advanced manuals that go into anatomical detail about the movements of various muscles in the face during different emotions, this book has the one great advantage of being fun to read.

Starting with basic chapters on 'Materials and Equipment', 'Drawing & Sketching', 'Inking and Shading' and notes on the various features of the face - eyes, nose, lips etc. that make up the foundation of expression, this book then proceeds to a series of beautifully illustrated "scenarios" that evoke a range of expressions, with wonderful graphic illustrations to match.

As an introduction to the world of facial expressions, a source of ideas and inspiration, or simply as a great book to flick through and appreciate, I would heartily recommend this book to lovers (and artists) of comics and cartoons everywhere.
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