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

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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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.

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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: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading several critical reviews here, I was a little hesitant to buy this book. I'm glad I ordered it anyway.

Despite the fact that the art in this book is excellent, it's not a coffee table book, nor is it an art showcase for the authors. This book is designed for the beginner to intermediate level artist who wants to get a good understanding of what happens when a human face goes about the business of describing emotions and feelings.

The book consists of 2 main parts. The first part is an illustrated breakdown and explanation of individual facial features. In other words, a step-by-step approach to drawing expressive eyes, noses, chins, etc. All the essentials are presented and thoroughly covered with the underlying anatomy taken into consideration. The second part shows how all these parts of the face work together to convey a believable character expression.

My favorite part of the book is where the authors created a character for each set of emotions and dedicated a page spread to each expression. Each spread is a step-by-step drawing tutorial with a short paragraph of useful instructions for every step.

I wanted to improve my confidence and skill in sketching and drawing cartoon expressions and this book did the job perfectly. Big thanks to the authors and the publisher for putting it together.
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