Comic Book Expressions

This lesson focuses on Comic Book Expressions.  I have been creating comic book art for about seventeen years, I have worked on various titles and still I find the need to refresh my skills on a regular basis.  One of the key elements of Online Comic Heroes, is to help inspire new artists and creators.  I will be sharing both basic and advanced lessons and articles.  In creating a comic book story you need to capture a wide range of facial expressions on your characters.  I will be reviewing the main ones in the following lesson.

There are numerous comic book expressions that an artist can portray.  These expressions can come across differently depending on a persons age, background, and experiences. The old saying goes a photo is worth a thousand words.  the challenge an artist has is to bring humanity to a comic book character.  To tell a convincing story, us the reader must believe what we see.  The word balloons are a descriptive device, the art is the closer.  As a result there are certain expressions that are key elements for the artist to become good at.

Comic Book Expressions: Key Expressions


Annoyed: The eyebrows tell the story here.  Curve them downward, a furrow in the lines on the forehead.  The lips strait, you can widen the jaw to try and bring in that the teeth are clenched.  The characters eyes may look up and over to a distant location.


Anger/Rage: The eyebrows are at a dramatic angle.  The characters eyes should be hard and piercing, the teeth clenched and if possible flare the nostrils.  Veins can pop at key spots, the neck or temple.


Fear/Worry: The eyes tell the story here, wide and perhaps watery.  The eyebrows curving upward, a furrow in the lines of the forehead.  The lips with a downward turn at the edges.


Surprise/Shock: The eyebrows are arched with the shape repeated in the lines of the forehead.  There can be a crinkle in the skin at the edges of the eyes.  Finally the mouth open or gaping.


Determined: The eyebrows tight and closely set above the eyes, a hard crease in the brow.  The eyes narrow and hard, like a laser site on a target.  The skin narrow and tight showing the angle of the cheekbones.  The lips closed and if the lighting is done well, a more noticeable shadow under the bottom lip.


Many artists I have read about or seen on television, will have a small mirror close by.  Just hold it up and look at yourself. Study the variety of expressions in your own face.  Not everyone can have a life model to work with, or want to flip through magazines or books.  You the artist knows what you need right this moment.  A mirror although tried and true is now more of a classic tool.  If you are working with your PC, or Lap top turn on your web cam and see yourself directly on screen.  There are even programs I have seen that allow you to digitally alter you own snap-shots.  I have not tried any of them myself.  A quick search can come up with a few if you want to explore more.

I can help you create your own comic book.

I work with creators and writers to bring their ideas to the page.