Wednesday, January 21, 2015
One of my challenges to my Art 6 class is to create a cartoon character, and then draw that same character with many different facial expressions. Occasionally, I do one along with them of one of my characters. Some sprang instantly to mind, and then I went back through the comic strips he appeared in and made sketches of significant ones. It is interesting that there are some expressions your character would not have -- because it would be out of character!
I first experimented with this exercise using the book Cartooning the Head and Figure by Jack Hamm. It's a classic, a book I've returned to again and again since I bought it as a teenager. I've since created my own guide for students to refer to. I encourage them to look at the work of others to see how artists simplified, exaggerated, and used simple lines and symbols to represent a specific emotion. When we think of an emotion not shown on our guide, we ask a friend to pose for us.
Challenge: Try it! Create a character. Draw the same character 12-16 times. Try to keep the basic structure of the character the same, but with distinctly different emotions each time.