Step-by-step: Capture the look of physical pain
1 My first step is to determine the base of the face. My character is suffering, so I want to give the impression that she’s crying. Her mouth will be open, with lips inclined downwards to indicate pain. The base of the face is crucial when trying to create a strong expression: this sketch helps to visualise the final expression.
2 Now I start working the details. I refine the eyes and accentuate the position of the eyebrows. I want them to give the sensation of surprise but also of pain, so I depict them raised. I add a few more eyelid wrinkles to indicate slightly closed eyes, which will increase the overall intensity of the character’s expression.
3 I move on to the less-important parts of the face, such as the cheeks. This area reacts to the rest of the face, in particular the mouth. The shape varies little: I just need to make them more round than when the face is at rest, and add large wrinkles at the corners of the mouth to link the mouth and cheeks together.