Can you help me draw clas­sic cheese­cake fa­cial ex­pres­sions?

Alf Jones, US

ImagineFX - - Imaginenation Artis q&a -


Matt replies

In my view, the fa­cial ex­pres­sion is the defin­ing el­e­ment of true pin-up art­work. Pose, cos­tume and set­ting all play their part, of course, but for me pin-up is all about at­ti­tude. Choos­ing an ex­pres­sion that cor­rectly com­mu­ni­cates that at­ti­tude is es­sen­tial. The key el­e­ments here are con­fi­dence, hu­mour and en­joy­ment.

Con­fi­dence is best demon­strated through di­rect eye con­tact with the viewer. This shows that your pin-up is unashamed of what­ever sit­u­a­tion you have cho­sen to place them in, and helps to wel­come your au­di­ence into that sit­u­a­tion.

Hu­mour doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean that your im­age has to be funny or con­tain a gag, but what­ever you choose to paint, your pin-up should have good hu­mour. They should re­act to their sit­u­a­tion in a pos­i­tive man­ner, with per­haps a wink or a cocked eye­brow, or open-mouthed sur­prise at some­thing in the scene.

En­joy­ment is per­haps the most im­por­tant as­pect of your char­ac­ter’s ex­pres­sion. This com­mu­ni­cates that your pin-up is a will­ing par­tic­i­pant in the scene and is in con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion. If your pin-up is en­joy­ing what you’ve painted it’ll help your au­di­ence to do so, too! A smile or laugh is ob­vi­ously the best way to get this across.

A three-quar­ter pro­file and a slight down­ward dip of the head is a clas­sic pose. Note that the smile is not just on the lips but also the cheeks and eyes. Even with more con­tem­po­rary styling, the right fa­cial ex­pres­sion en­sures that this char­ac­ter has a clas­sic pin-up feel.

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