Can you share tips on paint­ing a char­ac­ter that’s squint­ing?

Charles Quiles, Canada

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation | Artist Q & A -

An­swer Tony replies

My first thought when I read the ques­tion was, “Well, just draw the eyes tiny!” But then I re­flected on just how many fa­cial ex­pres­sions in­volve hav­ing the eyes al­most closed. Sleepy child, wise monk, sus­pi­cious French­man… the list could go on. So I’ve de­cided to fo­cus on what makes squint­ing dif­fer­ent, and just how much of the face is used. Which, as it turns out, is all in the mus­cles.

The eyes are sur­rounded by the Or­bic­u­laris oculi, a set of mus­cles re­spon­si­ble for clos­ing the lid. It’s like two sinewy Pep­per­o­nis on your face with eye­balls in the mid­dle. It stretches al­most to the nos­trils, and ex­plains why so much of your face is used when you squint. The top of the cheeks raise, the eye­brows drop and the skin folds up as the mus­cles con­tract.

When paint­ing, your fo­cus should be on all the muscle con­trac­tions go­ing on around the face and how the skin tends to wrin­kle as a re­sult.

Even be­fore any of the wrin­kles are added, you should be able to tell from the an­gle of the eye­lids and brows that Quick-Draw McDraw here is squint­ing.

Use light to em­pha­sise the wrin­kles cre­ated from the muscle con­trac­tions around the eye. The eye­balls them­selves will be sim­ple, so go nuts with the de­tail sur­round­ing them.

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