Questions regarding my projects and papier mache regularly fill my mailbox. In an effort to answer these questions and share information some of these questions will be regularly featured on this blog.
“I am currently working on a tombstone. I am trying to have a 3-d skull face on the tombstone.
Now for my question--in everything I do, baseline sketches, doodles, etc...everything seems to come out happy, instead of scary, creepy or evil.
Do you have any suggestions for how to remedy this. Right now, my skull looks like a "happy redneck" :(
I understand this is your busy season, but I look forward to hearing from you! “
This has to be one of my favorite questions, in fact I’m still laughing at the concept of a “happy redneck” skull, I wish you had sent some pictures. Honestly I’m not probably the best person to answer this question but from my experience I have found that the shape and the angle of the eyes have the most dramatic impact regarding whether a character is a friend or a foe. Also pay attention to the angle of the eyebrows, position of the nose and shape of the mouth.
Here is a cool link that that allows you to change the features of a virtual face. Pay close attention to the differences between “happy” and “angry.” Note the position of the eyes and brows and also study the relationship of the nose and the mouth.
Another good reference is looking at yourself in the mirror, make different faces and note how the muscles in your face work. If you squint your eyes study how the muscles in your cheeks and mouth change. You can also spend some time studying photos on line, simply do an image search on google for “evil faces” and you will get tons of examples. Note the common characteristics of faces people consider evil and incorporate those features into your own artwork.
Hope this helps!