The Graphic Recorder - Doug Neill - Visual Vocabulary - Facial Expression - Joy

Visual Vocabulary: Facial Expressions


I’ve been reading Scott McCloud‘s great book Making Comics.  One of my favorite discussions revolves around drawing facial expressions, and the idea that ALL human expressions can be produced with varying degrees and combinations of the following six expressions:


I have not yet experimented with combining these expressions to create others, but the double-page spread in McCloud’s book of possible combinations is quite impressive.

I used the iPad app Paper to create the sketches above, which are themselves recreations of the much higher-quality sketches from McCloud’s book.  I don’t expect to have the time needed to draw faces with this much detail while sketchnoting, but I’m hoping that from time to time I will be able to break out something like the sketches above – more than a smiley face, less than a fully-realistic one.