Let’s Draw Chibi-Characters’ Facial Expressions!
Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I want to make my chibi character’s expression look better…”?
In this article, I’ll introduce techniques I use to draw such expressions.
I hope this will be helpful!
For the sake of comparison, let’s start with a normal drawing.
I drew four images: “happy,” “angry,” “sad,” and “surprised”.
All the parts are exactly the same except for the eyes, mouth, and eyebrows.
This isn’t bad at all, but I’d like to improve this.
Manpuku are icons (sweat, anger, etc.) often used in cartoons.
It is a comical and comprehensive way of expressing and conveying emotions.
It’s so powerful that even without a face, just the sign of a manpuku can convey emotion.
Let’s make the most of it!
Make them do poses (gestures).
Let them do poses and gestures that match their emotions.
For example, no one usually poses like this when laughing, right?
It is funny though.
This time, we’ll make them pose accurately in order to convey more “emotion” to the viewer.
Let’s think about what we do when we are laughing.
We hold our stomachs or maybe our shoulders shake, etc.
What do you think? Doesn’t the feeling of laughing come across better than the first drawing?
The trick for drawing these illustrations is to remember what you actually do when you are laughing, and observe other people laughing.
The same goes for other facial expressions.
The way you laugh depends on your character’s personality and the situation, so choose the right one.
(In this case, I adopted the one on the lower right.)
Draw expressions that fit her body parts
Using the parts of a character to express emotions is a great idea!
If you move them around as if they were autonomous and alive, you can make them more emotional.
For example, “angry” and “crying” can be expressed like below.
For “angry,” I made the ribbons and hair sharp and horn-like to show her that she is feeling anger.
For “crying,” I made the ribbons slouch and made her wiper her tears to show she is sad.
Now, for the “surprise” part, when a chibi character is surprised, it’s better to have something that makes the character assume, “As if that would ever happen!
For example, this character’s ribbon and ponytail looks like it will jump off her head because she herself jumps startled.
You can be as creative as you want.
The “eyes popping,” expression is often seen and used in gag manga.
Now we draw
Now that we have four expressions!
Let’s make a clean draft of this.
Open “Layer Attributes” and check “Draft Layer”.
This way, when you use the Bucket Tool with the draft layer displayed, it will ignore the lines in the draft layer and fill the image, and when you export it as an image, the draft layer will not be displayed.
And since I use an 8-bit layer for my drafts, to convert it from a color layer, I use “Layer” -> “Convert” -> “Convert to 8-bit Layer”.
(Don’t worry if you already have an 8-bit layer, or if you’re drawing on a regular color layer.)
Then change the color of the lines to any easy-to-see color and you’re ready to draft!
Draw the lines.
Since she is a chibi-character, use simple lines.
Finally, paint it and add some manpuku expressions and you’re done!
Draw the other three expressions in the same way.
And they’re ready!
Aren’t they more adorable now?
What did you think?
It’s best if you can draw different characters according to their personalities and the size and type of their emotions!
You can also use the illustrations of expressive characters to create chat stamps, so please practice drawing various expressions.
(Text?Picture/???? – Tsuka)
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