In Character: Actors Acting

This is a terrific new artist resource. It’s a large collection of photos of famous character actors doing facial expressions. There have been many other “facial expressions” books for artists in the past, but this one is unique in two ways:

First, these are professional actors, not low-budget models trying to be actors. Second, instead of just giving us generic expressions (be happy…now be angry….) which tend to look forced, these actors were given more specific instructions. For example, “You are a five-year-old hiding something from your uncle” or “You are a rookie detective practicing your interrogation technique in front of the mirror”. The results are absolutely astounding. My only complaint is that the faces are sometimes cropped too closely, cutting off the top of the head and/or the shoulders.

I can’t wait to start sketching studies from this book! Every artist should have a copy.

Snickers Satisfies

This is probably old news to some of you, but Snickers has been doing a really fun online campaign. Every day their website has a goofy interactive Flash animation that you can play. They’re sometimes bizarre but always entertaining. There’s a new one every day.

To view today’s snickery goodness, go to

Baby Week

The last week or so I’ve been living in strange new territory: Babyland!

Last weekend my wife went to a baby shower. Two days later (Easter Sunday) we found out she is pregnant with our first child. The next day we went “window shopping” for baby stuff. The day after that we got a call that my wife’s sister had given birth prematurely, so we drove down to Chicago to spend a few days with them (they’re doing fine). We got back yesterday, and I spent the evening putting together a DVD of a baby shower for another of my wife’s friends who is a missionary on the other side of the world. Talk about baby overload. But I’m sure it’s nothing compared to how things will change once our child is born. I can’t wait.

For an “aw shucks” moment, here’s a pic of our new niece, Lauren:

When I’m not doing baby stuff I’m working on some client projects I can’t talk about yet. But I did find time in Chicago to do a little sketching (from a google photo search). I felt pretty rusty, but here’s a few of those sketches:

Easter Surprise: We’re Pregnant!

Apparently the Stork now works for the Easter Bunny. This Easter morning, just for fun, my lovely wife took a pregnancy test…and it was positive! Woo hoo! We couldn’t believe it. How crazy is it that we found out on the day when Christians celebrate new birth?

Not only that, but if we figure correctly the due date will be just a couple of days before Christmas. Looks like this year I’ll be giving out cigars for stocking stuffers.

Get ready, world. There’s another Hohnstadt on the way!