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.