Home Comics Art Artists: Are you guilty of the "Smarm brow"?

Artists: Are you guilty of the "Smarm brow"?


LACKADAISY artist Tracy J. Butler delivers some notes on cartooning and facial expressions. Her His examples are anthropomorphic, but can be applied to all “cartoony” ‘tooning styles.

Boy, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I started this. I’ve had requests for some sort of expressions tutorial dating back a while now, so I figured, “Sure! I can explain expression drawing…and it’ll be way better than all those tutorials out there that are nothing but charts of generic expressions. Yeah! Just give me a day or two to whip something up…” Um. Sometime a lot more than two days later, I have this messy behemoth and the realization that I haven’t a clue how to teach expression drawing. There’s just so much material to cover, and so much of it is like intuitive language translation, I can’t figure how to put it into tutorial form any more than I could draw a picture of how to speak Russian. I guess that’s why expression tutorials are always just charts of what happy, sad and confused look like.

UPDATE: Should this actually be called the “Dreamworks Brow?” Also, Butler is a she. Apologies!

Via Jamie McKelvie

  1. That is too funny! I can’t count the number of times in animation or advertising art that I have been told to “give him more attitude” and that is the expression they want! Usually along with a backwards baseball cap and some sunglasses!

  2. Actually I think Roger Moore invented the smarmy brow as his main method of acting.

    It’s funny that’s a lot of artists learn to draw by just looking at 2 or 3 other artists and copy mostly the gimmicky stuff.

    Awesome tutorial!

  3. I have never seen such impressive ideas presented in writing. Your writer has a very unique way of presenting information in such a way as to catch the reader’s attention.

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