Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Lackadaisy Expressions by tracyjb Lackadaisy Expressions by tracyjb
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 I'll make it 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 mostly just charts of what happy, sad, and confused look like.

Anyway, I found all I could really do was try to explain ways to teach yourself...and then add some pictures. Hopefully that makes for something at least marginally informative.

And if you haven't seen it yet, check out this very illuminating look at expressions by alexds1.

Lackadaisy Volume 1 is available here

Other Lackadaisy stuff can be found at the web site.

Site updates are announced on Twitter and Facebook now too, usually before they happen here.

Wow. Thank you to those who suggested this as a DD, and for featuring it. Thanks for all the comments too. I'm both thrilled and honored that this has been deemed helpful or informative by so many!
Add a Comment:

Daily Deviation

Given 2011-01-25
Considering the thought, time and detail that obviously went into *tracyjb's design of Lackadaisy Expressions, it's no wonder why this tutorial became an instant favorite for so many. As several of this tutorial's DD suggesters have observed, this is a useful guide to creating expressions, which will benefit a wide variety of artists within any range of skill. Suggested by ~lyzeman, ~dA-aml, ^sphilr, ~Armonah, ~Chris-Garrett, *Master-Futon, ~P3dy, *12sunlyn, and ~havefaith3x. ( Featured by FantasyStock )
melekain Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
bluzky Featured By Owner 2 days ago  New Deviant
It's really helpful, thank you.
Rexart35 Featured By Owner Edited 3 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey, I love anime expression, they're NOT a medieval plague and they're not generic. Anime expression are awesome. I'd rather enjoy and NOT unlearnd doing Chronic C mouths that are cool and toony, genri-spression which is NOT like a medieval plague, flonderface disorder which IS a style and a good excuse to avoid learning expression in profile and the smarm brow thing. I'm sorry but disagree with this tutorial   
vxwarrior Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Student Digital Artist
There's a recent face that has been spreading faster than Somebody making a sandwich on fastforward (that's... a statment).
Basically that smug grin that Nick Wilde has. Half open eyes, raised eyebrows, cocky smirk.

Rynneer Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2016  New Deviant  Artist
This is so useful! I love it!
FadedShadowFox Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2016
TV Tropes brought me here. The page is DreamWorks Face, and I'm glad I found it. I've been trying to make unique expressions in my drawings. It is very difficult, but I'm doing it more and more. Thank you for making this!
katharia31 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2016
This is very helpful thank you!
bioxyde-N-terer Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Wow that is definitely quality content, a great encouragement for me to get back to drawing!
p1nkam3na Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2016  Student General Artist
this is super duper extra helpful on so many levels thank thank thank you for making this!!!!❤❤❤❤❤
jacobjohn121 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2016  New Deviant
jacobgraves Featured By Owner May 31, 2016  New Deviant Hobbyist Interface Designer
Zandiazz Featured By Owner May 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I gotta say
This is my absolute favorite deviation on DeviantArt- and I really mean it :>
I go back to looking at this one because it's just so amazingly drawn and aahh I just love it!
I'm sure this is one of those things that I'll tell people that I've seen if they ever ask if I have a favorite piece of artwork.
I love this so much, and I also love how hard I'm trying to sound professional cx
FrostedCanid Featured By Owner May 24, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The crack in the mirror-I see what you did there
Aquafolie Featured By Owner May 14, 2016  Hobbyist
One of the very best tutorials I've ever come across! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience :D
NikySHouse Featured By Owner May 10, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for this reference! It's good, beautiful and 'happy'! Huggle! 
Saurav-Harsh Featured By Owner May 9, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
holy stuff!
Shadow-Chu Featured By Owner May 7, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I need this as a poster on my wall.
Davidecristiana Featured By Owner May 3, 2016  New Deviant Hobbyist Photographer
good one
kavinjose Featured By Owner May 3, 2016  New Deviant
Pokekid963 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
liela188 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
WOW! this is fantastic and so HELPFUL!!!!:happybounce:  Clawhauser icon I also love your art style to deathHell yeahhh skeleton 
aokitsune-kun Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2016  Student General Artist
so useful and cute!
Alliancelimo Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2016  Hobbyist Interface Designer
good work
OMadHatterO Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2016
dammnnnnnn maammnnn I simply LOVE THING THING! *.* i am so really looking at this all day long and read every single thing..
*looks at the first portraits in the very top of the corner*
*bursts in laugh*
*already enjoys everything about your art*
tjacksondesign Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2016  Student Digital Artist
This is so well done! Wow! Love your art style!
Hipilolo Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist

Tracy you are so inspiring, your art is so expressive and amazing. 

LexiHRoberts Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2016
Brilliant! So glad this got a Daily Deviation :D Incredibly helpful and entertaining at the same time! Thank you <3
ThunderWarriors97 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2016
These are very good expressions! They are definitely great advice on facial positioning! Nice work! :D
Jalieu Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is the most helpful expression chart I've ever seen. Thanks for making it! :D
I'm trying to make a webcomic but haven't quite reached the comic-worthy level. This will help me a lot!!
queenelen Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
helping so much
Stormwolf35 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow...those are amazing!!!Clap 
TzaoTao Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2016
can't help but love all the different types of expressions, thnx for the tutorial
i-love-daisy Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2016
This is amazing and very detailed
i'm defiantly reference this in the future 
TheMeekWarrior Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay, first of all, I haven't seen your artwork in YEARS and I still remember how charming and amazingly detailed it was, so I'm both surprised and not to see this on the front page today. Second of all, this is probably the best guide on facial expressions that I have ever read! This is extremely useful and I'll probably use it in the future as well. Thanks for your insight and wonderful work!
AyRayus Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2016  Student Digital Artist
I feel you have such envy worthy talent in depicting your sytle and your expressions are just wow
Grell2001 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Nice art. Check me out.
oakstudios Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2016   Filmographer
This is a great tutorial. You can tell a lot of care went into it.
blagra1679 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow this is wonderful tutorial!
ducklingg Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lovely :D (Big Grin) 
Ras723 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
"Watch people; watch the HARD' nearly killed me, thank you VERY much. . .
0takuPanda Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, This is amazing! It's already helped me with facial positioning (Something I was having trouble with)! This is my favorite totoriel to its helpful facts and pictures to the small jokes! Thank you Llama Emoji-23 (Shyness) [V1] 
0takuPanda Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Tutorial* Golly, you heard that? .: Toriel :.   
RaevSeries Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2016
This tutorial is one of the bests, it still comes to my mind when drawing whether I go for a cartoon or realistic drawings.
Thank you for adding this, the tutorial is a masterpiece. :D
KyleRobertShultz Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2016  Student Digital Artist
One of my all-time favorite tutorials. (Particularly the "watch them hard" part; I died laughing.) :)
StormyandRescuer Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2016  Student General Artist
This is fantastic :3 especially since its done with cats. I'm pretty sure I make a lot of those silly expressions, too XD
Jamocha101 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have seldom seen a tutorial simultaneously so helpful and hilarious. 
xemprox Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing! thanks for the tutorial :)
Darktehliger Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
While I was reading this, I kept looking at the characters going, "Where do I know them from?!?!?" It kept bugging me till I got to your description and was so excited to see that it was a web comic I enjoy very much. I enjoy your work, and I am glad I was able to read your tutorial on expressions. Hopefully I will be able to apply it to my drawings.
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
January 18, 2011
Image Size
1.7 MB


913,781 (138 today)
60,866 (who?)
69,062 (1 today)