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Submitted on
January 18, 2011
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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!
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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 )
NotsoregularFox Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
this is a really good tutorial! I have a question though;

My character named blue has a high-functioning mental disorder known as aspergers or autism, which in real life causes some slight differences in expression. A normal person would show different body language than a person with this disorder. The problem is; that even if i could figure out how to draw the expression properly, people might write it off as not very well drawn due to the natural uncanny effect that the disorder has on expression.

How would i go about finding a happy medium between normal expression and the somewhat uncanny expression of an autistic person?
serenityrose007 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Really nice tutorial. Thanks!
Ujalasocks2001 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
And hopefully useful.
Lavender-chan Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is the most helpful tutorial I've ever read :D
Thank you!
Lebgar Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh I really love your expressions tutorial!! I didn't see your work before but I remember the movie "Cats don't Dance" :heart: I watch you to see more about your beautiful work :)
D-idara Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing! Thanks a lot! Although you shouldn't completely rule out emoticon expressions...they're often good for comedic effect, although I rarely use them, they're useful sometimes when you don't rely too much on them.
Crimson-Wolf2323 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
this is very helpful 
calomviih Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  New member
truly helpful!! thank!!
tracyjb Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014
glad to hear it - thanks!
Tankitha Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Every time I look at this I am just amazed again.  Your handle on expressions is amazing.
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