Facial Expressions Guide

The Artist's Guide to Facial Expressions

Originally published in 1991, The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression has become the standard reference on the subject of depicting the expressive face. Currently in its 21st printing, the Complete Guide is also available in French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, and Korean.

Understanding the subtleties of facial expression is of great value to a wide variety of professionals, artist and non-artist alike. Enthusiastic users of the Complete Guide include digital animators, cartoonists, portrait artists, forensic artists, puppeteers, actors, and art directors, as well as psychologists and plastic surgeons.

This landmark book should be part of the library of anyone who wishes to depict or observe the human face.

Buy The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression

Buy now at Amazon.com


“I’ve been a professional painter for years, and am now studying book illustration. Gary Faigin’s book is fascinating, informative, incredibly instructive, and in short, possibly the best book I’ve ever bought on any topic. Is he planning on writing The Artist’s Complete Guide to anything else?”— M. Adilman, Israel

"This book explains what is behind the scenes in the human face, in terms of muscles and bones. It looks at things from every possible angle. It shows how different emotions create different facial expressions. It shows how faces change as they age." — A Reader

“Just great — especially if you are unfamiliar with facial musculature. More advanced artists can utilize this book to make their expressions better.”— K. Petrovic, New Zealand

Skull and face   Stretched lower lip   Smile   Stifled smile

"I have given this book as a gift to Speech/Language Pathologists who deal with Pragmatic Language skills, to Occupational Therapists, to psychologists and psychiatrists who run social skills groups to help kids and adults navigate the social maze, and to my nephew, a professional clown who is fashioning an act involving social cluelessness (a very common subject in comedy, when you think about it). Terrific. I give it the highest possible marks." — Tobie Helene Shapiro, Berkeley

"In the back, there is a sketch guide to the quintessentials of each expression for fast reference. The main body covers how these look in detail and somewhat varied lighting, discussing which muscles bulge, and how the shape of the eye is affected, and everything else necessary to let you get just the right subtle or dramatic look, that can determine the whole mood of the work."— Holly Ingraham, Honolulu

French edition   German edition   Japanese edition