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How to Draw Facial Expressions- Shock, Fear, Terror    (Released in 2009, October)
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This resource will teach you about the Facial Expression(s) of Shock, Fear and Terror. They are all very similar so I will cover them together. I recommend that you 1.) Watch the video (below) 2.) Print out the PDF "Cheat Sheet" that I created for you: CLICK HERE and 3.) Review the notes below. With practice and application of these drawing/facial expression tips, you will be able to draw the expression of shock/fear/terror.




Drawing Facial Expressions Fear Terror Shock

Fear/Terror Overview: Notice the separation of the top eyelid from the pupil and iris of the eye (this happens most of the time, but not always). Sometimes when a person screams, the eye muscles shut the eyes very tightly. This greatly narrows the height of the eye, and creates small wrinkles of shading; while the eyebrows push downwards. When a person is shocked, his/her mouth usually gapes (opens) and is very still.

facial expressions shock how to draw pencil

Shock Overview: The "shocked" eye is slightly different than a fearful/terrified eye. The big difference is the lack of separation between the pupil/iris and eyelid. The mouth remains open, but slightly less wide (when compared to fear/terror)

Facial expressions drawing tips mouth shock and fear

Shock and Fear: Isolating the Mouth- The mouth of a REALLY SCARED person gapes more than someone who is startled. Notice that the bottom lip usually cover over the bottom teeth, while the top teeth become more exposed. Shade the corners of the mouth and the areas, just below the teeth for maximum effect.

drawing facial expressions merrill kazanjian

In shock/fear, the eyebrows usually separate and the forehead flattens for this expression. This is the opposite of the expression of anger where the eyebrows are pulled closer to each other.

shock fear terror facial expressions drawing tips


Dialogue from video: This is a continuation on my series on facial expressions. Today, We are going to concentrate on the expressions of shock and fear. I video taped the creation of 14 sketches, to give you a lot of chances to learn. You will see profile, 3/4 and frontal views and both male and female faces. But, before we begin, take a second to glance at the major differences. This information will be discussed in the video and you can download on my website Just type the words shock and fear in the search box to download this resource. Or, if you are watching on my youtube channel, hit the link to the right to view this resource. I hope that you learn a lot. Here we go. Character 1- In the first character, I want to highlight the gaping mouth. Notice that the top teeth are exposed. When you draw this expression, the top lip is pulled up, which shortens the distance between the lip and the nose Character 2- For this character, I want to highlight that the eyebrows usually separate and the forehead flattens for this expression. This is the opposite of the expression of anger where the eyebrows are pulled closer to each other. Character 3- For this sketch I want you to notice the separation of the iris from the bottom eyelid as well as the perfect C shape that the mouth is in when it is in profile. Character 4- For this character, take note of the separation between the iris and the top eyelid and the amount of space between the eyebrows- Both very common in a fearful expression. Character 5- For this character, I want to highlight the lines on either side of the nose. For this expression you can make these lines more visible. Character 6- This character has his eyes shut tight and his mouth open wider than any other character in the picture. To draw a scream, make the area between the eyelids as dark as the lashes and darken the area around the eye. Make the mouth extra wide. Character 7- This character seems more startled than scared because her mouth is less open and there is relatively little shading around the eye. Character 8- In this character, I wish that I left the mouth in the classic C shape for drawing this expression in profile view. Character 9- Notice the dark rings under the eyes of this character. That and the separation between the iris and the upper eyelid makes him look distraught. Also notice that the mouth doesn`t always have to be gaped open to convey fear. Instead, I filled the gap with teeth. Character 10- This character has a lot of facial commonalities with the other characters that have been drawn so far. I added a still pose with a pointing finger to supplement the facial expression. Character 11- A very common pose to convey shock and fear is to place both hands on either side of the face- Also known as the OMG pose. Character 12- Notice that this character has separation on both sides of her iris. A great way to make someone look terrified. Character 13- Since this character wears glasses, I made each eye seem magnified. I wish that I added a separation between the iris and the eyelid. Character 14- I should have stopped at 13!. I made his head too small for his position in the picture. I know this because the people in the row behind him were significantly bigger- a mistake in perspective drawing.

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General's Sketchmate Drawing Set

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15-Piece Drawing Set

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Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Paper Pads

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Strathmore 400 is one of the most versatile sheets Strathmore offers. This off-white drawing paper, with a uniform surface, is ideal for sketching and most finished work. It readily accepts pen and ink, pencil, crayon, charcoal, light washes, and markers. Acid-free. Pads contain 24 sheets of 80 lb (130 gsm) paper, spiral-bound on the short side.

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