Monday, June 25, 2012

ART EXERCISE: Body Language

Snagged this meme from Sam, who snagged it from DeviantART!  The 25 Facial Expressions meme is a pretty common one, but what we tend to forget is that the face is not the total of a character's expression.  Expression comes from the hands, the posture, the movement, and a character's presence. It is the sum of its parts and can make or break a character's impression on the viewer.  The challenge of this exercise is to take a character and to define the various expressions in a way unique to those characters.

Don't have a character to try it out on?  You can try using a generic figure instead and just practicing body language in general.

NOTE: If you try this exercise, be sure to tag it as 'Body Language' in your results post, so we can keep up with who has tried this one out.

The meme:

By ReincarnatedParano on DeviantART.   


  1. Hmmm... not sure what I think of this. Aside from the prohibitively small panels to work in, the emotions chosen are a little off. Some of them are way too complex, like "love" and many require some kind of context, like "WTF?" I also think there's way too many for a good exercise lol.

    1. I'm having the same difficulty without there being a specific context. I've just been creating my own little scenarios in my head to explain it to myself. It's also easier to do these digitally and widen the space to suit your needs. It's not a perfect meme, but I'm finding it to be especially helpful, as Sam said in her comment, to think about the subtle differences between emotion and how that can inform my own abilities to express emotion with characters.

      Definitely worth a shot, flaws aside! I've been slow to get my own meme done, though. I keep redrawing them and relocating them to different boxes!

  2. Heh i'm making my way through these as we speak, maybe only doing a couple a night or so, but I will say it's quite the challenge. Some are contextual, but they're all possible without props (for the most part)... I kinda think of it as how would you portray that emotion if it were a lingering moment in a film but you couldn't see what the surroundings were, how would you portray that emotion? The sheet also throws up some interesting conundrums like what make a body's positions different in just being scared to being outright terrified... and how to make guilty not look too much like ashamed. It ain't easy.. and even I've relied a little on basic facial expressions with most of these (though left them til last).