Thursday, February 14, 2013

Drawing Faces and Gestures

When Mort Drucker was on a panel of cartoonists, one of the questions that the audience asked was, "What is your favorite thing to draw?" And Mort replied, "Anything that's alive."

And, I know I don't have to tell you, Mort Drucker is a master of giving life to a pen line.

My favorite thing to draw is the face, followed by the hands. I also think that if you are still honing your craft, then the face and hands are the most difficult things to master.

And they tend to go together.

I mean, if you draw someone having a phone conversation, then in all likelihood, there will be one hand holding the phone and the other gesturing. Gesturing is something we do regardless of whether there's someone in the room to see us.

Here are just a few pages from Desmond Morris' book MANWATCHING. Sure, a book with a title like that sounds racy, but it's an exploration of how people communicate.

It's also a trove of photos and drawings of people. It's my new favorite reference book.

Below are ten Neapolitan gestures from 1832. They mean:

  1. Silence
  2. Negative
  3. Beauty
  4. Hunger
  5. Derision
  6. Tiredness
  7. Stupidity
  8. Beware
  9. Dishonest
  10. Crafty

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