Facial Expressions - A Visual Reference for Artists



For a limited time, you can get $38 worth of Facial Expressions freebies. JUST FOR ASKING FOR THEM. These 6 FREE Gifts for Artists include over 230 photos of 2 models, phonemes and a pointing gallery which did not fit in Mark's best-selling book, Facial Expressions. PDF file. A $26 value-FREE. Plus you will get 14 hi-rez sky/​cloud pans for compositing, a $12 value -FREE.



The Facial Expressions book
*Over 3,200 photos of expressions*
*150 pieces of art inspired by this book*
*50 male and female models*
*Models of different ages and ethnicities*
*Phonemes of 4 models*
*Kissing gallery*
*Skull gallery*
*Sequential expressions gallery*
*Hat & headgear gallery*



Invaluable photographic reference for all artists including:
* Commercial artists
* Comic Book artists
* Students
* Fine artists
* Storyboard artists
* Animators, 2D and 3D
* Cartoonists
* Book illustrators
* Painters
* Sculptors

Tina Pinto - Age 36

I’ve been a professional artist for over twenty-five years. I have looked for reference sources of faces by taking pictures of family and friends to use as reference for my various projects, as most artists have. Next, I went through magazines and newspapers and cut out photos of interesting faces to add to my collection. Then came the internet, a wonderful source for accessing photos of celebrities.

One image of one face did not give me all the reference I needed for drawing an individual from several angles, much less showing a range of facial expressions.

Granted, like most artists, I have mirrors around me and can mug into them and copy the look I need for a given piece of art. But suppose I want to draw a large woman with an angry look. The angry expression on my slim male face doesn’t look the same as the anger on a heavy female face. And if I needed to depict a man twice my age, the lines on his face would be quite different from those on my face. I realized that instead of trying to have a harem of models at my beck and call, I needed to develop a file of faces representing many types and ages, with expressions simulating a variety of moods, photographed from many different angles.

Jason Meyer - Age 24

My book Facial Expressions is the result. It was motivated by my quest to be a better artist and to help my artist friends by sharing this collection of indispensable reference material with them. In discussing the concept for this book with many professionals—from animators to fine illustrators to comic book artists—they all agreed that this book would be an essential tool for them. “The images contained in this volume are an excellent ‘launch pad’ in the creative process for both the professional artist and student,” says Gary Lessord, painter and fine artist of natural and biblical works.

Facial Expressions shows more than fifty different men and women of various ages and ethnicities, each expressing a broad array of emotions for the camera. As their faces simulated different moods, I took pictures from a number of angles, so there are dozens of shots of each model. In addition, since this reference book is for artists, I thought that you, the creative reader, would enjoy seeing examples of how these photos have inspired other artists, so I asked a number of professionals in the art world to select a reference photo from this collection and base a work of art on it, using any medium of their choice. Scattered through the book you’ll find realistic illustrations, caricatures, sculptures, and many other works of art inspired by these photos.


Found object sculpture by Mike Conrad and digital painting by Brad Vancata inspired by photos in this book.

Illustrations by Steve Sawran and Travis Blaise inspired from photos in this book.

Artists are already making great use of this reference material. “I have used this awesome book many times over for my comic art work on Spider-Man and The Phantom, as well as for my advertising clients,” says Alex Saviuk, veteran comic book artist and storyboard artist.

Travis Blaise, Disney animator and co-director of the award-winning series Timmy’s Lessons In Nature, agrees, “This book is a must-have for students and professionals alike.”

The reference photos shown here are free extras, not even included in the book. They are yours to help inspire your work. Enjoy the references. Allow your creativity to thrive. And never let anyone talk you out of expressing yourself.

Please note: The photos in this article may not be reproduced or used in any way other than as reference for artists. While the models understand that their faces may be replicated in all forms of art, they have not released the rights for their photos to be used outside of this text.

Mark Simon is an award-winning animation producer and lecturer who is also the author of Producing Independent 2D Character Animation and Storyboards: Motion In Art. He can be found lurking around at www.FunnyToons.tv.

Facial Expressions is available at all bookstores or online retailers (such as Amazon.com below).

Joie Axelson - Age 83

Free sample Phonemes page, not included in book (as seen in Animation Magazine).

Profile phoneme sample not included in book (as seen in Animation Magazine).


"I've used this awesome book many times over for my comics artwork on Spider-Man and The Phantom, as well as for my advertising clients."
Alex Saviuk, veteran comic book artist


"This book is a must-have for students and professionals alike."
Travis Blaise, award-winning director/​animator of Timmy's Lessons In Nature and animator on many Disney films.


"This book is sure to be an asset to any fine artist, illustrator or animator who creates figurative images. I see it as a must-have reference for the studio that can be utilized time and time again. The images contained in this volume are an excellent 'launch pad' in the creative process for both the professional artist and student."
Gary Lessord, painter and fine artist of natural and biblical works

The 4 pages above are extra pages, not included in the book.

Sample page from Skulls gallery.

"The most amazingly diverse collection I've ever seen."
Bud Plant of Bud Plant Comic Art

"The phoneme references in Facial Expressions are one of the best and most diverse I've seen. Mark has created an excellent reference for both the novice and the experienced animator."
Dominic Carola
Project Firefly Animation Studios president and former Disney lead animator.

Actual sample expressions page from book.

Front view of phonemes samples.

Profile sample from Phonemes Gallery. Book contains shots of 4 models' phonemes.

Sample page from Kissing Gallery.

Sample page from Hats & Headgear Gallery.