So Preston Blair told us to watch ourselves in the mirror to get accurate facial expressions. Maybe he’s right, but it doesn’t really work for me. I have to use it as a distant reference, and work through several iterations before I have something I can use.
1) My own face in a mirror (hand added later) – 2) A happy chicken, as I have drawn before – 3) attempt to “cartoonize” my face in the mirror – 4) An angry face as comparison – 5) random doodle for good measure – 6) That’s it, now apply it to a chicken – 7) A chicken isn’t as expressive as a human face (especially the lips), so body language has to compensate (hand is essential here).
I have to practice some more, because being able to draw emotions on your cartoon character is key to making your cartoon appealing and not boring.