Expressions are a vital piece of information that can tell you how a person is feeling, what they want to emphasize, and how they want you to react to them in return. A great deal of information and experience can be gleaned from observing people. Your best examples will be people who are relaxed and comfortable sharing expressions with you. Translating these details to paper takes a matter of perspective and a few tips. Once you know the basics, the rest of the drawing is just practice.
Have these tools handy:
Practice pad of paper (this can be anything from printer paper to professional sketching paper)
Music, ambient noise, scented candles, or silence—whatever helps you stay relaxed and focused.
Set yourself up at a place where you will be comfortable and that has a hard, flat surface, such as a table or a desk. Also make sure to give yourself adequate lighting. Once you're comfortable, you're ready to begin.
Step 1: Looking at the Whole
Take a moment to examine the whole picture. You can use yourself or a willing friend to practice with. A simple smile has a lot of detail that is not limited to the mouth. The cheeks upturn slightly, the eyes may not be facing the camera, eyebrows may be raised, and the nose may be wrinkled.
Step 2: Partition
Divide the face into quadrants. The face is symmetrical vertically and asymmetrical horizontally.
Make your horizontal partition travel through the center of the eyes. Two lines—one above and one below the eye—will tell you how tall to make the eyes.
Additionally, you may draw a line to indicate where the eyebrows would be in a neutral, resting position, where the tip of the nose falls, and where the mouth would rest beneath the nose.