Here’s a look at the finished image for this lesson on learning how to draw a happy expression.
The first modification that you’ll need to make to create a happy expression is to move the corners of the mouth upward and increase the amount of curvature in the line separating the two lips. When you move the corners of the mouth up this is also going to stretch the lower lip and also reduce the amount of shadow that’s showing right under the upper lip.
When you are drawing different characters it’s important to remember how to create a smile. I would strongly recommend that you grab your mirror (or go walk in front of one) and study your own lips as you change your mouth expression from a neutral pose into a smile.
Notice how the lips stretch and flatten out the more extreme your facial expression becomes. When we say ‘extreme’ in the last sentence, we mean that a smirk, or a slight grin won’t have as much effect on your lips as a flashing your biggest, happiest smile.
As the smile pushes wider it’s also going to start affecting the eyes. The cheeks are going to be pushed up and form a crease on the bottom of the eyes. This is another thing that you can notice when you are doing your self-studies in the mirror.
You can also drop down the eyebrows a little bit in the middle beside the nose to help enhance the smile expression.
Add some additional lines to show the creases along the side of the mouth that move up towards the sides of the nose.
The last thing that you can add to finish off this lesson on learning how to draw expressions is to add a secondary line under the lower eyelid to add another crease formed by the cheeks pushing upward.
In the next lesson of this series you’re going to learn how to draw a worried expression.
Return to the How to Draw Expressions Lessons Page
Learn everything needed to draw faces - even if you're a complete beginner.