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Drawing People
A tutorial collection by

Joumana Medlej

This book’s contents are © Joumana Medlej, cedarseed.com. NO PART OF THIS BOOK MAY BE REPRODUCED OR REDISTRIBUTED. For inquiries: mana@cedarseed.com


Contents Cultivating your Drawing Skills Drawing the body Proportions of the body Proportions of the face Proportion reminders Muscle guide More on the body The hand The foot Flexibility Emotions and facial expressions Aging the face and body Catalogue of human features Human types Asian types Caucasian types African types Pacific types Notes on mixed types Bibliography 5 7 8 9 11 12 15 16 22 27 38 53 62 72 73 82 93 96 100 101 4 .

something specific you want to learn or need references for. but I’d like to help you getting started by suggesting a method to learn through studies. The tutorials and guides serve to help you understand the subject you wish to draw. but also in introducing realistic variety into your work. We must practice what we learned in a book until the knowledge becomes second nature and is no longer something we need to recall. We all know that we remember best what involves us personally. trying to work with only one of them would be like trying to walk with one foot. this book is about Theory. The more elements you feed your mind. but that remains abstract and limited until Observation brings it to life with details and real-life application – but Observation needs the founding structure of Theory to make sense of itself. It is the combination of learned theory and observed reality that favors integration.Cultivating your Drawing Skills I believe drawing skills are never innate: when someone is a natural. There are two approaches to this: Theory (+practice) and Observation (+studies). what they really have are remarkable observational skills and the ability to apply them – in their case. Know what you’re after or you’ll get nothing out of it. where we learn directly from the real world around us and gradually derive principles from it. through drawing. we must involve ourselves actively. That will force you to steal glimps- . Do not confuse with doodling: Sketching from life should never be random. • Theory is a structured. for instance. that is. look and look. Aspiring fantasy or graphic novel artists pay heed! Imagination is fed by observation. Just go to a public space (a coffeeshop is an ideal place to start) and sketch. Don’t sketch anything that’s not related to your focus – that’s why I’m calling it a focus. the more creative it (and you) can be. • Are you worried people will catch you staring? Good. So if you want to draw people who don’t all have the same haircut. it is only if you know how muscles work that you’ll understand why a contracted arm bulges the way it does – and you can’t draw (correctly) what you don’t understand. Studies will help you not only in learning to draw something you have a hard time with (such as folds). It’s really an elaboration on the often-given advice “sketch from real life!” but it may be more helpful. unpredictable approach. powerful but incapable of creating anything from scratch. your study may be of reptiles. the way they move. and may also extend. A study is simply a collection of sketches from real life. actually. or indepth learning. Reading a tutorial and observing our surroundings are the passive component of the learning experience: To anchor what our mind absorbs. design clothing and weapons for your characters. the shapes of their limbs. If you need to draw a dragon. Studying Theory lays down a solid foundation. with the following in mind: • Pick a focus. It creates by combining things that you have stored in your memory. put pencil to paper. and allow the randomness of the world to surprise you (as opposed to confining yourself to a limited and completely predictable environment such as your house – contrary to appearances. Each taken alone is incomplete. illustration is a not an armchair occupation!) As you must have gathered by now. Drawing skills can be cultivated by anyone able to use their minds and hands. systematic approach where we learn from someone more experienced who’s laid it all out for us in a course or tutorial. but relied on studies. but it is important to know what you’re after to derive real benefits from it. • Observation is an organic. There is no rule as to how complete or de5 tailed they should be. It’s very simple. we must put it down in a study. I’ll list some suggestions below. or models (or studies of models) as references. The Observation part is in your own hands. The conscious mind is little more than a supercomputer. For instance. you have to look. An essential ingredient of this integration is practice. the texture of their skin. to bat wings. They didn’t pull their skills from thin air. or not be at a loss for backgrounds all the time. As for observation. Every great master did such studies.

You will need to absorb more information in each glimpse and you won’t be able to afford getting lost in details other than your focus. noses. Often you can sketch someone while looking slightly to the side of them. • For each focus chosen. And if someone notices you and asks to look. but they can be done separately.. how they are grouped. • At your little cousin’s birthday party: children’s faces and proportions. If you act like you’re doing something wrong. or something you need for a specific project. how they hold their hands while talking. • In the city: building types. deceiving representations of a three-dimensional world. Other suggestions for other settings: • In a park: tree shapes. Botanical gardens in particular often have a diversity of miniature ecosystems. Pick a general weakness of yours that needs strengthening. including accessories and colors. so I end up relying on a limited “vocabulary” for both..es of your subjects. so that if the person looks up they’ll think you’re staring into space (as long as you don’t shift your gaze hurriedly). the behavior of strands of hair. • At a gym: the perfect place to study muscles at work. children fashion. diversity in body proportions (made easier by the absence of clothing). Don’t worry if at first it makes it difficult or the sketches don’t come out right. If you can think in forms (3d) as opposed to shapes (flat). just let them look. but the final result speaks volumes. For instance. Be casual. • Profiles • Shading – how the light falls on facial features. “I’m practicing” is all you need to say. hair quality. you’ll find more than expected. eyes. • Folds – don’t forget to note the nature of the material. You can use photos as references once you are proficient enough to see the volumes through the flat picture. It’s not a conscious process.for instance the beach is a good place for reclining poses. do yourself a favour and make an occasional trip there with a sketchbook. etc. There’s no limit to what you can come up with in terms of focus subjects. • Signs of age or youth – lines. There’s no better way to realize just how varied they are. and can give you a feel of the natural environment in different parts of the globe. • Facial features – the shapes of lips. as they behave quite differently! • Posture – how people sit or stand. They are flat. reclining postures. do this regularly for a while. clothing style and more. people will think you are doing something wrong. • Keep your studies! They are references you are compiling for yourself. I remedied this by sitting in coffeeshops and sketching. but I never know what to do for hair and fashion. folds etc. • Footwear – make sure to sit somewhere with a clear view on the queue. • Think of what you draw as assortments of volumes. Once you start looking for them. You’re learning to store the important details deep in your hard drive and discard the unnecessary bits. windows. I’m a quick sketcher so I can easily handle both (I take color notes and add that with markers later). not as lines put together. • At the beach: body types. textures. Persevere and it will get easier – and what is stored will remained stored. So. 6 . or every other day for a week or until you feel you’ve milked the topic. That’s what studies are for. leaf and flower shapes. etc. think in forms! • In that line of thought. Different settings provide different sets of postures . or on the street. in my work I frequently need to draw random contemporary characters.. • If you’re lucky enough to have access to a botanical garden. street details. This is great training. zoo or history museum.. Label and file them in an organizer for easy retrieval. For instance every day. resist the temptation to sketch from photos... Always learn from the original. stone/concrete hues. But for heaven’s sake don’t look self-conscious and guilty or try to hide. The dimensionality also translates into your drawings. you can rotate and foreshorten subjects in your mind.. • Fashion. facial proportions.. color schemes. the facial contour. don’t be childish about it. with hairdos and clothing (including color schemes) as my focus. Here are things you can easily observe and sketch in a coffeeshop: • Hairdos – good opportunity to also study hairlines.

except these items are free and abundant. and when I’m not sketching. for that matter). You have to work in layers. that you can consequently build on. I’ll end on a final piece of advice: Never expect to be spoon-fed. but I hope they can give a clearer direction to beginners and new ideas to the others. for instance. and learn what defines the manga style. I. gesture-style sketch of the underlying volumes. Never start from the head and draw your way down. is a quick. but that you are not expected to abide by them at all times as they do vary slightly in reality. I also find they make me increasingly interested in what’s around me. This way you insure that your body proportions are correct and everything is in place before you put too much time into details you can’t change anymore. learn about the muscles and joints involved. Once you have integrated these rules. but what you’ll have learned in the trying is something earned. Understanding them first is key to knowing how to change the proportions of a body without making it look distorted. GENERAL The first thing you should do when you want to draw a human body (or anything else. you too will veer from them to develop your own style – but I honestly don’t recommend skipping ahead. look for some- one to show you how to draw “a big guy throwing a punch in manga style”. observe yourself in the mirror in the desired pose. Make the synthesis (combining what you know with what you see. adapting the body type and the style) yourself. To illustrate this. You may not reach the perfect result the first time around. I find studies addictive: they’re much like collecting something. Don’t. These are basic suggestions. The idealized body proportions used to learn anatomy are essential to the learning process (it simplifies a very complex subject for the student). I’m still looking and “storing”. from the rough shapes to the fine details.And so on. here are three steps in my sketching process: DRAWING THE BODY 7 . Instead.

PROPORTIONS OF THE HUMAN BODY The unit of measurement of the human body is the head. then stagger out at knees. Legs taper inward from hips (more pronounced in women). In Western art. angular shapes Body made up of oval. men are conventionally 8 heads high. Belly button and elbow 4. Body made up of trapezoid. 8 . What is really essential to a well-proportioned body is the way articulations are placed in respect to each other. (By “well-proportioned” I don’t mean a model’s body but one that doesn’t look misshaped. They are shown below along with some important points in common: 1.5 heads. Shoulders broader than hips (hip joints being inside the pelvis area). Nevertheless. and women slightly smaller at 7. not to mention other human types whose proportions may be very different. Chin 2. Bottom of calf muscles 8. In reality. soft shapes. Soles of feet Woman Both Man Men are generally taller than women. the 8-head model (shown on the right) is very useful for the beginners because it allows for easy-to-remember alignments: I recommend accepting these guidelines in the beginning.II. to taper in again. Fingertips and mid-thigh 6. even the Northern European models for this convention are usually closer to 7 heads. Crotch and wrists 5. Elbows at waist level (but male waist tends to look lower) Fingertips at mid-thigh Shoulders narrower than hips (hip joints being outside the pelvis area).) The next step is to understand the differences between the male and female bodies. Bottom of knee caps 7. once you are thoroughly familiar with them you will naturally veer away from them to draw a variety of body types. Nipples 3.

The hairline varies between 2/4 and 3/4 The brow is at 1/4 of the upper half. but the basic face varies with type – see Human Types p70. Wide-set eyes may make a face look infantile.) Overall smaller than a man’s head Curved brow Eyebrows lower and thicker Brow juts out Softer jaw line and chin More slender neck Harder jawline Thicker neck 9 Mouth is wider with thinner lips Pronounced chin . From the side the eye has an arrowhead shape. The distance between the eyes is equal to 1 eye. with a heavier neck: Differences in the female and male face: (In relative terms this applies throughout the world. The adult male face follows the same construction. especially for women. the nose is at 2/5th and the mouth at 3/5th 2/5th: Nose 3/5th: Mouth The neck makes the head jut forward. Indicating the lower lip is always a nice touch. so be aware of what you do with this part of the face. The face above is female. The eyes are centered on top of these two middle points The lower half is divided in 5. PROPORTIONS OF THE FACE The skull is a more or less flattened sphere to which the jaw is appended: together they give the head and overall egg shape from any angle. The hollow of the root of the nose occurs at or slightly above the midline. but it is broader. more angular. Counting from the middle line. An adult face is proportioned as follows: The depth of the skull varies between these two lines (see Human Types) Seen head-on.III. and close-set eyes may inspire distrust. the face can be divided in quarters.

simply add the reference lines on the contour. If the perspective is strong enough it will overlap the lips. Looking down The ear moves up Features curve up. Part of the eyebrow shows Lower eyelid juts out. To draw the head in perspective. so adjustment may be needed. the quickest way to give volume to your egg-shape. Looking up Features curve down. that cross in the center of the face (right). is to draw the 2 centerlines. Then add the features in their respective places. as well as to locate the face on it. The curve of the eyebrows is flattened The nose oversteps the line. now following the head’s contour. The eyelash then comes into view Nose becomes visible behind the curve of the cheek. then.Foreshortening the face As hinted by the diagrams above. The ear moves down Eyebrows gain more curve The upper lip shows more surface Throat line comes to the fore Jawline shows increasingly with the tilt of the head Foreshortening from the side At the extreme. looking much closer to the mouth. the lines on which the features were placed run around the head. which looks like a smile on paper. In real life the mouth curves up. mouth slit very small Chin line joins throat 10 The ear seen from the back detaches itself from the head like a funnel. As a matter of fact. but no eyeball yet Almost profile: the eyebrow seems to curve on itself eyeball appears. . as does the line that divides the face in 2 vertically. bearing in mind that distances shorten with perspective. only the jutting points of brow and cheekbone can be seen. pupil may be hinted at A small part of the cheek still hides the nostril Lips appear.

the measures are all equal to the length of the index Wrist to elbow measure when the arm is stretched ear height hairline to eyebrows to nose tip to chin pupil to pupil inner corner to outer corner 11 . EASY PROPORTION REMINDERS Here are a few diagrams that should help you remember proportions. These 3 distances are the same: Shoulder to buttock Shoulder to birth of fingers Knee to buttock Elbow to fingertips = Knee to heel Heels never protrude beyond buttocks Proportion of hands and feet to the face: Sole and palm are half the face’s width Notice how much smaller they are in women Here’s where the hand reaches when you try to touch your shoulder Man Wrist to (inner) elbow measure when the arm is bent Woman In the diagram below.IV. I visualize them when drawing to place the joints and scale the limbs accurately.

The hollow of the armpit flows into the breast. But it is only in athletic bodies that they would show this much: the less muscular the character the less muscle strokes you should show. Torso sterno-mastoid clavicle bone deltoids pectorals Neck tapers in abdominals latissimus dorsi gluteus Trapezius creates a transition from neck to shoulders Breasts To draw breasts. Half of it is outside the body.V. just inside the body contour. This section offers a guide to this structure that’s very simplified. draw a circle that is centered on the line where the nipple falls. The muscles or protruding bones are shown as areas of colors while the black outline shows you how that muscle would show on the surface of the body. connect the nipple to the birth of the neck in a slight curve. The bottom half of the circle corresponds to the bottom side of the breast. though part of that line may be omitted. From the side. Also remember females’ muscles are more graceful and less bulky than males’. 12 Volume may show here. MUSCLE GUIDE Understanding muscle structure is a great asset in building bodies. You can see here the relationship between breast and biceps. but sufficient for most drawing needs. For reference purposes I emphasize all the important muscles. simply place the nipples a little outwards. . Shoulder line is not a straight horizontal line Neck is not a straight cylinder trapezius A. For the upper side. The breast shape starts at the armpit. and the softer the outline of the skin should be as opposed to closely adhering to the muscles (which is what creates a toned look). It either bulges out from it or dips in a little first. then add the volume.

then its width is nearly even. by lateral triangle where Western standards: the sides are around 20cm Arm bends OUT when thumb is IN. in other words a badly done boob job. 2/3 under it NATURAL The distance between breasts is 1 to 3 cm. The arm doesn’t hang straight down in resting position. the flexor. Ideal bust proportions are attained when the circumference at the nipples is 15 cm more than the circumference of the thorax under the breasts (for instance. the reverse would occur. is relaxed. Note how the same muscles manifest differently in each. one needs either a special bra. Arm with hand flexed (inside) Relaxed arm (outside) deltoids biceps triceps Note junction to torso flexor elbow “peak” pronator teres It is this extensor that “pulls” the hand into a flexed position. the biceps bulge when the arm bends (assuming there is resistance.5 to 5cm FAKE For cleavage to look this way. and the triceps bulge if the arm is making an effort to unbend. Note the alternation in the arm’s contour The hollow and Proportions of nipples form an equiperfect breasts. Only fake breasts show a break or bulging here! Nipples point forward and slightly out Breast projects 1 to 3 cm out of the thorax line 1/3 of the volume of the breast should be above the areola. extensors Bent arm (outside) The forearm starts thick and tapers till halfway between elbow and hand. for instance if the hand is holding something heavy). If the wrist was bending the other way.B. This line is more likely to appear from 3/4 view See Catalog of Human Features for breast shapes. 13 . Note the relationship to the line dropping from the back of the neck. Similarly. Arms With the arms we need to be aware of the way muscle behavior determines the position of the arm. or breasts shaped like balloons. so I offer different views. therefore it bulges in this case while its antagonist. Arm bends IN when thumb is OUT. 90 and 75 cm) Areola diameter is 3.

C.. the tibialis anterior bulges while the calf relaxes. so these muscles are relaxed The biceps bulge to bend the leg If there is weight on the leg. Legs vastus rectus femoris sartorius adductor semitendinosis biceps rectus femori sartorius patella The calf muscle is lower inside extensors tibialis anterior tibia extensors The ankle bone is higher inside Achilles’ tendon calves patella tibia Front Out Back In Bent (in) Bent (out) No weight on this leg. Side 14 Front . To point the foot. To flex the foot. these muscles bulge as well to prevent it from bending completely. the lower part is staggered backwards and outwards. the reverse happens When the leg is straight.

VI. THE BODY IN PROFILE Drawing a silhouette in profile starts with the usual skeletal structure, with additional details from this angle:
The shoulder joints are forward from the spine, not level with it, because the “line” of the shoulders is in reality an arc. Top view: shoulder joint The spine has a curved shape like a flat S. How strong this curve is varies with the individual. It peaks backward between the shoulder blades, from where it juts forward to form the neck. The ribcage and hip bone are set, but the way you choose to attach them together (basically by adding flesh) individualizes the character.

top of spine The body’s centre of gravity is right below the belly button, inside the body. The body is most balanced and rooted when this point is on the line of balance (see Balance box below.) The hip joint-knee-ankle line is angled slightly backwards, so that the knees are aligned with the centre of gravity, the hip is forward, and the ankle is back. Overall the effect is of a head-hip-feet arc (that is, when the posture is erect. Nowadays many people slouch.)

There is an opposite peak, inward, a little above the hip bone, before the coccyx heads out again, creating the arch in the lower back and flowing into the curve of the buttocks. Women’s spines tend to be more arched, and more flexible, than men’s. In reasonably slim bodies, women’s stomachs tend to a gentle curve while men’s tend to flatness. Similarly, women’s bottoms are rounded while men’s are not.

Balance To make sure a body is balanced, picture a vertical line shooting up from the centre of its support. On two legs that will be the midpoint between the feet; on one foot, the centre of the foot. If a hand is on the ground it’s the center of the feet-hand triangle, and so on. The body must be positioned in a balanced way around this line: Note: this isn’t an exact science because muscles play a role in opposing gravityinduced imbalance. Also, this doesnt apply to motion, because imbalance is the motor of the motion (running is nothing more than falling forward while pumping your legs to use that vector). It’s important to learn to evaluate what looks right, more than what is right.






These will work for a moment. The centre of gravity pulls the body, so it either has to be brought back in line or the body must step back or forward to move the line itself. 15

VI. THE HAND Of all things, the hand is by many considered to be the hardest to draw – and yet it’s also the thing for which we carry a visual reference at all times, right at the end of our arms. By all means use this reference; a small mirror propped on your desk will allow you to see it from awkward angles.
I use the following abbreviations for the fingers: Th = thumb FF = forefinger MF = middle finger RF = ring finger LF = little finger

Here’s a quick look at the bone structure of the hand. In blue, the 8 carpal bones, in purple, the 5 metacarpal bones, and in pink, the 14 phalanges.

As many of these bones cannot move at all, we can simplify the basic structure of the hand:

Note that the actual base of the fingers is much lower than the apparent base formed by flaps of skin. This will be important to draw bending fingers as we will see later.

Based on this, a simple way of drawing the hand is to start with the basic form of the palm, then attach the fingers :


If you have a hard time drawing fingers, it’s very helpful to think of them, and draw them, as stacks of 3 cylinders: Cylinders are easy to draw under any angle, taking away much of the headache of drawing fingers in perspective.

PROPORTIONS (Taking the length of FF as base unit)
Maximum Th-FF opening = 1.5 to 1.8

Maximum opening between FF and RF = 1. MF can move closer to either without affecting the total distance.

Maximum RFLF opening= 1

Maximum angle between Th and LF is 90º, taken from the very base of the Th’s articulation: the fully extended LF is aligned with it.

The bases of the cylinders become the joint folds.

The fingernail starts halfway up the top joint.

Fingernails are not flat, but shaped much like roof tiles, with a curvature ranging from extreme to very slight.

The point where fingernail detaches from flesh varies: some people have it all the way at the edge of the finger, others very low, so their fingernails are wider than they are long.

Joints fall onto concentric arches. Joints are NOT aligned on straight lines.

Fingers are NOT straight. (although they look straight in some of the following diagrams for the sake of simplicity.)

Fingers bend slighty towards the space between MF and RF. Showing this even subtly gives life to a drawing.

From the back. It starts at the wrist and. The most visible lines are where the skin folds when the palm is cupped. They are more pronounced at the lower joint. Drag lines on both sides all fall away from the MF. joins up with the LF line. There is a small bump here on the extended finger due to skin bunching up. The joint folds are arranged elliptically on the back. which becomes visible under certain angles: From the side. NOT to be confused with the contour of the thumb. From the inside. Also elliptical.Details of the hand Fingers are NOT straight (although they look straight in some of the following diagrams for the sake of simplicity. When seen from the outer side. the padding at the base of each finger appears as a series of curved. but when the hand is flat they are not pronounced. as the hand turns more. the palms shows another new contour line. They are accentuated as the finger bends. tendon line Back Palm These lines wrap halfway around the fingers.) The line of the wrist separates the thumb from the fingers. although the thumb base may still be visible In Wrist line is covered by thumb base 18 . parallel bulges. the lines of the fingers extend down to the limit of the palm – the fingers look longer. and like parallel lines on the inside. Wrist line curves into palm base The RF’s last joint is fully exposed A little or none of the MF can be visible depending on the FF’s length Out The bottom of the hand looks flatter from the outside. the lines are shorter because the top of the palm is padded – the fingers look shorter. The FF or RF as sometimes almost as long as the MF. until it covers up the Th base.

Inner side of the fist Knuckles fall away from the MF’s knuckle. the hand is never flat. Centre of movement Fingers When the hand closes into a fist so that the fingers bend together.Range of motion Thumb The natural relaxed position leaves a space between the Th and the rest of the hand. Range of movement on the back-forth axis Th can extend as far as the width of the palm. 19 . Some people’s fingers can bend back 90º (if pressure is applied against the fingers). depending on flexibility. so that from this angle the parallel fingers are visible from the outer side. the 1st and 3rd fold meet The 2nd fold becomes an extension of the finger Part of the finger is covered by the flap of skin and the thumb Same “cross” phenomenon The thumb bends so that the last section is foreshortened. the knuckles protrude The skin fold here sticks out. Th can fold in as far as touching the root of LF. When the hand is fully extended the fingers are either straight or bend slightly backwards. Th can remain independent of this movement and is just shown for reference. not from the inner side. always slightly convex or concave. but this requires much tension and quickly becomes painful. Outer side of the fist When the hand makes a fist. It’s just that the ball gets smaller and the curvature stronger: The 2nd joint is the first to bend Biggest fold Unless it’s pressed against a flat surface. but this also gets painful. the whole of the hand maintains a cupped shape. as if it was placed against a large ball. When the fist is closed.

the fingers curl slightly – more so when the hand is pointing up and gravity helps. If more pressure is applied. each finger almost having a life of its own. When holding a pen or the like. the MF wraps the most visibly around the object while the LF barely shows. we tend to fall into the opposite trap. MF. The ever-present arcs LF frequently “runs away” from the other fingers – another way of making hands look more natural. but I give below two examples of constrained vs. 20 Dramatic . This makes the hand look more lively.e. the FF remains straightest and the rest fall away gradually. when the fingers are loosely bent. When grasping something. MF participates and straightens up as it presses against the object. Full pressure results in all the fingers pointing away as shown here. which is to draw hands too rationally – fingers carefully taking their places. The result is stiff and simply too tame for a part of the body that can speak as expressively as the eyes. which is why hands tend to stump the beginning illustrator. careful alignments. Since the fingers are not the same length. natural/dynamic hand: Forced Natural Stiff Natural But note in this case – trained fighters will always hold their fingers parallel while punching to protect their knuckles. with the LF being the most bent. resulting in a dynamic hand position that would probably never be used in real life) or add natural-ness (observe the hands of people who aren’t thinking about them to see the casualness I’m referring to). Often the FF and MF or MF and RF will pair up. RF-LF pairings also occur. In both cases. I can’t possibly show every hand position there is.Additional details When the hand is relaxed. For this you can go one of two ways: add attitude (i. RF and LF curl back towards the palm if the object is held only between Th and FF. parallel lines. they always present a gradation. expressive hands. Yet when the hand starts to make sense. you’ll want to draw lively. The gradation in the fingers makes the outer 2 or 3 peek out between FF and Th. Forced The hand and wrist are remarkably articulated. add drama to the gesture. “sticking” together while the other 2 remain loose. It can work for certain types of characters (such as those whose personality shows stiffness or insensitivity) but more often than not.

Hand shapes (= Proportions of fingers to hand) Square palm. Square nail base Round nail base 21 Spatulate . long fingers Long palm. long fingers Finger shapes Regular Thin Thick Tapering Squared styling Square Rounded styling Spatulate Almondshaped styling Bony Short styling Fingernail shapes The half-moon shape is not necessarily present. short fingers Square palm. short fingers Long palm.

The part of the sole that’s behind it is lost in shadow in any case when the foot is on the ground. Squeeze the sides of your foot and note how rigid they are: the bottom of the foot is not soft and does not deform under pressure. when possible! Let’s look briefly at the structure of the foot: The tarsals or ankle bones in blue. It’s a very noticeable indentation. This means that no matter the position of the foot. Transverse high arch cut: low arch (flat foot) Big toe: Parallel to the ground. The outer contour is not a flat line except in flat feet.VII. The lateral longitudinal arch is the small one outside the foot. Big toe does NOT bend down. don’t hesitate to take off your shoes and use your own feet as references. . Note the direction of the toes: Other toes: Bend towards the ground. The line from heel to ball is not a smooth curve. the indentations of the arches will always show in an adult foot. 22 Toes are NOT all flat on the ground. which is why they appear so short. but since we usually see feet from above and not from the ground level. Very little of the foot can move. so we can simplify it: Although the first joint of the toes is here. the result is this: The transverse arch shapes the top of the foot. and the phalanges or toes in pink. as we will see. The first two shape the bottom of the foot and the third the upper part. both below and outside the foot. It shows as a slight indentation from the heel. flesh covers the foot up to this line. ankle heel arch The medial longitudinal arch is the large one inside the foot. especially added to the fact they do not rest straight. The bones of the foot are arranged to form 3 arches that give it the strength to support our bodies. The blue part is what touches the ground and leaves a print. THE FOOT As with the hand. the metatarse or instep bones in purple.

sketch a guideline to define their general shape (see shapes further down) before drawing them individually. you can also draw the foot as a wedge. Anatomical accuracy is not a requirement at this point. it’s a rounded and pretty flattened pyramid. The next step is to make a small adjustment to the shape. The contour lines (dashed) are to help you see the contour. and then add the toes and carve out the final form. If you’re comfortable doing so. Here curled. flattened on one side. If needed. The little toe is positioned between 1/4 and 1/3 of the total foot length.A simple way to draw feet is to begin by drawing the sole of the foot. As an alternative to the above. 23 . making it asymmetrical to get closer to the foot’s natural shape. Now to give it dimension. where the leg joins with the foot. add the toes. The advantage of this is that this flat shape is simple enough to be drawn in perspective and under different angles. It’s shaped like a long egg. No toes. They are pressed together so from almost all angles. we’re giving ourselves a guideline to build on. you can start directly with this step. they overlap. Adding the toes separately means you can make them bent or curled independently from the base sketch. Still have trouble? Draw it on a sheet of paper and place that as needed for a quick live reference. whose apex is near the heel: the circle. Finalize by carving out the arches and adding the ankle bone and Achilles’ tendon. As you can see. Finally. no arches. representing the ankle. just the basic shape. Only the black outline is needed for the drawing. The height reserved here is for the toes.

Additional details Several details from the hand apply to the foot as well: The toes look longer on top of the foot than they do underneath it. What looks like a “6th toe” is the padding outside the foot. From front and below. Lift a bit more. such as from ground level. Out This line travels up as the foot turns out. and the inner line of the padding appears. At least 2 toes show behind big toe. Usually however.v. our frontal view of feet (that are on the ground) is from a higher point of view. cutting the foot in two by running towards the ankle. Toes lifted: the padding of the forefoot appears. and they can be permanently visible in male or elderly feet. You have to judge for yourself whether they serve your purpose or not. twice the size of the second toe. without padding lines. These tendon lines may or may not show. higher ankle In bigger arch Again. Using our method above to build the shape before adding toes makes even this complex angle easy to work with. Note also how much larger the big toe is. toenails are wider than they are long. Only a ground-level view hides the small toes completely. The toenails start halfway up the top joint. As toe joints are so short. so that its first joint is within the foot and can barely move. There’s always a bump here that’s more or less pronounced. the ball of each toe shows clearly. line traveling as foot turns in. depending. Padding line is horizontal from this angle Big toe and second toe usually separated by a space. Tension makes them pop out. 24 . round toes Big toe joint starts protruding Padding line Here is the foot seen frontally when it’s perfectly level.o. A baby’s foot is so padded it looks bloated. The big toe looks oval rather than round. depending on p. From this angle the toes look like peas in a pod – simply draw them as balls before connecting them to the forefoot.

Attaching the foot to the leg: Roughly speaking. both from the side and from the front. Note the small toes remain curved down. When not pressed against a surface. Look for it in all the diagrams above. is a little above the ankle bone. Transition plane between leg and foot. Except for the big toe. The thinnest part of the leg. The inside bone is higher than the outside one. Splaying the toes makes them point in different directions. The less muscular the calf. The Achilles tendon runs up from the heel into the leg. which is stuck at around 90º. Inversely. A continuous line runs down the leg to the toes when the foot is fully extended. Here. excess fat will cause the lines to bulge in a sausage effect. but the heel protrudes out again. the inner side is vertical while the outer side slopes in. skin folds! 25 .This foot is relaxed. The relaxed foot forms an angle with the leg. The pressure makes this joint stick out. The back side slopes in. Bend marks appear in these hollows. literally. they can’t curve up. As for the big toe. On both sides the line juts out with the 2 ankle bones. the range of mobility of the toes is limited to the following 2 extremes (with. it goes even flatter. the front side of the leg falls vertically into the foot. Tendons appear The first joint can completely hide under the foot. but this isn’t common. See what’s happening below: ground Such a position is only possible when pressing against a surface. Some people can point the foot until it bends further than the line. most of the weight is on the toes. wiggling room in-between.) Curled Splayed Space appears. Note that the inward slope of the back/outer sides is connected to the calf muscle. the straighter this line. there is no real weight on them. Even though the toes bend a little. Seen frontally. Outside ankle tucked behind this line.

for one thing). Egyptian Greek Square Big toe is longest Second toe is longest Toes have even lengths In parts of the world where people go barefoot or wear thongs (Africa. they are rounder and broader. In cultures where closed shoes are worn most of the time (all Western cultures. and there is space between the toes. As they are not squeezed. 26 . The big toe points straight. even slightly out. Man Big toe is shallower (more discreet) This inside line is more curved. Arch types (Show most in the foot’s imprint) Normal Flat/low arch/pronator High arch/supinator Both arches No arches. all of Only a narrow band visible the sole touches the connects the heel and ground. Higher arch Woman Shoes vs. barefoot Foot is smaller for a given body height. This outside length is shorter.Men’s vs. the foot is broader and flatter and the toes splay for a better hold on the ground. the feet are narrower and the toes squeezed together.) Narrow or tapering: More contrast between the widest part of the foot and its tip (due to the last 2 toes receding too much). the ball of the foot Foot shapes (Created by toe arrangement) Wide: Less contrast between the widest part of the foor and its tip. but have a slightly different structure. The big toe tends to point inward and the little toe can be permanently curled up under its neighbor. Women’s feet Women’s feet are not a smaller version of men’s. a great deal of Asia and South America). (Shown a bit extreme here.

Yoga practitioners for instance tend to pay for their contortionist abilities by being extra vulnerable to muscle tear. (Athletes will immediately notice I am simplifying the material. This is much more difficult and this range is always inferior to the passive range. This means the average human being can. (In art. women are more flexible than men (and men have more muscle power than women). . Raising your leg as high as you can (without kicking it) is one example. Dynamic flexibility is how much you can stretch by forcing the stretch using momentum. Flexibility is a complex business. Doing so pushes it beyond what you could do either passively or actively. I will simply differentiate it into 3 kinds: passive. especially action comics. so it’s quite appropriate to show extreme stretching in characters captured at the peak of the swing. and those muscles are often very fragile because they are stretched so thin. . Either way. as a rule. first because they don’t stretch. I readily admit I am adapting the material to artistic purposes and this should NOT be used as a reference for physical activity. I am not responsible for any injury that may derive from using this for purposes other than an illustration reference. not bulging at all (think Bruce Lee. for instance swinging the leg. by stretching the joint and freezing in the position.FLEXIBILITY Flexibility is not just about leg splits. because the resistance of the elongating muscles must be overcome by the strength of the set of muscles opposite them (the antagonists). as I will explain below. Bodybuilders have the most limited range of movement for all the joints. this can be used to gain more range – at high risks of tearing a muscle (definitely do not try this at home.) 27 . Doing this doesn’t mean you can do this ! Passive flexibility is how much you can stretch when aided (either by the weight of your body. gymnasts) can have both muscle strength and flexibility. and I don’t want to go into more details than necessary.More muscles means less flexibility. active and dynamic.Double-jointed people. or by a partner or machine pulling the body part in question).The reverse is also true: More flexibility means less muscle. This is what happens during fights or actions sequences because of the speed of the movements.) Important notes: . for instance when splitting on the ground. and the extent of the stretch is determined by how much the mucles involved can elongate. but only for a split second.All things being equal. People who don’t train specifically will not. Muscle power is actually essential for certain types of flexibility. nobody is going to mind a little exaggeration. In real life however.) Active flexibility is how much you can stretch unaided. It is the ability to stretch a joint to the limit of its range of movement. reach the full potential shown here. so this may not matter so much.) . to know where and how you can exaggerate and where it would look really wrong. There is no muscle work in this case.Flexibility in one joint does not by any means imply flexibility in others. contortionists and anyone who’s undergone intensive flexibility training from a young age are considered exceptions and this guide won’t attempt to take them into account. be able to reach it. It’s still good to be aware of how the body actually works. second because the bulging muscles get in the way (remember Zangief in Street Fighter II?) Only athletes and performers who follow power workouts as well as stretching routines (Wushu athletes. this is the limit. and a key element in drawing the human body in motion. through flexibility training. This guide describes the “normal range” of flexibility for the different joints in the body. and their muscles are fine and sinewy. .

and jaw lines merge into a single curve. the upper body has to rotate as well. THE NECK The neck corresponds to the last 7 vertebrae in the spine (the cervicals).These are the joints we will discuss here: Neck Shoulders Elbows Lumbar spine Hips Wrists I. They are like stacked cylinders separated by a “cushion”. so their range of movement is limited. Knees 55º Extension The neck. This creates a double chin and unsightly skin folds. Head too far from vertical 70º Rotation To look further back. the nose appears to be the centre of rotation and remains on the vertical (the line of the spine). Ankles 35º The neck doesn’t show a bend. and how much this can move the head sideways. so if you bend the head from there. The diagram above shows bending at the lower neck. 28 Head only Head + upper body . 70-90º Flexion The chin can touch the sternum. Lateral bending The ear cannot touch the shoulder unless the shoulder is raised. WRONG! Neck bent Head too bent The top vertebra joins the head at the level of the nose.

III. Extension 75º 30º 35º Flexion Note that the pelvic or hip bone doesn’t tilt Contortionists can hyperextend this Lateral bending Lumbar Lumbar + spine Lumbar +hips Lumbar +hips + spine In daily life we have no reason to bend solely from the lumbars. in natural movements. THE SHOULDER JOINT Of all the joints. see section X. 180º 60º It is because the shoulder joint is stretched to its limit and would dislocate if it tried to counter the pressure that this lock is so efficient. THE LUMBAR SPINE (lower back) This “articulation” is made up of the 5 vertebrae that emerge from the pelvic bone. 29 Vertical flexion Vertical extension . use it on its own. 130º 180º Horizontal flexion (The arm is swung horizontally) Adduction 45º 45º Abduction The arm is brought up sideways) Horizontal extension The shoulder joint allows the arm to rotate 360º continuously It takes some flexibility to connect the fingers behind one’s back.II. For the composite stretches that are more likely to occur. Its range of movement is quite limited but because we never. it often looks as if it allowed considerable motion. the lumbar bending is exactly the same. The diagram below clarifies this: in all 4. this one has the biggest range thanks to its socket articulation – but that also means it can pop out of place if pushed to the limits.

30 They can also bend back individually. . Occasionally using this in illustration gives the hand life and fluidity. From this position: 180º 90º Supination Turning out Pronation Turning in V. 180º 150º Flexion This movement is impeded by muscle mass. if not taken into account it will on the contrary make them look insubstantial and wrong. This should be emphasized when drawing muscular characters. Unaided they can bend back just a bit all together. but it requires much tension. THE WRIST 20º 30-50º 70º 80-90º Extension Flexion Radial deviation Ulnar deviation Fingers can be quite flexible as well and be bended back up to 90º – but not without help. it looks awkward on paper. but if the rest of the hand is relaxed the neighbouring fingers will always be pulled up slightly by the lifted one. THE ELBOW Extension Some people’s elbows overextend: Although not that uncommon.IV. so avoid it. to give the muscles bulk.

for instance. to all kicks so essential to martial arts. would not be able to achieve the flexed foot stretch without injuring herself. This is due to the positioning of the joint in each case: 31 Toes outward . though I know of a single jaw-dropping case.VI. Achieving the full angle this way (through the sole power of the leg muscles) is near impossible even for specially trained athletes. is necessary to achieve it even dynamically. it is much more difficult to raise and hold the leg above waist level. Extension Turning the toes outward (as opposed to keeping them forward as shown here) allows a few more degrees and makes it easier to keep the knee straight during the movement. such as seen in Chinese martial arts. THE HIP JOINT The hip is the key to leg splits. (only possible dynamically) athlete’s active reach 110-130º Flexion When the knee is straight. A ballerina. Special training. though this training can lead to touching the forehead with the toes while kicking. of course. A flexed foot makes it even more difficult. and. 170º 30º 45-50º Toes forward Abduction Turning the toes outward permits a considerably bigger range than pointing them forward. At this point the leg has to go behind the shoulder.

Someone with muscular legs won’t be able to sit on the heels this way. More muscles means sitting on the calves. 10º 32 .. muscles can impede the flexion. toes forward Abduction. what is really happening is this: 40º 45º LEG Adduction 20-30º Internal rotation External rotation VII.WRONG! This (middle split with toes pointing forward) is anatomically impossible! See hip joints at right. Basically it’s the correct split + lumbar stretching. toes outward Lumbar extension: the pelvic bone is tilted forward and the feet are parallel to it. If you ever see a picture of someone who seems to be doing this. 130º Flexion Just like in the case of the elbow. THE KNEE Extension Exaggerated silhouettes are due to the thigh and calf muscles making it look like the knee is hyperextended. 15º Internal rotation This reaches a greater degree when the hip joint also rotates in. the buttocks away from the heels.. RIGHT! A middle split should have the toes pointing up. blocked! Hip joint Abduction.

giving a strutting look Space between shoulder blades sinks Back shows a furrow as spine recedes. Extension Flexion Vertebra at base of neck juts out Individual vertebrae can be seen under the skin as spine presses against it Sternum juts out. 30º Pronation Sole faces in 20º Supination Sole faces out IX.VIII. Sternum sinks The spine in normal state has an S shape. this part of the spine has very limited movement. as seen on p23 Flexion Extension 20º The flexion can be given more range by turning the foot out. THE ANKLE 45º From the outside the top of the foot can look aligned with the tibia. but make sure not to go too far because here it’s very easy to end up with someone that looks like his back is broken. Usage of it will make a character look particularly fluid (think Spiderman). 33 . which also provides a stronger footing than attempting to keep it aligned with the tibia. THE UPPER BODY (thoracic spine) Not listed among the joints and not included in most flexibility trainings.

let’s examine some actions that require several stretches together. Side kick A “side” kick is not truly given sideways: the position of the legs are not a middle split. but within the neck’s limits. This ability is cultivated. so it can just reach 90º now. no stretching involved. much smaller than if you allowed your hips to help. OUCH!! The spine can’t bend this way! RIGHT! A number of joints extend: Neck Upper body Lumbars Hip joint X. The red arrows indicate the joints where stretching occurs. COMPOSITE STRETCHES Now that we understand how the individual joints stretch. risking a loss of balance. WRONG! 30-40º Note how the central line twists The head can of course still turn further.Rotation Rotating the upper body means keeping the hips fixed and rotating only the rib cage left and right. or even a hip abduction. 34 . The “pure” side kick is used for low kicks. Note: The more joints are stretched on the same body part (torso. it looks lateral. but almost a frontal split (martial arts version:) WRONG! Broken body-leg line Continuous body-leg line RIGHT! Back arches RIGHT! All the joints involved have laterally limited range. in Taijiquan and belly dancing. for instance. The correct side kick position is closest to the frontal split. Only a small movement is possible this way. meaning the kick is actually directed backwards – but as the upper body twists to monitor it. leg or arm) the harder it is for each joint to stretch to its full potential. and the body has to compensate by leaning sideways.

which would be a superfluous extra effort. Using the rear knee and front heel to push the floor. Wushu) Knee out Toes point out (inner thigh) Not because it’s easier. the athlete springs up high enough to pull the legs together and stand. and the more difficult one. Knee down Sole up (upper thigh) This is the “classic” way. Martial artists.g. but because from this position it’s possible to jump into a standing position: The rear leg is slightly bent to press the knee on the floor. Attempting this from the first splitting position would injure the knee and/or upper thigh tendons – as would attempting it without the necessary muscular power (i.) 35 .e. split this way: Flexing the toes is done precisely to stretch the calf in some martial arts (e. because the position of the knee demans more flexibility from the thigh-hip junction in the rear leg in order to “sit” completely on the ground. people like ballerinas and yogists would not be able to perform this move.Side kick There are two ways of splitting the legs frontally: Flexing the toes would add a stretch on the calf. however.

waist pushed as high as possible (creating a bridge in mid-air) 36 Abs take over to straighten the upper body the moment the feet land (otherwise one falls on one’s butt. Gymnasts who can take a bridge from a standing position extend each joint in turn: Shoulders and elbows Upper body and neck Lumbars (knees start bending as weight shifts forward to keep the balance) Hip joint A good bridge is the key to skipping up. requires almost all the joints to be extended: Heels push the ground so that weight is mostly on the hand – it’s the only way to stretch the hip/ lumbar areas enough by pushing the waist up. Elbows remain fully extended. where the feet and hands are distant by one forearm. or “locked”.Bridge A good bridge. as the body relies on that position (and strong abs) to regain its footing: Preparing jump by pulling the (straight) legs towards the body. Throwing the legs.) .

the leg swings freely and the ankle will look for the lowest point it can hang (pure gravity) Loose fingers curl slightly The loose foot does not have pointed toes. If the upper body leans more towards the ground. This angle depends on the hip flexibility. Palms in. it merely tilts slightly at the ankle. At the slightest shift the arms will roll into a less precarious position. where there is no tension on the shoulder: straight down. otherwise the weight of the body would make it slide to the ground. elbows locked because of the angle. but hopefully by now you understand enough about flexibility to figure out any move on your own! 37 . from the elbow up the forearm swings freely and the wrist looks for the lowest point. These few postures are far from constituting a complete survey. The arm rolls down into the “easiest” position. the arms may be stuck in one of two positions: Palms up. From the knee down.Hanging limp This is assuming the entire length of the back is supported. palm facing back.

but the more numerous and/or contradictory they are. then go on to show how a wide range of facial expressions is achieved. yellow). I tried to include many emotions that are complex yet often used. I’ll also add that the “classification” of the emotions found here. There is no recipe to successfully achieve this. The emotion I label as “angry” may look “furious” to you. That and the fact there’s no point in drawing a face if we can’t make it show anything are two good reasons why we should really work on this particular skill. are not rules that are cast in stone. then all the brilliant engineering that went into building the hard drive is wasted. In this tutorial I discuss the parts of the face and body that change to express emotion. This is because an illustration has to make up for the loss of other clues we have. To use the color wheel simile again. but not the reverse. you can simplify these even more. Use your own sensitivity to make the necessary adjustments in your mind. I strip a face from all details until all that remains is the facial expression and nothing else.EMOTIONS AND FACIAL EXPRESSIONS I. because different people will not only express emotions differently. they are best understood in context. we depend entirely on what the illustrator put or did not put there to figure out what the character is feeling. in a way that made sense to me. The diagram works much like a color wheel: any two colors can be mixed. In real life. GENERAL To anyone whose illustration work includes characters. but when there are too many of them or they are too contrasting. but by no means does this represent the full range of what a face can express. only gradations between them. so that if a face is visible in a composition. facial expressions are like this computer monitor: if it doesn’t work right. cyan. so do we have to bypass “what a sad face would look like” and aim for “how one would recognise a face as being sad”. the result is an indefinable greyish hue. you can classify the primary colors (magenta. 38 . but the moment you start mixing them. the more the face takes on an ambiguous mask as if they cancelled each other out. The human face ranks at the very top of the hierarchy of things the eye is immediately drawn to. sadness. surprise. the less details would be stripped from the face. and interest are universal across cultures. or maybe your character is so stoic that his anger would only look “upset” on my diagram. Inversely. The important thing is that “angry” is stronger than “upset” and weaker than “furious”. A facial expression that looks alive can make up for (slight) mistakes in proportions (partially because it will keep the eye from wandering away from the face!). disgust. many of which we perceive unconsciously. Just like theatre actors have to support their acting with more gesticulation and theatrical speech than usual because the stage makes regular facial expressions hard to see. as well as their labeling. to decipher someone’s mood. but in a drawing. Similarly. in real life. we “just know”. in other words to feel it as you draw and be aware of how you react to it – exactly as a convincing actor does. there are no more lines. they’ll also interpret them differently depending on experience and culture. but I can think of other ways of doing it. That’s fine. As for the labels. we can feel many emotions at the same time. I arranged them for the sake of convenience. as relative values. anger. fear. In drawing facial expressions one has to deal with the dichotomy of reality versus representation. The important thing is: the amount of detail put into an expression must be proportional to the complexity of the style used. its expression is what we’ll see first. But the more realistic a portrait. One last note: My aim in writing this is expressing emotion with the fewest lines possible. Here’s a useful fact though: Studies indicate that the facial expressions of happiness. just one big rule of thumb: how well you express an emotion in drawing is proportional to how well you are able to stimulate that emotion in yourself.

but the eyelids should not be drawn because they give a “non-alert” clue to the viewer (unless working in a style so detailed the eyelids would not particularly stand out). I say semi. In the emotions tree I use my own terms to describe the state of the eye [opening].Let’s have a look at the individual features of the face and how they can show what we feel: II. dilated. iris position and pupil size creates subtle but immediately perceptible differences in expression. Relaxed eye: regular opening. as the eyes are the main point of focus in a face. eyelid omitted Wide eye: big rounded opening Half-covered pupil and iris: only a semicircle can be seen Tangent pupil: just touches the top edge. so we end up with many very subtle variations that can’t really be rationalized. They are defined in the figure below: Sleepy eye: partially covered by eyelid. I find that the least change brought to the eyebrows can change the expression I’m drawing. They can both be at rest. The interplay of eyelid. By alert I mean the eyes in their natural state when we are active. Alert eye: regular opening. my diagrams all have light eyes. pupil and sometimes the iris. eyelid marked. Free pupil: touches neither edge. EYEBROWS Eyebrows are very subtle. so make sure you have the eyes right before focusing on the rest. This does not happen with a relaxed or sleepy eye. raised or At rest Raised Lowered lowered. For our purposes we can divide the eyebrow into two parts that can move semi-independently: the head and the curve. They dominate the whole expression. dark eyes always look more relaxed than light eyes. Use instinct and observation skills. Note: Light eyes always look wider than dark eyes. EYES Much can be done with the eyes alone. This does not happen with an alert or wide eye. and inversely.because the one always ends up pulling the other a bit. At rest Raised Lowered 39 . The Emotion Graph shows a good range of examples. They don’t have to be more open than relaxed eyes. III. which also affect the overall shape (and create furrows above the nose and on the forehead). Adjustment of the 3 factors one way or the other is always necessary to make them look right. Because I need to show the pupil. and the combination of Head (frown) these two contractions achieve Curve expression as shown in this table: Note that there are besides various degrees of intensity for each contraction. The iris also has 3 sizes: regular. contracted.

Start: Fingers splayed wide for a split second. HANDS Our hands also speak. crying. Palm-down gesture: An aggressive or at least dominant speaking gesture asserting authority over the listener. lower curves up. disgust. VI. teeth showing. begging and general vulnerability. . lower curves up: extra happy – the mouth is more open than usual. perhaps to shout.Anger: hands ball into fists. All is slack. Again. arousal) and even wrinkles at the base during extreme anger and disgust. such a dimples. a note on mouth shapes. LIPS & MOUTH The mouth area is second only to the eye area for expression. fear (the corners are relaxed but the lower lip pushes up in anguish). 40 . Upper lip curves down. While I’ll leave the details of lip positions to the Emotion Graph. NOSE The nose isn’t the most expressive feature. . ready to attack. Lips look like they want to join in the middle: caused by the corners. congenial speaking gesture appealing to the listener as an ally. V. uncertainty.Fear: hands clutching something hard. The curve of each lip makes a meaningful difference: Both lips curve up: grin. because there are additional expressive features. which are lifted into a snarl: this is the angry open mouth. Well-known but worth reminding (and using): . making tendons stand out. but this time the upper part is larger: jaw drop. generic happy (open) mouth shape Upper lip curves down. etc. Also extends to humility. Both lips curve down: dismay. but it does flare under certain emotions (anger. At its least aggressive it expresses confidence in one’s words.IV. see details in the Graph. Note also: Palm-up gesture: A non aggressive. Often accompanies angry speech.

CLOTHING This is largely off topic.Self-comforting posture used to alleviate anxiety and social stress. making one look more powerful and threatening in a confrontation (or when grounding kids) .Shows the body is ready to step into action. but I wanted to say a few words about it. Touching oneself: In Japan an embarrassed or apologetic person will sometimes scratch the back of his or her head. frustration. Arm-cross: .Enlarges the upper body. clothing is once again the subject of exaggeration.Arms and elbows pulled tightly into the body: acute nervousness. especially for single-frame scenes (as opposed to comics where the clothes first and foremost need to make sense in the sequence).Disagreement. etc. hand scratching the head. happiness/seduction in flattering clothes and for girls.Classic defensive stance . dislike. you wear whatever’s convenient and don’t bother to look nice or groomed. Shyness is expressed in nondescript clothing while confidence shows in bold prints or funky outfits. . In young children the hand behind the head can express jealousy. It’s true that in real life clothing does not always reflect your mood (you can’t predict.Also means “Keep away from me. rubbing the cheek. Here are some common and conspicuous ones illustrators are sure to use: Hand on hips (akimbo): Palms on the hips. that you’re going to get surprised/angry/amused today) but it can and does show “long-term” emotions: when you’re depressed. leading other men to avoid it) . African-American females use it to show anger. Perplexity. If you’re representing a gloomy scene. your clothes can show untidiness due to distraction or rush.Classic sign of confidence . I’m feeling anti-social. get to work . make-up and carefully done hair. BODY POSTURE We rarely express our feelings through our face alone: the whole body is the seat of unconscious gestures. when you’re worried. We unconsciously touch our bodies to comfort or release stress. the posture is more feminine and signals uncertainty rather than aggressiveness (it is sometimes adopted by gay men. Women don’t use it around men they like. 41 . arrogance. stubble (for men) and disarrayed dress. disgust.VI.. holding the neck. closing oneself to input. uncertainty manifest in the fingers touching the lips. In illustration. as they are often a way of displacing the aggressiveness. and disagreement. don’t dress the weeping character in pink. massaging the other hand.When the thumbs are forward.” In Malaysia and the Philippines. disagreement. when you get dressed in the morning. grabbing an earlobe. exhaustion shows in your hair. Using them will make your characters look less stiff and much more natural. raising the elbow high in the process. Self manipulations increase with stress and disapproval It is particularly effective to show repressed anger through these cues. Whenever it makes sense. standing akimbo is a sign of anger and seething rage.. VIII. accessories. elbows bowed outward: . let dress support the desired mood. .

In some cultures such as in SouthEast Asia. Eyebrows neutral Eyes alert but can be relaxed for a blank and unfocused look Pupil tangent Lips closed and neutral. weak or “false”. often creating crow’s-feet lines Slight smile The corners of the mouth curve upward 42 . In reality a blank face is not necessarily neutral or expressionless. The lower eyelids contract. creating no crow’s-feet at the corners of the eyes.IX. is betrayed by two signs: Not to be confused with a slight but genuine smile. but some people have a naturally downturned mouth so their blank face looks angry. and to display less facial expressions overall. Sad eyebrows: “poor me” Eyes look up as if to imagine the future or plead for it LE E IL MI SSM SMILE The smile known as polite. REAL SMILE A heartfelt (also known as zygomatic) smile is a reflex that cannot be faked. due to the shape of the individual facial features. such as the one in “peaceful”! The lip corners stretch to the side instead of curling up. intentional. such a smile can signal embarrassment or even polite refusal. HOPEFUL Today’s hardship and tomorrow’s better days reflected together. crinkling the eyes. The lower eyelids don’t contract. Japanese learn to mask negative facial expressions with smiles. THE EMOTION GRAPH BLANK The face has no expression but is not slack.

so the features. . they are simulated by applying blush. As for the rosy cheeks. pupils covered. Eyebrows round and high Eyebrows lifted Rounded eyes. Soft eyes: relaxed. or in response to cuteness. though still contracted. with the lower lid pushing up slightly.Both men and women tilt their heads as a flirting cue. Eyes wide but you can still see the contraction of the lower lid ECSTATIC The dam has burst and the face freely pours forth joy and excitement. at a loved one. Bedroom eyes TENDER Looking at one’s child. Gentle smile 43 . pointing to nose wings This triangular flash of teeth is a powerful happy signal. Head tilted sideways and a bit forward Lips everted in a pout to signal harmlessness and availability (both sexes) – cf. Eyes are the same or more crinkled SEDUCTIVE This varies with the personality. Corners more evident.EXCITED This emotion wants to come out. More tips about courting/seductive behavior: . Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie! Renaissance women used belladonna extract to dilate their pupils. Head tilted forward as if bowing. open up.Courting couples look down a lot when speaking. but this is an example combining some constants. Men unconsciously picked up on the message and found them more attractive. iris can be free Huge grin The grinning mouth opens – it’s hard to keep quiet in this state GRIN A “Real smile” that has picked up so much intensity the lips are forced to part and reveal teeth. a submissive cue showing approachability Sexual attraction dilates the pupils and tints the cheeks red.

INNOCENT Another comics-born expression: “I have no idea what you’re talking about”. the stress starts to show as more parts of the face contract. me?” Eyes stare up or away with exaggeration. Eyes particularly alert. Eyebrows rounded and high. this creates more lines. Head and body nod Eyebrows beback and come knotted forth or frown Nose wrinkles Tears! Mouth wide open. can also pull inwards in (mock) commiseration with the object of amusement. for negative associations see “Haughty” and “Arrogant”. from a purse to a grin. again to hush the gloating. Nostrils flared Teeth and tongue show Eyes contract Mouth still wide open but there’s an effort to force it shut. pupil a bit contracted Lower lid pushes up Smile curls up much but is pinched in repression LAUGHING (1) Bursting into laughter: the head suddenly tilts back. PROUD Here taken as a neutral emotion. All the contraction is in the lower face. Eyes shut but can be relaxed Eyebrows high and rounded LAUGHING (1) Laughter is a violent reaction: after a while. Someone who seriously wanted to look innocent would keep a neutral face and a level gaze. Smug smile Chin high PLEASED Satisfaction or gloating kept private out of politeness. Eyes closed an crinkled. as if in surprise: “who. Broad real smile but the mouth is pinched at the same time. AMUSED “Oops! That’s funny. as if not to show too much selfsatisfaction. upper lip near flat and lower lip describing a generous parabolic curve.” Eyebrows lifted. Nostrils flared 44 . contemplating one’s own achievement The mouth can be any of a whole range of expressions. Eyes closed and relaxed. the eye region is released for now.

or rub their forehead/ cheeks/back of the neck. Eyes become alert and focused Mouth might open slightly as if to take in more PUZZLED “I can’t make sense of this. this actually means it remains narrow and doesn’t open wide. Eyebrows lift a lot Eyes at their widest. iris free This optional line illustrates the idea of eyes popping out of their orbits Jaw drops (goes slack). 45 .. utter disbelief. but eyebrows neither rounded nor lifted (the reverse of “curious”) Jaw drops a bit Lips don’t curl.. reducing the mouth to bring all the focus on the wide eyes. Wide. Lips pursed in reflection When perplexed. Eyebrows lift. one may lift more than the other for emphasis. The rest of the face keeps its prior expression.Raising the eyebrows while speaking also indicates conviction in one’s words. tug at the lobes of their ears. so teeth don’t show.” Frowning in focus (Optionally) raised in worry (”Am I going to figure it out?” Iris nearly free Mouth can be slightly open as an alternative. Women on the other hand put a finger on their lower front teeth with the mouth slightly open or pose a finger under the chin. Eyes squinting a bit as if staring at the problem. SURPRISED Usually the head is simultaneously jerked back. SHOCKED “Surprised” on a much more intense scale. men rub their chins with their hand. as that would require muscular effort (as in fear). looking downwards IMPRESSED Tends to come with a forward tilt of the head which means the eyes have to actually look up to whatever is impressive (or the idea of it). Eyes are wide. SE RI RP SU CURIOUS Interest is expressed in the eye region. rounded eyes and eyebrows Mouth puckers. this is more a stylistic effect than a real reaction.

not due to overexertion. Bewildered eyebrows Trying to force an eye to stay open. but on paper we need to emphasize the feeling of relaxation. Where’s my coffee?” SLEEPY Nodding off: A different kind of tiredness. PEACEFUL Inner peace and serenity reflected in the absence of any tension in facial features. More plaintive. straining the eyebrow on that side The head nods forward and very likely also tilts to one side The other eye and eyebrow are totally relaxed as if asleep Confused mouth Neutral mouth 46 . Eyebrows neutral Relaxed eyes. everything slumps. Eyes that are shut and relaxed are smooth and the lower eyelid curves up. Eyes unfocused and bleary ON TI XA LA RE RELAXED In reality this would be the same as the blank face. Eyebrows droop a little when the eyelid shuts. painful eyebrows Head droops noticeably Eyes can barely stay open Emphasized pockets Jaw relaxed enough to drop slightly GROGGY “Huh? What?. The smile is almost imperceptible (”Buddha smile”) but makes it clear this is a pleasant feeling.Turn the mouth slightly up. Only difference with “relaxed”: closed eyes as if to listen to the inner harmony and/or in trust of the outside world. pupil covered and comfortably dilated.. DRAINED No energy left.. so that strain doesn’t show (unless one is both tired and sleepy).

seeking to be more blank than a blank face. Head droops forward a bit Sleepy eyes LAZY The heavy eyelids and smile betray the fact this person is not only “relaxed”. corners are compressed.. pupils at least half-covered: the tonus in the eyelids is less than the normal waking state. otherwise you get the “Pleased” face.. smell and/or touch... TIRED The loss of tonus is now despite oneself.” Sensuous pleasure in the sense of savoring something that please our senses of hearing. but fully intends to do nothing. Plaintive eyebrows Even the eyebrows are flatter than usual Pockets start to show under the eyes Slight smile – less effort! BORED All the features are horizontal. taste. Sleepy eyes. Eyes still closed for the same reason Only difference with “Peaceful”: the smile widens and lips part in an instinctive reaction to something that pleases the senses. not enough to look like there is an effort involved. Smile widens. Eyebrows at their flattest and low on the eyes. due to spent energy. dimples may appear.” The face that sells cleansing products and pleasant smells. Note that the stimulus is subtle. The head tilts back as the chin is raised – moving away from worldly things to better focus on the feeling.REFRESHED “Aahhhh. PLEASURED “Mmmm. Sleepy eyes Mouth slightly turned down. 47 .

Mouth curved down. Eyebrows start knotting. UPSET No ambiguity here: it’s milder than anger. A very slight frown makes a smile look determined and less vacant. but it’s clearly ticked off. Aside from the frown the face is still blank. “Excuse me for a moment while I ponder this. SKEPTICAL “You expect me to believe that?” Turn the mouth up into a corner smile and the expression becomes cynical. Mouth turns down just enough to not be amused. but it also shows focus.. Head tilts forward with involuntary submission GRUMPY This expression isn’t innate but was born and bred in the comic world. but twisted.” Blank look (sleepy eyes with straight horizontal lids. receiving information. it means outright disagreement. Eyes narrow as if to aim Frown is upset and low but no more. also signals that it’s not to be taken too seriously.” Most often seen in children. R GE AN FROWN A light frown can mean someone is starting to get ticked off. Lower eyelids close more than upper. chin is knotted. the eyes look diagonally up and away from the person one is facing.” When the pout becomes a pucker. looking thicker and turning the mouth down. Eyes alert. saving the anger for the opportune moment. trying to remember something.” Jaw tensed to biting posture. POUT “I am not happy with this. pushing lower lip forward and making mouth curve down. but a mild pout is an involuntary reflex when disagreeing. The pout: Lower lip pushes up. creating a vertical furrow Eyes alert Eyebrow heads move down with little to no curving back up as that would add a tinge of pain. but I can’t/won’t get confrontational about it. Mouth puckered and pinched looks hardly wider than nose.When thinking. This line is a furrow where the eyebrow ends. pupil half covered) confirm boredom and disbelief (see “Curious” for alert eyes). It is a receptive (listening/ watching/ thinking) face: “I’m gathering data before I decide how I feel. Accusing eyes: staring from underneath a frown.. Frown attenuated by sleepy eyes and halfcovered pupils: “I am not really angry or hurt. doubt. creating visible pouch and making the eyes turn down. The single raised eyebrow is a universal sign of skepticism VINDICTIVE “Just you wait”. as if to emphasise. It has a “comic relief ” effect that makes it unsuitable for some purposes. 48 .

What happens to the face can be dominant display observed point by point in a furious lion or wolf. joining with sneer adds deviousness and superiority 49 . lines clear from wing of nose to corner of mouth Canines may show in corner Eyebrows low on the eyes and clearly knotted. looking down the nose. Snarl lines on the nose. anger is expressed with the “forefinger bite” (the knuckle of the bent forefinger is symbolically bitten). overshadowing the eyes Tension around the eyes Snarl makes upper corners stretch up more while lower lip is still pushed up. The head tilts forward. making these lines show proportionately to the loathing felt towards the object of anger In Italy. like a bull ready to charge Eyebrows at their lowest. Nostrils flare. FURIOUS Emotions can’t be contained any more and the mouth opens to yell. adding horizontal furrows to the vertical Nostrils flare even more.. pupils covered Eyebrows lower in a more pronounced frown Head is tilted back. be it physical (bad smell. palmVeins beEyebrows down beating come visible both knotted gestures. Eyes relaxed. The object of contempt is just too insignificant to cause an emotional reaction. but is also quite smug about it. making this line prominent and pulling lip into a curl on one or both sides.) Head is tilted back. barely frowning ARROGANT Not only believes he’s superior.. making it wider Lower lip pushes up. a very basic behavior aiming to make the other stand down without a fight. looking down the nose.. Eyebrows slightly lifted in disdain. Mouth just curved down Sneer Smug smile: a fake smile with the center pushed up by the lower lip Corner pushed up. ANGRY Anger causes one to stare fixedly. on temple as and arched. HAUGHTY It’s a sneer. hands balled into fists. Other ENRAGED signs of anger Complete reversion to blind aniare an erect body.One of the first signs of anger is an uncontrollable reddening of the ears. mal fury.) or moral (cheating. Head is tilted back. arterial tencreating lines sion rises in the forehead. exposing more teeth and the tongue The eyes may roll up scornfully. More furrows Mouth is compressed into a line with hard descending lines at the corners SNEERING In response to something despised. resulting in this mouth shape. but void of intensity: cold disdain. (hands on hips.. curving mouth down Nostrils rise. looking down the nose. Eyes alert but narrowed Mouth corners pulled sideways. Wide open eyes with pinprick pupil look mad and blinded by rage Upper nose wrinkled by snarl Drool or spittle likely! Mouth and nose area push Fury to an extreme.

50 . resulting in this mouth shape. Eyebrows neutral Eyes relaxed. pupil dilated. Consequently.SA S ES DN DISGUSTED All features reject the subject of disgust by constricting (eyes. which are still sad but now relaxed in resignation. Upper lip raised Exclusive lines Lower lip pushes up while corners are strongly pulled down. the heads curling up in pain Nose wrinkled Eyes closed or narrowed DEPRESSED One step beyond “Blue”. One corner of the mouth pressed. Eyebrows quite knotted Eyes narrowed or half-shut Nose wrinkled Face is longer Upper lip slack. Eyes can be closed. the iris is wider and at least tangent. looking from under eyebrows These lines deeply etched and at their longest Nostrils rise so high the nose tip is distorted Tongue mimicking retching action fills much of the mouth All this branch shows a slump of the shoulders. as if a smile had been attempted and failed. for children see “Crying”. as the pain is dulled but not relieved. Chin wrinkled BLUE See “Sad”: The main difference is in the eyes. Eyebrows can droop a little or a lot. shutting the world out. revealing the clenched teeth and even the lower gum Eyes downcast and sleepy. PAIN This is the adult response to pain. Eyebrows press down on the eyes. iris barely visible. The resignation has turned to hopeless indifference. nose) or pushing out (mouth). This is what sadness turns into after a while. pupil tangent. lower lip turned out and pushing up. Head is tilted forward. Head bowed to hanging. but it’s clearly ticked off. Eyebrows can be almost neutral. as if it took too much energy to keep them in the “sad” position. UPSET No ambiguity here: it’s milder than anger. there is no energy left to even be sad.

DISTRESSED Both hurt and in turmoil: no resignation here but a desperate desire to reverse the cause of hurt. symbolically ‘tearing one’s hair out’ The mouth is pouty but the tension is concentrated in the eyebrows as the brain is in overdrive seeking a solution pucker pushes down and the lower eyelid pushes up. or maybe block out the world while figuring out how to deal with them.SAD Or “pained” : the cause of the sadness is still fresh in the mind. STRESSED When too many things assail the mind. FRUSTRATED Anger and a desire to cry combined. CRYING Crushed to the point of heavy. “Silent tears” may roll down the cheeks. Eyebrows heads rise so much they create tension. mouth may move sideways. Tears very likely Lips part as if the pain was too strong to be contained. even the tip turns slightly up. sobbing tears. Eye slant now follows frown. inside corners dropping. so it is also reproachful. the whole face contracts as if to keep them all inside. but no visible tension here yet: this is pure sadness without fear or anger. DISAPPOINTED In children disappointment would be pure sadness. Lips pinched (to hold back reproaches). full frown but the heads curl slightly up to retain a trace of pain. but in adults that is tinted by a touch of anger. All features droop down on the outside. The wavy mouth shows uncertainty (”Where to start? how to deal with this?” Face flushes Nostrils flare Chin quivers 51 . the eyebrow Tears so abundant they flow from both corners of the eyes Same muscle spasm as in “distressed”. Eyebrows press down on the eyes. Mouth curves down. as if to hide the pinching. knotting and forcing the eyebrows into nearly straight lines. pupils tangent. Eyebrow heads try to frown and rise at the same time. Eyebrow heads rise and come closer together. Pupils free. and lifting it vertically above the head is a female sign of intense frustration. Lips pinched pushing mouth up Nose wrinkled as the face crunches upon itself. Pupil free as eyes widen in fear (of not reversing the hurt) Corners curl down and lower lip pushes up in an involuntary but irresistible pre-cry muscle reaction. In Spain. Eyebrows are a varying mix of sad and frowning Eyes alert. Tension creEyes forced ates horizonshut or very tal creases in nearly as the forehead. holding a single hair between the thumb and forefinger. maximum facial distortion of this branch. but worse. The eyes are alert (to the fresh hurt) but the upper eyelids slant downwards and can show a fold emphasizing this.

creating furrows in the forehead SHY Also mild embarrassment. likely to the point of turning the face completely away. ears and neck) Young children show shyness by tilting the head towards a shoulder while raising the shoulders. while the rest of the face is still trying to go unnoticed. Round bulging eyes stare down and away. but with less anger and more fear. Widened eyes with contracted pupils are the centre of the action. as opposed to the extreme under “Ashamed” Forced grin of embarrassment: the corners are stretched sideways instead of up Head tilted forward and pulled into shoulders as if to hide like a turtle Blush (face. skin goes pale. hair stands on end. the head is likely to turn away Expressionless face.” GUILTY Expressed by trying not to express it. but the curves rise as well. SCARED “Deer in the headlights. pupils dilate to see better. Lower lip pushes up in dismay Eyes very round. trying to attract as little attention as possible. pinprick pupil Lines from nose wings to mouth corners Scream of horror that curls the lower lip down. This creates the eerie look of deepest panic.” The emotional high is expressed in the eyes. Past the first moment. Mouth nervously contracted Features seem to shrink. staring at the threat Eyebrow heads rise Gazing down and often away. Eyebrow heads as in “Frustrated”.WORRIED Close to “Frustrated”. the head is certain to turn. TERRIFIED All features open. revealing the lower teeth 52 . please hide me. Eyebrows high and knotted EMBARRASSED “Oh God.

living conditions. 53 .. but empirically we can stil observe it. but I can’t do a diagram for each passing year so I condensed them into as few stages as possible. are subject to a bewildering array of factors. wondering. there is no question of applying the following info to the letter. In those same countries. a 5-year-old doesn’t look the same as a 10-year-old. Genetics. save for the fact women’s hair never recedes quite as much.and 20-year-olds together under “adolescent”) and the way I feel they can be classified visually. though. If the characters you draw look their intended age. a failing body and stained skin. just what is enough to make their age clear.) are a compromise between the “official” division (which for instance groups 13. Evidently. exercize or lack thereof. from birth to very old age. Baby. children change very quickly. we all age differently. but she turned out to be just 20. Exposure to the elements will line even a young face: in Viêt Nam I met a woman who worked outdoors in a very windy place. Isolate a young child’s face and it may be very hard for you to figure out its gender. middle age was old age and brought with it blackened or fallen teeth. You’ll notice I only provide separate male and female diagrams for some age categories. the changes to our appearance. women start losing their differentiating factors again. health. Adolescence marks the beginning of serious differences in face and body. then you don’t need this guide. and thought she was in her forties due to the many fine lines on her face. exposure to sunlight and wind. boys and girls are not very differentiated.AGING THE FACE AND BODY First a disclaimer: Since everyone ages differently (more on this below). while in developed countries we are getting increasingly accustomed to women keeping their smooth skin and fitness well into their 50’s (but this remains linked with being able to afford skin care products. As I said above. People in poor countries have a shorter life expectancy and no access to health care. This is simply because up until puberty. This will be most beneficial to people who occasionally or often find themselves sweating over a drawing.. and I was shocked to meet a “teenager” who turned out to be a married woman in her thirties. The stages used here (Newborn. The childhood stages are somewhat uniform.. whether in the face or the figure. you might want to use the fewest possible. As they get older. the Japanese famously keep their smooth skin for years and years. then you’ll find in this section the telltale signs of age. and women very rarely go bald. even if you deviate a lot from its guidelines. You will not need to use all these signs in your character – as a matter of fact. work/life habits. the healthiest diets and plenty of exercise time. and that’s when the separate diagrams begin. but once we reach adulthood. “Why can’t I make this person look 40? What am I missing?” If you’re one of these people. visible particularly in worry lines and hair that goes prematurely white (this is debated by scientists. in centuries past. after menopause. Traumatizing events can also accelerate aging. it is best to look at the stages below not as fixed values but as steps that are relative to each other. let alone beauty products. all of which may make them look very old by the time they’re middle-aged. race. The exact age is less important than the differences between a stage and another. Up to adolescence. They are recognizable mostly through socially created factors such as haircut and clothing. so these portraits are snapshots of a continuous transformation. Inversely. usage of cosmetics or surgery. Child. men and women become once more increasingly similar in the face..) With all this in mind. Then. not to mention not doing work that wears the body). unless your style is very realistic.

Newborns can only lie on their belly. reddish-black skin Asian types: Dark grey-brown eyes. the head is elongated.The first week.5 heads (legs not counted) Mongolian spots are blue or purple-colored splotches on the baby’s lower back and buttocks (they can cover them entirely or be just a small spot). Ear flat against head NEWBORN (0-1 month) Merest hint of eyebrows. hence the characteristic “baby hands” look. Eye slits look very wide. Note how short the legs are – remember that in adults the knee reaches the shoulder in this position. They disappear in the first 4 years. tea rose skin Chubbiness leading to deep folds 54 Fingers don’t lack daintiness. C-sections don’t result in molding. retaining the foetal position with limbs folded against their body. The skin also has an original coloration that soon changes. pink to reddish skin (strong vascularity) African types: Dark grey-brown eyes. The eyes of newborns only take their final hue between 6 months and 1 year. No neck No chin Body length = 2. This is called molding and it is due to the passage through the birth canal. for different types these birth colors are: Caucasian types: Dark blue-grey eyes. dark hair. but they can also be quite bald. Many newborns have a full head of fine. Over 80 percent of dark-skinned or Asian babies are born with “Mongolian spots”. Roughly. which makes the bones of the skull overlap. This line is noticeable Nostrils very evident in tiny button nose. Same with the mouth. At this stage eyes are only opened for brief spells and tend to squint. but the palm is wider than it is long and is very padded. very high Upper eyelid fold may not exist yet. blue or purple splotches on the lower back and buttocks due to a concentration of pigmented cells. Newborn hands remain curled into loose fists for a while. .

At 11 it can stand up alone. very fine. Chubbier than a newborn. . so the iris appears much larger than an adult’s.At 6 it can hold its head steady and sit with help. Lips become more visible. can be lighter and then get darker as baby grows.At 4 it can lift its head and chest when lying down. 55 .t Little hair. . . very gentle curve No cheekbone either. the body and limbs are noticeably chubbier.At 2 months. appear very open to drink in the world. . .Around 1 year it starts walking unsupported. and tries to put its foot in its mouth. Eyes wider apart than an adult’s Eyebrow ridge is hardly present. each fold very marked.At 3 it can hold an object. drawing a tiny mouth. . a baby can lift its head halfway. but the eye slits are not. A baby’s eyeballs are near their adult size. .At 7 it can sit and stand unsupported. Around 3 months old: Body length closer to 3 heads (legs not counted) 10 months Height= 4-5 heads Although the proportions have barely changed. but a round cheek Ear starts sticking out Features less crumpled than a newborn’s.

especially in the face. but muscles are infantile. 7-9 years Height=6 heads The neck grows out of an almost horizontal shoulder line (instead of the trapezius of adults) because the sternomastoids are not developed. All baby fat is gone. . a child’s height is at least double his or her birth length. Eyebrows reach maybe 50% of their final value (so they’ll still be very light in fair children).The adult height can be roughly predicted by doubling the height of the child at age 2. Cheeks full and often pink Mouth small and puckered. looking pouty Double chin Short legs Beginning of a neck The body begins to slim down a bit. Eyebrows still high The face contours start to appear but are still soft. darker and now hides the head. . Toddlers still have their baby fat.At 4. losing the rounded tummy. but retains an endearing clumsiness. so the body is skinny. Nose bridge gains dimension Ear grows before other features so it looks large for a while. 56 . CHILD (5-11 years) The face occupies a smaller area of the head than an adult’s. Nose looks short because it’s still upturned Thin neck Chin becomes defined.Height= 5 heads TODDLER (1-4 years) Hair is thicker. but not yet strong.

arms and face Fat may increase in the buttocks. Adam’s apple appears As the nose take its adult shape. arms. Height= 6. 57 . The bone structure is in place but still softerned by a full face. Feet. NO Adam’s apple in women. The breasts’ development is the first sign of puberty. legs and hands may grow faster than the rest of the body. then males between 9. legs and stomach. it looks longer. The waist gets smaller and the hips get wider. which are still large. legs.5 and 14 years. leading to the gangly look and feeling of clumsiness. The breast keeps growing from there. First the breasts form small mounds. Neck remains slender. then the areola gets larger.ADOLESCENT (12-17 years) Eyebrows full and lower on eyes The most noticeable difference with adult faces at this point is the size of the eyes. Eyelashes immediately make a female face look adult. Neck thicker. so leave them out to convey adolescence. but they don’t reach their full size until adulthood. Hair appears on the body.5-7 heads (Males taller) Shoulders broaden Females actually begin puberty between 8 and 13 years of age.

hourglass waist Broad shoulders. Many women style their eyebrows into shapes that “color” the expression with anything from innocence to confidence. with fully developed muscles. facial hair would be at its strongest if grown.YOUNG ADULT (18 years to thirties) Ear size stabilizes at the measure between the top of the eyes and the tip of the nose It is entirely possible for the hair of young adults to already start being flecked with grey. broad hips. even though most (especially women) will remove or dye them. Eyelids become more visible. Lips at their most fleshy (and frequently look much redder or contrasted. toning down the gaze and conveying maturity. The body achieves maturity. 58 . and in women’s case breasts. due to the use of cosmetics) Height= 7-8 heads Narrow shoulders. At this age. this is the tallest one gets in one’s life. narrow hips. straight waist Growth stops. Eyes look slightly smaller. Eyelashes now emphasized Strong squared jaw Dark-haired men often have a shadow around the jaw even when they’re shaved. Line of the nose is chiselled. Face contours now show more bone and muscle structure than soft flesh.

Breasts start losing firmness Underarms Belly The back of the elbow. 59 . shown in blue. giving a bit of a wry expression Show more expression lines The body doesn’t change all that much but muscle density decreases. Men and women store it in different places. MIDDLE AGE (forties and fifties) Lines may also appear at the root of the nose Eyelids become heavier Crow’s feet begin to appear A downward fold shows up at the corners of the mouth.Hair shows more sign of aging. the “salt and pepper” look. the knee caps show wrinkles Buttocks and thighs The tendency to accumulate fat increases. Man’s hairline is likely to start receding.

showing veins. Women’s hairline recedes little: this is the main difference between male and female faces at this stage. with vertical lines running up and down from them. Folds join chin to neck pit . so waist starts disappearing. Corners of the mouth run down 60 Loss of cartilage makes nose tip droop The lips lose color. Thin wispy hair. MIDDLE OLD AGE (seventies) The upper eyelid may droop to permanently cover the outer corner of the eye. hairline recedes considerably or all hair is lost. giving it a triangular shape. it’s getting sparser and weaker. Menopause happens in a woman’s fifties. It thins and its growth is now limited. but noticeable degree. If there is any facial hair. blemishes and age spots. Hair turns decidedly grey. Sparse or scraggy eyebrows Eyes become watery and their iris less intense in color. Bones lose density so the body starts getting shorter. resulting in a less firm jawline. Worry and frown lines become permanent Eyebrows may stay dark longer than hair (if they were dark in the first place) but grow sparser. Lips get thinner Weight gain is redistributed to the abdominal area.EARLY OLD AGE (sixties) Hairline recedes to a varying. almost transparent as all pigment is gone Skin becomes thinner. Eyelashes no longer prominent Breasts dry up Pockets under the eyes Smile lines become permanent Skin loses elasticity and starts hanging at the jaws. Earlobe droops Skin adheres to bone. so women wear it shorter. The drop in oestrogen levels has visible effects on the body and face. This happens to populations of Western and Northern Europe and to people heavily exposed to the elements. The face in general starts losing feminity. hollowing the cheeks Jowl effect as skin on the cheeks sags. In men.

we need to be aware of the expressive power of these lines and balance or attenuate them according to the facial expression we wish to convey. arms fall lower Pectorals droops VERY OLD AGE (eighties and up) More age spots Lines deepen Eyes sink back. permanent “worry” and frown” lines. Crow’s feet can become really long and abundant.. When drawing an elderly face. Loss of jaw line Double chin 61 Mouth puckers in if lost teeth are not replaced by dental work (only affordable or available to a portion of the industrialized world) . Slumping makes neck look shorter. People who spent their lives exposed to the elements can have abundant lines on the cheeks as well. corners of the mouth drooping. letting the orbits show through the skin. and may not slump or lose much muscle mass. they are just always there..People who keep exercizing into old age keep a younger body longer. We read these as expression lines even though at that time of life. The appearance of carrying the burdens of the world that old people usually have is mostly due to the physical changs of their face – the “sad” eyes (shaped this way by the drooping eyelid in Caucasian types).

Shoulders small and drooping. Short. Endomorph: Round soft body with a dominant abdominal area. long neck. visible ribs. based on the shoulder-waist-hips ratio. Apple/Diamond: Like Oval but bust is slimmer. . These body types apply mostly to men. women tend to be in the centre as their physiques are much less extreme. Please note: “body types” here refers to the body’s structure (bones) and not to muscles and/or fat that may be gained in addition. slimming down in legs and arms. high waist and no projecting bones. but not muscular. or somatotypes. so weight just around waist. Mesomorphic ectomorph: Thin and muscular. long limbs (linear type). Chest area dominates and tapers to narrow low waist (strong shoulder-hips contrast). so upper body looks heavier. Ectomorph: Delicate physique with light bones and weak muscles. Mesomorph: Large bones and defined muscles for a square. Ectomorphic mesomorph: Muscular but less heavily built. small hands and feet. 3 of which are primary (and rare in real life) while the rest are combinations of them. tapering arms and legs. and they are more endomorphic than mesomorphic. creating a rectangular silhouette: bull-like. hard effect. the most masculine of the female body shapes. waist narrower. These shapes are found in both slim and heavy women. Apple/Oval: Rounded with weight in the middle due to broad waist and bust. Inverted Triangle: Shoulders and bust are proportionately larger than waist and hips. BODY TYPES There are 8 basic body types. Well-developed arms and legs. slimmer waist and shoulders. See the second diagram for female body types.CATALOG OF HUMAN FEATURES 1. Here we’re talking about total appearance and not just bone structure. Ectomorphic endomorph: Balance between round and elongated. small joints. 62 Figure Eight: An hourglass figure where hips are broader than shoulders. Hourglass: Hips and shoulders almost equal. thighs and upper arms more developed than lower legs and arms. Large head. is more helpful for female body shapes. Endomorphic mesomorph: Abdomen less massive and shoulders bulkier than in Mesomorph. flat chest. The Western ideal for a female body. The diagram below. Banana/Stick figure/Rectangle: Almost equal measures so very little curve. Pear/Bell/Spoon/Triangle: Weight in the bottom.

Some natural shapes (not considered aesthetic. EYE SHAPES (Upswept lift at the corners) Almond (Natural crease in the eyelid is not very visible) Hooded (Eyelid crease is set back so that upper eyelid is hidden in shadow) Deep-set Round (Droopy eyelids) 63 Sleepy (Eyelids curve down at outside corners) Downturned . The dotted line shows the form contour.2. but not difform) Swooping Round Teardrop Saggy or hanging Triangular Pear-shaped Flat 3. BREAST SHAPES he following are considered aesthetic by modern Western standards.

straight hairline) Triangular (Like Triangular but with widow’s peak) Heart-shaped (Equal length and width. (Narrowest at bottom. rounded jaw line and hairline) Round (Equal height and width. FACE SHAPES Sometimes the shape of the hairline affects the perceived face shape. and I indicate it when it’s the case. straight hairline) Square (Also Long or Oblong. face widest in the middle) Diamond (Or Trapezoid. squared jaw line. very full jaw line) Pear-shaped 64 . like Square but longer than it is wide) Rectangular (Like Rectangular but narrower chin makes face look more angular) Pentagonal (Narrow chin and forehead.4. pointed chin widest at top. widest at the chin and narrowest at the forehead. widest in middle) Oval (Long. width almost even) Ellipse (Like Ellipsis but broader) Broad ellipse (Narrowest at bottom.

spaced peaks. LIP SHAPES Natural shapes and shapes popular in make-up. Natural Pointy natural (It’s common for the upper lip alone to be thin. where nostrils pass over to the bridge) Funnel 6. early 20’s ) 65 Beestung (Wide. convex) Aquiline (slightly aquiline) Roman (Drops straight down from the forehead) Grecian nose (Rounded and small. an effect of aging) Droopy (”Eagle-like”. 40’s) Smear (Upper lip fuller) Glamour . and closer to the skin tone than adults’. tip turns up so slightly nostrils aren’t visible yet) Button (Child version. NOSE SHAPES (Broken profile) Hooked (Tip very low. often found in Asians) Snub (African nose. found in babies and children before nose takes it adult shape) Button Upturned (Concave) (aka Blunt or Pug: short and upturned. but the reverse is very rare) Thin (Exaggerated feminine shape) Cupid’s bow (Peakless) Uni-lip (Narrow and very full. less textured.5. Children’s lips are thinner.

it mats. can be fine. HAIR TYPES Can be fine or thick. If this hair is allowed to grow. Peppercorn . Straight Sticks close to the head. Wavy Low wave Curly High wave Loopy S pattern. fine but densely packed. less shiny than straight or wavy hair because its surface is not as smooth. medium or thick. Like very small curls S-type Not curling so much as zigzagging 66 Z-type Tightly curled spiral tufts that form into cones with naked skin visible between them. soft or coarse. Sheen rather than shine.7. soft and fine. Loose Frizzy Tight Very tight wiry curls. Shown below in its natural state (it is not normally worn loose this way): tends to grow out or up.

. while its absence results in desaturated or “ashen” hues). that usually means you can also find the neighboring hues in that ethnotype.Lightness or darkness (lighter=blonds.8.dosfordonts. all hair color is the result of two factors: . For instance if the hair color of type A is given as Ash Brown. then Medium Brown is sure to exist as well in lesser proportions. reddish and warm brown hues.Presence or absence of red pigment (its presence creates the golden. HAIR PIGMENT To put things simply. The terminology for hair color is very disparate so don’t take the names used here as a universal convention.To this we can add blue-black. as long as they’re in the same column. The table on the right summarizes this. darker=browns) .com/haircolor. To distinguish “red hair” from “hair that has red pigment”. meaning black hair with bluish highlights. When in the Guide I give one hue as characteristic of an ethnotype. as a separate hue. There’s a bigger hair color chart here: http://www.html NO RED PIGMENT (ASHEN) RED PIGMENT (RUFOUS or GOLDEN) BLONDS Platinum blonde Ash blonde Golden blonde Dark Ash blonde Dark Golden blonde (Strawberry) REDS Red BROWNS Ash brown Golden brown Medium brown Rufous brown Auburn Dark brown (Chestnut) Dark auburn Black Brown-black BLUE-BLACK 67 . I use the word “rufous” for the latter. but it doesn’t mean Golden Brown exists in that type.

9. EYEBROW SHAPES Female eyebrow Thin Tapered tail Arched shape Basic shape Arch Curved Angled Soft angled Rounded Flat Low High Full Male eyebrow Full shape Blunt tail Angled Rounded Flat 10. HAIRLINE SHAPES Men Straight Rounded Regular Widow’s peak Receding Receding Women 68 .

Dark: a shade of brown. speckles etc are not included as they’re not relevant to this study. such as gray-blue. EYE COLOR Eyes are basically either brown or blue. This table shows basic hues and some incidental ones. “Special effects” such as rings around the pupil or iris. not to be confused with hazel or gray-tinted-green) Amber (Strong yellow and russet with pale green produces this effect) Hazel (Elements of green and brown) Brown (Can be light or dark) “Black” (Really a dark brown. gray-green. arranged similarly to the hair table above.. gray-brown or green-brown..LIGHT LIGHT-MIXED GREEN/YELLOW DARK-MIXED DARK 69 11.) Blue (Can be pale) Violet (Very rare. in direct light the iris coloration shows) . eyes are never completely black. i. most colors are produced by combinations of the above with sometimes the addition of a yellow or russet pigment. Some of the terms used in the Guide to Human types: Light eyes: any of the blue and gray hues Light-mixed: any combination of the above. blue eyes with a green ring around the pupil) Green (Rare. rarer type. bluish gray. Gray is a variant of the blue pigment. Dark-mixed: combination with brown.e. with green as a third. (Looks nearly white) Light Gray Gray (Usually tinted: greenish gray. blue eye where red blood vessels show through) Blue-green (Very rare.

Women are always. African and Pacifid because the groups often overlap. for a tan. but not particularly tanned. The CMYK values of the colors I used for the skin tones are indicated. because there is always a range of variation in reality anyway. There’s a biological reason for this: they need to allow extra sunlight in to produce more vitamins for childbearing. on average. use a lighter shade of the tone you need. Note that the ocher and sienna families are for Asian skins: I use the word ocher for “brown with a yellow undertone” and sienna for “brown with a red undertone” (coppery skins). since it varies not only within a group but on individuals as well..12. Generally. the names I use for the skin tones are not scientific. it is likely not to tan any further. and because it is translucent. I do not divide the skin tones into Caucasian. To achieve pallor.. cool them down. This is what gives pale-skinned people red cheeks. This implies that if a type is said to have a skin tone that’s part of a family. For our purposes. skin. SKIN TONES Pinpointing exact skin tones is an exercise in futility. Broadly speaking.) C3M13Y11 White (Lighter version of fair. I present skin tones corresponding to exposed. By the way. and Greyish Yellow through Copper in Asians (which include Amerindians). go lighter or darker within the same family. darken it (see below). For a pale or tanned skin. White through Reddish Brown are found in Caucasians. Doesn’t tan but turns brick-red. amrani. which wouldn’t occur with darker-skinned people. .). lighter-skinned than the men of their own type. its hue is affected by the blood that flows through it. There are parts of the body that are always pale and others that are constantly exposed to sunlight and are therefore much darker. You’ll notice there are “families” of tones (such as the browns. the ochers. so it actually looks pinkish. making it even more complicated to decide on what that actual color of the skin is. The brown range for instance is found both in Caucasians and Asians. it is very likely that other members of the family are also present in that type. etc.. Skin tans or burns. darken/lighten them.. starts being suitable for tanning) C12M30Y43K3 Light brown Medium brown Dark brown Very dark brown C10M37Y44K2 C21M59Y65K7 C35M64Y69K31 (A yellow tint to the brown gives it a greenish cast in comparison to the more pink browns) C22M37Y60K9 70 Olive C34M50Y55K26 Dark olive C33M37Y48K15 Grey olive . to warm them up. I worked out this terminology for simplicity and easy evocation. Chocolate through Blue-Black in Africans and Pacifids. and that tends towards red or blue depending on health and temperature.) and “singled-out” tones (white.I sometimes mention vascularity: it is the skin’s tendency to turn red when exposed to the air or the sun. If the skin is naturally very dark. (The skin is so unpigmented and thin the blood shows through. in small amounts. Vascular. almost as light as white but less pink) C4M14Y15 Ivory (Brown pigment starts to appear but skin still more likely to burn than to tan) C6M20Y21K1 Fair (”Brunette-white” or “honey”. Additional notes: . feel free to tweak the colors a bit. Asian.

the main hue functioning like a highlight. This makes the skin look glossy) Coffee Brown-black Blue-black Greyish yellow Reddish Gold C7M20Y29K1 C5M36Y54K1 C9M35Y62K1 Gold C10M21Y34K2 Pale ocher Light ocher C13M30Y48K3 Medium ocher C23M47Y64K9 C30M51Y61K19 Dark ocher Brown ocher C18M40Y43K6 Light sienna Medium sienna C6M35Y44K1 C14M42Y38K3 Dark sienna C29M48Y60K7 (Medium brown with olive undertone) C21M41Y49K7 Olive sienna C20M57Y73K6 Copper 71 .C35M77Y82K32 Chocolate (Medium brown with reddish undertone) C17M43Y40K5 Reddish brown (peculiar to Somali and (Yellow undertone (Yellow undertone mixed Tuaregs) makes it look like a red.makes it look like a very C30M52Y68K20 dish olive) dark olive) C30M60Y78K21 C38M59Y66K37 Amrani San brown Khoi brown C40M65Y67K47 C45M69Y56K58 C76M58Y49K60 (In these very dark hues including Khoi. the shadow tone dominates the skin.

Finally. I’ll assume you know how to make a face look more masculine or feminine at will. or a representative example. I list some places or ethnicities under each ethnotype. this “catalogue” as it as long as it is were provides ideas to draw differwide. and for this reason I use “human type” or ethnotype instead. however. Intermediate length. but they wouldn’t apply for earlier periods of history. Please make do by filling in with the equivalent details from the type’s closest neighbors. This isn’t an exact science and the closer groups are. although they themselves can usually tell each other apart at a glance. The word “race” has acquired a detestable aura. The point of this guide is to establish a sort of primary palette of humankind. we instinctively draw people like ourselves. Rather than redraw the skull shape for each type. This. people of our own race. while the Vietnamese on the contrary are shorter now than they were at the peak of their culture. which is not a perspective we often use. sooner or later finds him/herself confronted to the anatomy and physiognomy of other races – and the need to know how to portray them. what would I need to know about his or her physical characteristics?” What I show here is either the average model for each type. the shorter. These should be read as: “The origins and/or most important concentrations of this type can be found in. Very useful if you often head find yourself drawing the same body types or noses or whatnot. but here’s the general guideline for modifying a population’s height: the more prosperous. the occasional snippets in maroon provide information about a population’s beauty standards (in the past or nowadays).” They should NOT be read as “The following countries fall under this type. but it is only the beginning. we need to know what physically defines the populations of different parts of the world. is something we illustrators cannot hide from. is not an essay in anthropology. Instead I gather some general info about some of them on a page at the end of the guide. it is also a much debated one. unique faces based on the average one and giving characters different body types. I believe awareness of these is really important to really faithful depictions of other cultures. the blurrier the lines between them. So I put this one together for anyone who aspires to create characters true to nature and not draw Africans that look like Europeans with dark skin. I searched high and low for some kind of guide but found none. Left to our own devices. The serious artist or illustrator. but if in doubt refer to earlier chapters for characteristics of face and body. and the more impoverished. I also don’t give diagrams for both male and female faces because that’s often redundant.” It should go without saying that no country falls entirely under a single type! The best way to know what other types exist in a country is to look up their history for migrations and invasions. mixed types (Philipinos. but it is still prominent in profiles. Looking at photos will greatly expand your capacity to create individual.. For this reason. etc. Average height: Please note that this changes all the time. 72 . and you should refer to this diagram to look it up: Mesocephal Dolichocephal The head is longer than it is wide. but instead simplified those I researched. sometimes substituting more laymanfriendly names. Skull shapes: The shape of the head is one of the basic “racial” identifiers.. the taller. Important note: In the following pages. The heights I include are as current as I could find them.HUMAN TYPES A good knowledge of anatomy is indispensable to draw the human figure.) are not treated here. It’s most obvious seen from the top. So I haven’t picked and stuck to one model. however. You will probably not often need to be that accurate. which an artist can admix as freely as people marry across types. Being familiar with the “original Brachycephal models” can only help and not hurt. Even if you’re not trying to draw someone from a The head is specific group. In some cases I simply couldn’t find the relevant info for average size or other details. Not all Chinese will have exactly the same build. As my work often deals with ethnic themes. African Americans. 3. long narrow head. facial traits. This is not only an incredibly complex subject. Latin Americans. To avoid perpetrating grotesque cultural errors such as ran amuck in the days of colonialism. So there are always telltale signs that make a character’s type identifiable with a few pencil strokes You may ask: What’s the point of being anthropologically correct when the world is such a mixed place and so many people have a mixed heritage? Three points: 1. Period art and ethnic art demand such information. 2. round ent people. but they will all tend to it to various degrees. skin color etc as my diagram. with one guideline in mind: “If I needed to draw someone from this specific part of the world. or to use a word that’s almost taboo. Several centimeters can be acquired in a mere decade. and because their characteristics are not sharply defined. I’ll simply mention it. though. What it denotes. For instance the Dutch today are the tallest Europeans but 2 centuries ago they were the shortest. sometimes with overlaps.

so there is little chance of having a chiselled or angular face. Compare with a Caucasian skull. there is no crease at all. Asian types also tend to have more body fat in the cheeks.I. Body type Medium tall. . In the other. but closer to the eyelashes. that covers the inner corner of the eye. where cheekbones recede and so the face looks narrower. and nasal projection is minimal. Shape of the face Double-eyelid Double-eyelid (no eyelid line) Fold can be more or less pronounced Corner covered to various degrees Closed eyes Eyelashes downwards Curves down noticeably 73 The cheekbones are prominent and project sideways. torso appears longer Nose The nose is typically small. As a result the inner corner looks lower. the combination of this and a lower nosebridge make the eyes appear much more forward. from the nose to the inner side of the eyebrow. Finger tips are thin (seen from the side. Amerindians are placed alongside them because they are related. There are two variations on the Asian eye. nasal bridges are low. they taper as opposed to being padded) Forearm shorter than upper arm Hair Women are petite with small breasts and hips Lower leg shorter than thigh Small narrow feet Coarse and straight Eyes The best-known identifier of Asian types is the epicanthal fold (aka epicanthic fold or epicanthus). but they almost all lack the epicantic fold and have much more prominent noses. compact stature Beard and body hair are meager Because legs are short. which results in a round flat face. making the eye look slanted (aka almond-shaped). only smooth “padded” skin over the eye. This is a skin fold of the upper eyelid. Hands Hands are relatively short and stubby with nails that cover most of the end of their finger. One is known as double-eyelid: the eyelid is creased like in Western eyes. known as single-eyelid. GENERAL ASIAN Here are some characteristics found in all the Asia-inhabiting groups presented on the right. From profile.

small red lips like ripe Relatively cherries (refinement). Japan.61women In North China and Korea hair can be thick and wavy Japanese Alongside Mongoloid in Japan.Men and women (the back of the neck powdered their is sexy). face.Women shaved possible by the kitheir eyebrows to mono.53-1. Korea 1. because mon in women.65 N. small nose. modfeatures as est height (shorter than compared to man).Men sported a small pointed beard Traditionally the emat the tip of the phasis is on a woman’s chin.57 women 1.A young woman was deemed particularly beautiful if her hair was longer than she was tall. black straight soft other Asian hair. especially when smiling Brachycephal Low nose root Long nose bridge Long face Big eyes are considered more beautiful small eyes sharp features about 70% have singleeyelids prominent cheekbones small mouth Some Mongolians and Central Asians have grey or even blue eyes wide face tending to square on the bottom high.61 Mongolia 1. white “blinds and uglifies” (this up to the Meiji period). Siberia 1. small delicate hands (skill) and feet.Classic Mongoloid The “classic” Asian.73 S. The figure faces white. Today. Korea. thin. single-eyelids like the crescent moon (friendly impression). is hidden as much as . hairy bodchubby cheeks pink like ies and facial roses (wealth).71 men Traditional beauty standards for Korean women: round face like full moon (health). thin waist but plump hips (childbearing). narrow shoulders types (make men feel protective over them). forehead. neck and hair . thrusting forward Surface between eyes and eyebrows is not flat but has depth. . “Pointy” profile.Women blackened shape very comtheir teeth. Mongolia. During the Heian period: . pale skin and double eyelids are a sign of status. For Okinawan see p96 Less hairy and more slender than Mongoloid 1.55-1. “Banana” body . Korea 1.57 women 1. The preference redraw finer ones is to having no body in the centre of the hair at all. longer in men wide mouth but thin lips “Black” “Black” Dark brown can occur Black Black overall lighter than other Asians Pale ocher Light ocher Light ocher Medium ocher 74 . small smiling eyes. with protruding eyebrows and sunken eyes (eyes are actually placed deeper inside the skull) Wings can be large in relation to the nose Longer chin very narrow eyes even though epicanthic fold may be mild tall forehead face longer and thinner than other Asian types single-eyelid can be noteably puffy under the eye.

South Chinese Central and Southern China 1. “Black” Reddish gold Gold Light ocher Black 75 .75 men today 1. Noble women bound their feet from childhood to keep them small: the ideal size was 7 cm. to the point that it is becoming increasingly common for women to stretch their legs through surgery (although many Chinese find this very disturbing). short face prominent cheekbones Nose moderately broad Narrow. The ideal Chinese woman has an egg-shaped face. with the lower lip thicker thin lips In China’s culture today there is real pressure to be taller. Manchuria 1. Manchurian women however did not do this.69 today 1. prominent forehead Almost flat facial structure around eyes and eyebrows The face appears flat because the nose doesn’t protrude and the cheek bones are broad Sometimes prognathy About 70% have clear doubleeyelids Strong jaw and chin Broad-long face Weaker jaw and chin than North Chinese Round. often rather high nose strong jaws Wide to very wide mouth Compressed jaw Thin lips. almond-shaped eyes (”Phoenix eyes”) and cherry-blossom lips (think Disney’s Mulan). willow-leaf eyebrows.64 historically Minimal facial hair Brachycephal Strongly receding forehead Weak browridges Mesocephal to Dolichocephal Steep. being from a horse-riding culture.68 historically Tiny feet were a standard of beauty required for all women who could afford reduced mobility.62 women Body and facial structures heavier than the typical European 1. flat.North Chinese Northern and central China.

The Minahasa of Celebes even restricted such binding to the nobility.70 Malaysian 1. Okinawa Thai 1. well-defined eyebrows more prominent eyelids Fuller lips Lao eyebrows are broad but so sparse and faint they’re almost absent Today light skin is considered more beautiful.63 Việt Nam 1. larger eyes than previous Asians Mesocephal lowerbridged nose than other Asians short nose Thai have a marked angle in the eyebrows Less face fat. Mesocephal The Cambodians are the most Indian-looking people in Southeast Asia while the Burmese are the most Mongoloid looking. the taller a person is the higher their status. and some peoples in Malaysia and Indonesia compressed their babies’ skulls to achieve this physique.67 Indonesian 1. Thai and Lao are intermediate. flat nose gentle contours small but full mouth.67 1. Myanmar (Burma). especially for males. but in the past the darkest skin was the most esteemed. Việt Nam. more likely for cheekbones to show even though they don’t jut out small heartshaped face outer fold curls up noticeably for distinctive look Southeast Asian characters present but faint.Southeast Asian South and eastern coast of China. Malaysia 1. upper lip almost thicker than lower “Black” “Black” Medium ocher Dark brown Black Dark ocher Black Blue-black 76 . Wavy hair Less hairy and more slender than Mongoloid Broad faces with receding foreheads and flat noses were sought after.57 women Indonesian Indonesia.58 Malay In Indonesia.60 women 1. Thailand. Nowadays it’s at least as important to be tall as it is to have a light skin.50 women 1. Indonesia.

we know from depictions that the early Ottomans were clearly Mongoloid. scant or no beard Middle-sized. Turkic Western China.68 Hair is somewhat wavy and can even be curly.Tibetan Tibet. Kyrgyz. square-built. Sikkim. inclined to stoutness Very small hands and feet Brachycephal Features are chiseled. but often braided finely. manyTurkic people today look Mediterranean: refer to Mediterranean and Levantine for modern Turks. Tatars. Men have full moustaches but sparse beards they pluck out. which doesn’t usually occur in Asian faces high cheekbones high cheekbones nose has a broad convex bridge that is very noticeable sparse littledefined eyebrows Bushy eyebrows that tend to meet in the middle Frequently have light skin. so they belong in this section. broad features single or double flat nose small mouth clear doubleeyelids cheekbones prominent long face squaring at the bottom very rounded face contour Brown or “black” Dark or lighter brown Some have very light hazel or green eyes due to Mongol heritage Blue or grey can also occur Medium brown Dark brown Blue-black Black Dark brown Light ocher Brown ocher 77 . Turkestan.65 Due to extreme admixture. Straight hair. Kazakhs. However. hair and eyes with a Mongolian facial structure. Bhutan 1. can still be seen although nearly entirely diluted in today’s Turks and Azeris. Traditionally women braid it in 108 braids. Uyghurs. Uzbeks. 1.

Ainu Aboriginal population of Northern Japan Pacific Amerind West Canadian coast.58 Stocky build.A. eastern Alaska (Tlinkit. Chinook). Medium to tall. deep-set eyes higher-bridge nose than Japanese Large ears full eyelids men’s eyebrows quite bushy Brachycephal Receding forehead Striking nose with straight or slightly convex bridge full eyelids nose can be broad chiselled jaw strong cheekbones full lips medium broad nose marked folds broad rectangular face cheekbones slightly emphasized broad mouth with thin lips Men’s lower face is usually hidden behind a thick beard and mustache “Black” “Black” Ash brown to black Medium brown Blue-black Dark sienna 78 . Apache) 1. Thick wavy hair and the world’s biggest beards. Overall they look distinctly nonAsian but rather like heavy-featured Caucasians. and on the Rio Grande (Navajo.67 Straight or slightly wavy hair 1. outskirts in northwestern U.S. The Ainu’s developed pilosity is what distinguishes them the most immediately from Japanese. robust build Little to no body hair Body build rather massive Mesocephal Look like they have Asian eyes and nose on a Western face structure much dimensionality here.

68-1. broad shoulders equal to hips. mostly mesomorph but tend to obesity when exposed to a European diet. Receding forehead Mesocephal to dolichocephal Mesocephal Striking narrow to medium nose with convex or hooked bridge Strong chin Slightly receding chin Slanting forehead with emphasis of the bulge above the eyes Clearly retracted nose root and straight or concave bridge Very high hairline Sparse faint eyebrows epicanthal fold. broad.Silvid Amerind Wood region from middle to eastern Canada. in the belly rather than in the legs or rear. scattered remains in Mexico. robust bone structure Women have wide hips. the Rocky Mountains (Shoshone). Iroquois). When excessive weight is gained. Delawares. Sonara. more often in women and children Broad face Small eyelid slit Broad mouth Rectangular face Moderately full lips Medium to broad nose “Black” Copper Blue-black “Black” Very dark brown Blue-black 79 .75 Taller than Pacific. robust build. and commonly an hourglass figure. it is carried around the midsection. Appalaches (Mohicans. prairie region of the “Middle West” (Sioux = Dakota) 1. Margid Amerind California. Overpronation of the feet and knockknees are a common problem since the introduction of hard-soled shoes. Florida and the eastern coast area up to Newfoundland ? Much weaker facial hair growth Medium stature.

50 Straight or slightly wavy hair Small build. and an aquiline nose.40 breast shape Females are plump with a strongly curved lower back. thin lips. but small bottoms Very brachycephal Steep. western Columbia 1. stocky The Mayan ideal of beauty: high cheekbones. Cross-eyes were attractive. coast areas of Brazil. but narrow forehead Straight or slightly convex nose bridge Mesocephal Steep. broad forehead Projecting or concave nose with high root Face projects forward more strongly Slightly receding chin Rectangular face Chin tends to recede Oval face with soft features Medium to broad nose Relatively delicate features Broad mouth line. (Hopi).62 classic Maya 1.55 today’s Maya Amazonian Jungle of the Amazon basin (Yanomami) and adjacent highlands. short stature No body or facial hair Little to no waist in either gender men women 1. Straight or slightly wavy hair 1. Central America. Venezuela and Guayana. Caribbean 1. moderately full lips Lower face than most North Amerinds Medium to broad nose Slightly emphasized cheekbones (quite salient in Maya) Thicker lips “Black” “Black” Dark sienna Blue-black Medium ocher Blue-black Brown-black 80 .Central Amerind Southwestern U.52 women Medium or small build. Azteks descendants). eastern and southern Mexico (Maya.S. Newborns’ heads were bound between boards to achieve an angle of 180° or more between the nose and forehead (elongating the head to resemble an ear of corn).45 women No body hair 1.

55-1.58-1. Peru. can look chubby Strong “Indian fold” Strong jaw Nose can be much broader “Black” “Black” Olive sienna Blue-black Light sienna Blue-black 81 . northern Chile 1. as well as a tall lean build for men. Mesocephal to Brachycephal Clearly sloped forehead Projecting nose with high root and straight or convex bridge Dolichocephal or Mesocephal Somewhat flat profile Nose closer to mongoloid Longish oval face. plump in women Clear emphasis of the cheekbones Moderately full lips Strong “Indian fold” Medium broad Medium to broad mouth Round cheeks reddened by cold Rounded face. Araucanians). Traditionally a very round face with narrow angled eyes is considered beautiful (it can be seen in traditional art).65 More body fat for protection against the cold Very small hands and feet Peruvian tribes consider an hourglass figure looks ill and prefer an ‘apple’ type figure on women.60 Inuit Arctic circle 1.Andid Andes (Quechua or Inca. coast of Ecuador. where the waist is not very pinched in.

Shape of the face Forearm and upper arm are equal Lower leg and thigh are equal Women’s breasts and hips are fully developed The cheekbones are compressed. but the artistic ideal of the body height = 7 to 8 heads was based on this type of body. while around the Mediterranean they are large enough to look feminine. In Western and Northern Europe there can be an external fold over the eyes that makes them look droopy. This coincides with severe wrinkling brought by age while other regions age more smoothly (unless there’s heavy exposure to sun and wind). they taper as opposed to being padded) External fold . It has a high root and bridge with wings usually pressed-in. GENERAL CAUCASIAN Caucasian types are distributed from Western Europe and North Africa all the way to India. This is the hairiest type for both beard and body hair. creating a narrower face than Asian types where cheekbones project sideways. We can broadly say that the further North you go. Finger tips are thin (seen from the side. A fatter physique signifying wealthy idleness was similarly preferred to the muscular figure of a field worker. Corner always exposed 82 Hands Hands are relatively short and stubby with nails that cover most of the end of their finger. The eye looks bigger than Asian eyes but that’s simply due to the absence of the epicanthal fold. Toned bodies are favored as they imply someone takes care of their body and health – and have the money and self-discipline to do so. Note that women generally have lighter skin than men. keep this in mind: the continent is so mixed that you can find both light and dark eyes (and hair) in all populations. Body type Stature varies. Needless to say they vary quite a bit in almost all aspects. people seek a tan. for the same socioeconomic reasons. but don’t feel too restricted by them if your representation is contemporary. I adhere to conservative descriptions because we need to know how the peoples looked before getting so mixed. Excessive muscles however are perceived as unattractive or aggressive. though). While Asian noses show the nostrils from the front.II. but also has dark ones. which implies travel (and wealth) and leisure time (do note that pinkish-white skins just don’t tan. Eyes As far as the color of the European eye is concerned. the smaller the eyes are. At the very least it shows up in old age. Caucasian noses more frequently show them from the sides if at all. In Medieval Europe people went to great lengths to keep their skin pale as that implied a high status that spared them from working outdoors. This type has the lightest skin tones. Today. but they do share some fundamental features that set them apart from other types. Nose The nose is the most distinctive Caucasian feature as it projects well forward of the eyes. hence these general proportions.

Compressed at Eye slit horitemples istic.51 women No hair on chest or belly Proportionately large head Long trunk Small delicate hands and feet Limb proportions. especially in the lower leg Legs often bowed men Nordic Norway.68 women 1. short arms Thick straight hair.63 Narrow shoulders and hips Long arms Short legs. sparseness of body hair. light blue Grayish yellow to medium brown Icelanders are on the darker end of this spectrum and also have some black and rufous hair due to Irish strain. Sweden. looks bony and sharp Thin eyebrows Narrow forehead Low childlike nose “Black”. North Germany. the Dutch were the shortest Europeans ic class as being “tall.84 Netherlands Norway/Sweden Denmark 1. short and dark-haired Icelanders are (imported from central thicker-set. Belgian and Norwegians Swedes more Dutch mostly more ash than golden than Ash blonde Dark brown Brown-black Pinkish white light brown golden ash External fold can Very short Nose thin and appear with age face is a definsteep-sided ing character. A Skin is thin so the lot of Norwegians line between the naThe less mixed the person. Netherlands. Brachycephal Nose straight or concave. snakelike eyes” while the intermediate class of smiths and craftsmen was red-haired Tall. Iceland. cold. lean men with blond hair and hard.80 1. due to zontal but may reduced jaw droop outside Thin tip. Belgium (and to a lesser degree all Northern Europe) 1.65 women 1. low root Snubbed upturned tip Weak chin Narrow forehead: seen from above the head is a short egg shape Eyes widely separated Mesocephal or dolichocephal Back of the head is compact: upper neck shows above collar before this curve Retreating forehead. Medium brown to ash blond 83 . parallel to nose Weakly developed browridges Transition from nose bone to cartilage is marked Nostrils more visible from side Thin cheeks. small jaw and nose combine to give a child-like look.77 1.63 Belgium Moderate Hair: beard and A legend in the Edda low body hair describes the aristocratwave Long legs. can be and big-muscled. the have a round “ball” sal bones can often darker the eyes and hair– light at the nose tip be seen hues come from mixture with Small mouth Norwegians or Finns. Europe). and heavily built the lower class was or slender. beard merely a few hairs 1. compressed wings.Saami (Lapp) Arctic Scandinavia and Finland Short stature 1. Straight nose than front clear chin Long narrow face. In the 19th c.

Estonia. with blue commoner than gray Finns: blue can be so pale they’re known as “white-eyed Finns” Fair. lead combs straight were used to turn wet hair black. Russia.61 women has a low wave Irish head is one of the The Irish are Modlargest in Europe broad-built and erate large boned. Lithuania. hands and feet Stocky and broad. especially (dark) browns. can look greyish Blue eyes usually go with brown hair. men Hair fine. Europromipeans. In the 1500s. then English. upper lip. convex and a prominent nose. Germany.. Irish. no ashen hues. In the Nose Renaissance. Irish: mostly red shades. Medium brown Ash blonde 84 . so pale as to vanish External fold can appear with age Irish chin is square and often cleft Blue. Poland. Hungary. some green Light eyes. but the Letts are slenderer Short arms Body hair is faint Scanty arm and leg hair Some of the most famous cases of giantism came from Finland Brachycephal Forehead slopes only slightly or not at all High root Short arms Straight or slightly concave Lines of the chin nearly at right angle Eye slits horizontal but can rise at the outer corner. especially in women Frequent external fold Heavy jaw. known to rot eyebrows the teeth.80 Germ. blackened pinched their teeth to show Longish narIrish have characthey could afford row face teristically thick sugar. more light brown and golden blonds Scots: dark to light brown. Baltic Finland. North-West France. especially the nent but English.69 women 1. Welsh: darker brown and black. gray eyes with ash blond. Latvia. 1. Scottish. upturned nose. North-West Spain (Galicia). Fin. Ivory but not necessarily vascular. English women applied British have sulphur powder and unusually saffron to their hair Mesocephal long heads to create a fashionable red tint.76 Moderate mustache but faint beard Broad shoulders Straight hair but wavy beard Short and heavy legs. mostly 1. to some extent in Scandinavia 1. but Irish hair 1. to shoulders They had a long upper Irish characterized by face. a sloping forehead. light-mixed. the Scots and Irish are beard rest lighter in tallest. Broad forehead and jaw: the sides of the face parallel Medium wings Thin to medium lips 20-30% of darker eyes for all except the Irish. have the most pure red. tends to freckling and vascularity Irish: pinkishwhite The whole range of rufous hues English: the lightest-haired in this type. Welsh). wide chin Face looks large Broad forehead Small widely spaced eyes Prominent cheekbones Nostrils visible from the front Medium to thin lips Lithuanians: usually mixed blue-gray eyes Eyebrows can be paler than (light) hair. and prominent chin. who have almost only blue or green eyes. body hair Short arms Trunk is half the total height The Celts had rufous hair but bleached it as blond Hips narrow relatively was the beauty ideal.British Islanders British Isles (English.75 straight. In the Convex or 17th c. and stature then Welsh. The Cornish are more Euro-Mediterranean. no gray or dark.

Somewhat hybrid of Nordic and Baltic; Poland, Russia, Ukraine, East Germany, Czech, Slovakia, Serbia
1.78 Poland 1.76 Russia, Ukraine Straight to wavy hair Beard fairer than head hair Light beard and body hair Broad shoulders and hips Thick-set to medium built, corpulence common (especially in women)

France, South Germany, Switzerland, Austria, North Italy, the Tyrol, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland; some in Czech and Slovakia, 1.78 Czech 1.75 France, Italy (men) 1.66 It. women 1.62 Fr. women

Short, stocky, square-built Scanty body hair

Short neck Hair stiff and thick, beard on the thin side Woman’s hips narrower than other Europeans Short broad hands and feet Nose often short with bulbous end

Long arms and trunk compared to legs Russian women don’t like to have a thigh sweep or even calves: the leg is preferred as a continuous tapering cylinder.

Short nose

Polish patriotic epics around the 16th c. describe the ideal Slavic beauty as slightly corpulent, broad-hipped (to give birth to 10 children), a long braid of thick hair the color of wheat (one heroine was said to be able to wrap herself and her husband 3 times with her long braid), and eyebrows so dark one would think she darkened them with khol.

Short squat legs, thick calves

Brachycephal, sometimes hyperbrachycephal
Only juts back a little Very little neck to be seen above collar Short head, broad face Eyes low and widely spaced giving childlike quality Mediumsized nose
France: from light in the NW to dark in the SE (strains other than Alpine) Germany: light or mixed eyes (strains other than Alpine) Hungarians are too mixed to really be classified but they have the highest proportion of green eyes in the world

Tip horizontal, slightly turned up, sometimes snubbed Round face and plump cheeks are typical, and characterise the women of this type.

Eyebrows and eyelashes are dark even if hair is light Mediumbroad root Often redcheeked due to vascularity

Germans have a characteristically large head

Seen from front, ears protrude more because they’re turned forward French: medium to dark brown hair, usually rufous. Czech: medium brown to lighter shades that are more golden than ashen. German: varies from golden blonds to rufous browns.

In 19th-century Germany, being overweight was attractive (showed wealth). Young men duelled to gain facial scars, which were a sign of masculinity.

Light-mixed, gray shades

Dark brown rare in Poland

White to light brown

Medium to dark brown, dark ash-blond All shades of brown Light brown Platinum blond happens

The whole range of rufous hues


Mediterranean Europe: Italy, South France, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, the Balkans, Croatia, Montenegro; also Cornwall 1.80 Croatia Slender gracile stature, but can also be broad and rugged Long legs, short body Women have broad hips
Italian women used Belladonna, eyedrops to enlarge their pupils and look more beautiful. In 16th c. Venice they applied caustic soda to their hair and sat in the sun to turn it red-gold.

Greek Ancient and modern Greece, Anatolia
1.77 Greek 1.73

1.74 Spain, Portugal 1.62 women

1.71 Bulgaria 1.58 women

Hair straight or wavy, sometimes curly, medium to fine texture.

Hair often wavy, with heavy beard and body hair. Basques have narrow hips and broad shoulders so their thorax looks conical The early Romans were not very tall but often heavily built, with skulls flat on top and rounded on the sides. A meso- to brachycephalic head form was admired. Their hair was on the dark end of the ashen spectrum. The “Roman nose” is aquiline.

Thicker beard than the rest of Europe, abundant pilosity Greeks today show much physical continuity with those of Antiquity. We can guess the complexions of the Ancient Greeks from their familiarity with brown, gray, blue and “olive leaf ” eyes; “golden”, rufous and black hair; rosy white, “honey”-colored and brownish skin. Women bleached their hair to attain a blond ideal. A pale complexion was admired as a sign of an enviable life of leisure and wealth – women regularly used powdered white lead as make-up to look even paler. On the other hand, all the bad guys or grotesque characters in mythology are described as broadfaced, snub-nosed and heavily bearded.


Bulgarians: dolichocephal Back of head projects

Varies, can be convex or concave, but always short. Bulgarians: mostly straight nose

Except for the nose, modern Turks are very similar
In 17th-century Turkey the ideal woman was bold-faced, with precisely delineated features and a generously proportioned figure with curved hips. She would pluck her eyebrows into an elongated line and use kohl to join them in a continuous sweep over the bridge of the nose. The eyes would be outlined into a almond shape with extended lines at the outer corners, and the mouth rouged neatly.

Forehead slopes only barely Shallow here Straight “Grecian” nose almost parallel with the face, thick tip Forehead looks very wide Thick eyebrows, usually meet in the middle Medium to broad root Wings rather flaring
80% dark brown, some black or lighter brown

Rounded chin Basques: straight broad forehead, weak browridges, thin nose that can be aquiline, with thin tip, narrow mid-face, slender jaw, pointed chin. Italians: prominent Roman nose. Large eyes, can be almond-shaped and quite feminine compared to other Europeans Rounded forehead Thick dark eyebrows Face tends to be full rather than bony Slight blue tinge to the lips makes them more cherry-colored than red

Lips thicker than other Europeans Face and jaw narrower than Alpines
Spain: brown to “black”. Basques: medium, but also light or dark. Bulgaria: dark or mixed. Italy: dark-mixed (especially green-brown) or dark.

Turks have jaw wider than forehead

Light brown to olive

South Italy: mostly brown, some of it rufous, and black. Spain/Portugal: dark brown to black. Basque: 77% brown, otherwise light brown Spain: darkest skins are in to blond. the South (Moorish influ- Bulgaria: dark brown, ence). Andalusia: “honey- either ashen or rufous, but 50% of beards disskinned” (light brown). proportionately light Galicia: Light skin and eyes are common.

Pure dark

Ashen browns to black

Light brown Turks: also olive to dark brown


Armenians in Armenia and the diaspora
1.76 Medium stature, varies from heavy to tall Hair: low wave Very heavy beard and body hair: hairiness is a distinguishing feature.

Natives of Mount Lebanon (Druze, Maronites, Mutawali, Alaouites), to a lesser extent Palestine, Syria, Jordan
1.76 Hair wavy or curly (especially in Palestinians), heavy beard and body hair. Lebanese women are petite

Medium stature in-between Greek and Arab Incline to corpulence when occupation is sedentary

The Armenians say that when God gave the peoples of the world noses, they got the one at the bottom of the bag, that was the biggest and oddestlooking!

Phoenicians were dolicho- to mesocephal but otherwise share the convex nose and the average height that this group had until this century (1.60m).


Root and bridge very high, can start from forehead Very long nose, characteristically convex

Palestinians: back of the head is very flat, almost no curve. Forehead tends to be flat and sloping. Lebanese women have a reputation for beauty partially due to the extreme care they take of their appearance. They pluck their eyebrows into a thin high arch, shadow their eyes with a heavy dark outline stretched into an almond shape, and outline their lips with a hue darker than the lipstick used. In Over 80% pure Jordan and Lebanon brown eyes, many bleach their hair, and all body hair most of the rest green-brown is removed.
mixes, some pure blue Light to medium brown – the “whitest Middle Easterners”

Moderate browridges High broad bridge, often convex

Heavy eyelids Large eyes Medium to flaring wings Prominent, cleft chin

Nose consistently broad from root to tip Thin lips

Medium to broad root Large eyes

Wings not compressed Medium lips

Dark, light and mixed-brown Dark brown, also black or medium

Light to medium brown

The Phoenicians’ skin color was comparable to a “ripe date” or a “bay horse”. 87

Lebanese: Dark brown and black in equal measure, but also lighter browns and dark blonds. Palestinian: 80% black.

64 historically Hair wavy or curly Slight build. doesn’t cover the entire lower face.74 Saudi 1. longer-faced. Long legs.Arab A distinction must be made between the “pure” or historic type. often excessive Long legs Dolichocephal High narrow root Convex or straight nose Outer corner can slope up Narrow oblique nostrils Narrow bridge and tip Compressed wings Lips slightly turned out: seam is visible Dolichocephal Nose longer and broader than Arab nose Straight nose. 1. Narrow shoulders Body hair moderate. linear build Heavy body hair. lean. beard much heavier than Arabs.76 today Hair: low wave Taller. medium texture. Mesopotamian Iraq (direct lineage from ancient Mesopotamian and Sumerians) 1. sometimes convex Narrow face Rectangular face Upper face is high Big eyes Thick tip Fuller lips Today’s Gulf Arab looks more like this: Dark brown but 25% of light-mixed Patch of hair under lip is very common Bigger nose. and often absent. bare patches between end of mustache and chin beard. darkerskinned. who shows a heavy admixture of African features. straighterhaired than Arabs Thick head hair. Beard often slight.68 historically 1. that survives in Yemen. with wide. nostrils can be visible Medium brown Dark browns and mixed (especially green-brown) Light olive Today: olive but tanned to dark olive Brown-black Dark brown Black 88 . strong beard hair. and today’s “typical” Arab: the Gulf Arab. open never broad ringlets.

as it meant one could afford to eat much and work little. not high rooted Prominent chin Eyebrows typically medium in thickness and very extended laterally Narrow face Very long eye slits create characteristic shape Narrow nose Slender jaw Rufous hair sometimes occurred in ancient Egypt. but fat was even more attractive. many mixed patterns Light brown to dark brown as one goes South Black or very dark brown. and unmatched eyes are common. Women of high status wore red nail polish and coated their nipples with gold. modern coexist with Arab types. Until recently 12 and 13 year-old girls would be sent to “wife-fattening farms”. Black 89 . Copts are the best representatives today of the Ancient type) 1. The small ringlets. gray-brown.66 historically 1. Dark to light brown Dark brown Dark to light brown. beard sometimes lighter In Morocco half the Berbers have mixed (greenbrown.72 Hair straight or wavy Scanty beard and body hair. they dyed their skin with henna. In Mauritania.57 women In Ancient Egypt both women and men took much care of their looks. Women wore lipstick and blush made from red ochre. so hair fine texture extensions and wigs were used. hair must also be thick. A muscular physique was considered the natural state of the male body and therefore attractive. and could be quite red. green eye shadow from malachite.75 today 1. women should be as big and pale as possible. but it was regarded as a mark of the evil god Seth. and a curly with formula of juniper berry juice spirals of kept it from turning gray. Berber North Africa from the Western Sahara to Lybia 1. black eyeliner and mascara. or blue-brown) or light eyes. Shiny Hair: Mostly black hair was the ideal. For beauty standards today see Levantine.Egyptian Ancient and modern Egypt (Ancient coexisted with Nilotid types. Brachycephal Browridges often prominent Straight to aquiline nose Pointed chin frequently receding Dolichocephal Sloping forehead Nose often aquiline.

Jaw frequently deeper and heavier than among Arabs Long face Large eyes Long narrow nose Strong bony relief Dark brown Receding chin Sharp features as opposed to Mesopotamians Characteristically long upper face Small wings Thin to medium lips Uniformly: pure dark brown The Pashtun of Afghanistan have such a high proportion of green eyes they are often called “Hare Ankheian Vaale”: the green-eyed people. slanting eyes. Medium to tall Irano-Afghan Iran. broader shoulders. wavy or curly with ringlets Hands and feet long and very narrow.70 Kurds Very tall and lean Narrow shoulders and hips Seen from the side the chest is narrow as well Long arms and legs Long legs.78 1. short body Hair straight or wavy Heavy beard and body hair The Persian ideal of beauty for a woman: a broad moon faces. Black Medium to dark brown Natural color: medium brown (pure) to amrani (African admixture) Actual color: stained by the indigo of their clothes Persistent minority of blondism Dark brown Black 90 . fingers long and thin. salient nose In reality Tuareg men are never seen unveiled. a broader face (like example below). Afghanistan. bold black arched eyebrows extended to go down either side of the nose. Kurds 1. prominent mid-face. with narrow high forehead. Nose convex or straight Dolichocephal Usually convex.Tuareg Specialised nomadic Berber group of North Africa 1. a red mouth and long black hair Dolichocephal Large head Ideal to which many belong: diamond-shaped face. narrow jaw and pointed chin.74 Hair straight. no browridges.68-1. very fine wrists and ankles Mixed forms (lower classes) have a lower stature. Punjab.

yellowish brown to very dark brown Brown-black 91 .69 Straight or wavy hair Dolichocephal Straight or upturned nose Curved features Straight nose Elliptical face Large eyes Large eyes Often marked cheekbones Mediterranean facial features Rounded tip Medium to full lips Dark brown to “black” for the majority “Black”. but light eyes frequent enough to be a beauty ideal Black Reddish brown to very dark brown Black Noticeably dark. fine in texture (wavy only when mixed) Small stature North Indian Pakistan. northern India 1.62 Short.Rom Nomadic group spread all over the world (commonly known as Gypsies) 1. get taller when mixed Straight hair.

making the head look small Nose somewhat flat but small Full lips Eyebrows in rounded arch Average nose Oval face Pointed chin Very dark Dark olive brown Grey olive “Black” “Black” Black Brown-black Very dark brown Black 92 . 1. as darker skin was held in much higher regard (as a matter of fact gods and heroes were depicted with black skin while demons had white skin). Nowadays the tendency has reversed and. throughout India. fair skin and light eyes are sought after.55 Small stature Curly or wavy hair Curly or wavy hair Rounded forehead Slight prognathism Non-prominent chin Large eyes Round face Large eyes deep-set and widely spaced Prominent cheekbones Receding chin Face is large.58 Small stature Marco Polo reported that the Dravidians of South India anointed newborns with sesame oil to turn their skin darker. Sri Lanka. Tamil Vedda Aboriginal population of Sri Lanka (highland forests) 1.South Indian Southern India.48 women 1.

GENERAL AFRICAN Body type This is the group where body types vary the most spectacularly. They rarely slant. Like very small curls S-type Caucasian Nose African The funnel nose is specific to African types. but traditional African societies always shape. Left to its own devices it would grow out and up as below. Except for those very short types. Hands The hands are long.III. but not all of them have it. as it contains both the tallest and the shortest people on Earth. Seen from the side. cut or shave it. Bottom Nose tip and nostrils form one piece 93 Not curling so much as zigzagging Z-type . usually their axis is perfectly vertical. It is broad and flat with flaring wings that pass over to the nose. Forearm longer than upper arm Beard and body hair are meager Lower leg longer than thigh Women’s shoulders tend to be broader than their hips. Flat feet Ears Ears are characteristically small. with nails that cover most of the end of the finger. the stature is mostly tall. the finger tips taper rather than being padded. Hair African hair is mostly frizzy. When representing a native culture it is essential to look up its distinguishing hairdo(s). with a soldered lobe and an excessive roll to the helix.

Hausa. blunt tip. turned out. Plump stocky build. especially in women 1.. plump bottom Steep narrow forehead Low straight bridge. vaulted stomach. health and beauty) and a small mouth (quiet and calm). high breasts for women.. upturned in women Clear prognathy Short neck Broad face squared in men. funnel nose Scarification is a highly important beautification practice for men and women in many tribes. big mouth Receding chin Low face Root of the nose very flat and broad Cheekbones project a bit.66 Robust longer upper body Body hair and beard stronger than in other Africans Short arms and legs Frizzy hair Hanging breasts 1. The Baule (Ivory Coast) notion of ideal beauty: an elaborate coiffure. where all the characters are found in their purest form. flattened forehead and elongated head. Strong arching of the lower back.75 Broad shoulders No body hair men Central African Central jungle region: Congo. rounded in women Funnel nose but less broad than Sudanid Lips turned out and thick.65 women Breasts conical or hanging Tall.63-1. well-padded in women Blue-reddish lips In Congo and among the Asante of Ghana the heads of newborns are massaged to create the beauty ideal of a large.. Steep narrow forehead Root of nose is flat Rounded tip Clear prognathy Soft chin. and beauty scarification. Guinea. Mandingues. a long neck with horizontal “beauty lines”. Wolof. 1. strongly built Long legs Women have a narrow pelvis Dolichocephal Long narrow skull Back of head projects strongly Small gracile ear Slim strong neck Face big and quite long Low. “Black” Very dark brown to brown-black Brown-black Very dark brown but can be lighter “Black” Brown-black 94 . bulky nose bridge Nostrils broad and inflated.Sudanid The extreme of African types. but less than Sudanid. tendency to amass fat. From Senegal to Sudan. Bambara. sometimes receding Cheekbones can project to the sides. muscles Mesocephal for men. muscular calves. big mouth “Plump is beautiful” – in many tribes women are fattened with special food before marriage. broad. The patterns differ from culture to culture so research is needed. giving the face a diamond shape Very bulging lips. Also desired are rings of fat around the neck (wealth. well-defined facial features..

Herero in Namibia 1. South Africa: Mozambique. the darkest Africans of all “Black” “Black” Brown-black to blue-black Basically chocolate. but can vary greatly Brown-black Maasai can be chocolate 95 . white teeth Long face Men tend to have angular coarse facial bones while women have a soft full rounding of features Lips thick but in a toned-down way High narrow root Close-set eyes Narrow nose but flaring nostrils Strongly inflated nostrils Brown-black to blue-black. Angola.70 Bantu 1. elongated ear lobes. Shillouk. straight nose. short hair. smooth complexion. care for one’s appearance. Turkana 1. oval face.80 but easily reach 2m Small head relative to body Very long forearms Weak beard No body hair Mixed types defined less by what they have in common than by how they contrast with other Africans. Zulu in South Africa. broad forehead. but not as plump and stocky as Central Africans Men have broad shoulders and strong muscles Beard can be quite strong but no body hair Women can have long trunks Very arched lower back and vaulted hanging stomach in men and women Legs Thin often calfs short A full figure in women is a symbol of prosperity and status. Gaunt. tall stature. white teeth. beaded jewelry (seen as part of the body). but recedes only in women Men’s face tends to square.62 Turkana Half-ball breasts with very small nipples Slim straight profile Body type similar to Sudanese but not as extreme Smaller height and shorter arms and legs than Nilotids. due to cheekbones that project sideways and front The Wodaabe beauty ideal: lithe sinewy body.Nilotid Northeast Africa in the Nile area.64-1. Dinka. Long high head Small short flat nose. Maasai. rounded tip Chin weak. Kalenjin. very long legs Almost calf-less lower legs Narrow head that projects back Small ears Browridges hardly marked Straight narrow nose Strong chin but no prognathy The Maasai beauty ideal: cleanliness. Luo. women’s to round or chubby-oval. lower East Africa. bright eyes. Nuer. delicate lips.

more concurrent eyebrows Narrow tip Thick lips Straight nose. short arms Slim hands. Amharas. Amhara/ Galla breasts tend to hang.Ethiopid Ancient mix of African and Arab. brown-black Brown-black 96 . Somalis 1.64 Sidamo Curly to frizzy hair. Somali: dark brown and “black” Occasional greenbrown or greybrown mixture Ethiopians divide themselves into 4 different skin colors: yellow. 1. Somali can look beaky Jaw narrowness reaches a world extreme in the Somalis Amhara. red and black Amhara: dark to very dark brown Galla: chocolate to dark brown Somali: amrani. Somalis tend to curly and some have straight hair Hips narrower than shoulders Difference between male and female is slight Small feet Somali women have gracefully built bodies with small conical breasts.67 Amhara 1. sometimes bent. Somali Slim tall stature Long legs. the Somalis value steatopygia.74 Galla. yellow-red. Galla: dark and mixed brown Sidamo. long face Big eyes Galla and Sidamo can have inner fold like in Asian eyes and oblique eye slits High forehead. long fingers Thin arms and calves Scant body hair Weak beard High. Eritrea). Sidamos. Gallas. wider than jaws Amhara and Somali have thicker. narrow angular shoulders Slim straight profile “Banana” body shape very common in women. Dolichocephal Ears slant characteristically Strong chin but no prognathy. heavy in Somali High root Sidamo nose is more African Narrow head. Somali chin however is receding Browridges slight or absent in Galla/ Sidamo. Ethiopia (Abyssinia. Somaliland. moderate in Amhara. peculiar to them Sidamo: dark brown. Despite their slender figure. so a rich young man looking for a wife will have the girls stand in a line and choose the one who projects furthest behind.

strongish pilosity Lower back strongly arched Small skull Mesocephal Steep low forehead Round nose tip Pointed chin Peppercorn hair Short neck Pygmies file their teeth to a point.20m 1. Receding chin Jutting cheekbones Relatively thin lips Eye folds Broad nose Cheekbones project a bit Proportionately. Biaka in North Congo. San (aka Hottentots) 1. the biggest nose of humankind Broad lower jaw Inflated nostrils Moderately thick lips “Black” “Black” Brown-black Khoi San Very dark brown Twa: brownblack Brown-black Twa: blueblack 97 ..60 men 1. Rwanda. South Congo. Twa in Uganda.44-1.44 women Weak beard No body hair Muscular stature Long broad trunk on short legs Steatopygia can reach spectacular proportions in women Head looks big in relation to body Angular shoulders Curly hair. today mostly in Namibia and Botswana. Can be as short as 1. Khoi (aka Bushmen). something they find much more aesthetic.. Baka in Cameroon.60 Twa 1.55-1.53 men 1. Mbuti in Zaire.50 Skin very wrinkled women Pigmy Rain forests of equatorial Africa.Khoisan Aboriginal inhabitants of South Africa.

finer features. Deep-set eyes. 98 . dark hair. PACIFIC TYPES Also known as Australoids. are a little shorter and lankier. Abundant wavy or curly hair Large head Moderate to strong beard Heavier than Micronesians or Polynesians Obesity is a sign of affluence and well-being Receding forehead Prominent brow arches Projecting straight nose. Very dolichocephal The hair of elderly Aboriginals often has dark grey roots while turning white as it grows out. islands northeast of Australia.IV. Australian Aboriginal Aboriginals of Northern and Central Australia. New Guinea. Fiji. Southern Aboriginals are different in the ways listed below. and moderate height. can be beakshaped Robust stature Broad shoulders Abundant wavy or curly hair Moderate to strong beard Thickset and massive body with a tendency to corpulence 1. 1.60 Melanesian Papua. What they have in common is a dark skin.55 Southern: lighter hair and skin. pretty much always in shadow Rough bony features Prominent brow arches Root of the nose is not flat. unlike African noses Very elongated cranium Convex nose wide at the nostrils and narrow at the root Lips very full but not turned out Large face Wide lower jaw Thick lips Nose very wide but not high “Black” Brown-black Southern: very dark brown or coffee Brown-black Blue-black “Black” Coffee Brown-black Blue-black Ash blond dominates in parts of Centre and of the South. these are types that don’t fit the other 3 but are not necessarily related to each other.

full-bodied women more attractive than thin ones.Polynesian Islands of the Central and eastern Pacific: Hawaii. and the occasional presence of epicanthal fold. short legs Maori men are known for the warrior tattoos on their face and body. Blue-black Maori: medium brown Brown to dark brown So dark it can take on bluish tinge “Black” Coffee Brown-black Brown-black 99 . Bali.48 men Wavy hair Head is particularly big in Maori Weak pilosity Stature tends to massive Range from relatively light skinned with almost caucasian features to darkerskinned and Asianlooking (Tahiti) Well-proportioned despite their small size 1. New Zealand. Other Polynesians have more prognathy and a nose that projects less full lips Maori have thinner lips Lips full but not turned out The islands of Micronesia are home to a physically heterogeneous population that is smaller than the Polynesians. Samoa.37 women No facial or body hair Stout body. Bora Bora. Dark brown with hair that varies from straight to spirally. Tahiti. Feet higher in status and slightly closer to the world of spirits (not to mention inward more beautiful). especially in Maori Occasional presence of epicanthic fold Maori profile. In Vanuatu babies’ heads are bound to produce an elongated shape of the head Long that makes a person legs look more intelligent.72 Negrito Philippines to New Guinea “Asian pygmies” 1. Easter Island 1. skin from medium brown to chocolate. Brachycephal high forehead Large straight nose Steatopygia is common Broad straight nose Prognathy Weak chin Peppercorn hair Broad face Large eyes Root broad and flat Epicanthic fold frequent Prominent cheek bones Rounded jaw-line Broad and heavy face. Micronesians consider large.

Average heights: 1. lips full. 1.V.Larger and rounder eyes. Africans are significantly presenty in: Guyana. 1.79 for men.64 for women mainly descended from Dutch and British settlers of the 17th. 1.Pronounced cheekbones – in other parts of the world Okinawans are frequently mistaken for Filipinos or Native Americans. . 1.58 for women Jamaica: 1. 18th and 19th centuries.61 for women Mexico: 1. Average heights: 1.61 for women Brazil: 1. Average heights: 1. Uruguay and Chile Mestizos in: Mexico (followed by indigenous people).74 cm Okinawan: Not a mixed type proper.74 for men. so that many African-Americans retain African features but have only light dark skin. 1. Studies estimate the average African-American is 20% European or more. NOTES ON MIXED TYPES The following are notes about the mixed populations that are not treated as primary types.75 for men.69 for men. and Ecuador Andids (Quechua. See history and demographics of both countries for details of how much of which ethnicities moved there and when.52 for women Latin American: These countries feature descendants of all of the following ethnic groups: Euro-Mediterranean (mostly Spanish and Portuguese). The dilution can be every pronounced. the white population of Canada that has been settled long enough to consider Canada as their country of origin) as opposed to “Canadian” (which would include other ethnic groups both old. Brazil. Americans tend not to have extreme facial features. such as the First Nations. such as the Chinese. and Spanish among its components.65 for women Afrikaner: The European population in South Africa is White Australian: That population is mainly of Brit- 100 . eyes are large. although today’s eating habits have boosted the average. see history. Note however that these types are rarely if ever found in their “primary” state.61 for women White Canadian: They descend from early European Black American: This group is overwhelmingly of Western African descent (Sudanid type) and presents its characteristics in a watered down way. Differences with mainland Japanese include: . Venezuela. 1. Paraguay.78 for men. Brown or hazel eyes are the most common for people of Iberic.77 for men. [West] African. Average heights: Australia: 1. 1.61 for women New Zealand: 1. Malay (Southeast Asian). Suriname and Ecuador. 1.73 Uruguay: 1. 1. See history and demographics for details of how much of which ethnicities moved there and when. 1. Average heights: 1. both of which are treated under their respective types. Colombia.74 Paraguay: 1. Mestizo (mixed European and Amerindian: they have the basic structure of the former with the darker skin and broader facial features of the latter.) with large populations of the above as well as communities of Levantine and Chinese origin.65 for women settlers who were mostly British. Excess weight is more common in the US than anywhere else in the world. Average heights: Argentina: 1.74 for men. giving each country a particular demographic feel: Euro-Mediterraneans are the majority in: Argentina.69 for men. nose rather flat.Much shorter in size. French. occasionally with very long eyelashes.55 for women Colombia: 1. One can only evoke broad characteristics: faces tend to be round and not squared (“moon faces”). . Filipino: An important mixed type including Negrito.70 for men. Brazil is the most diverse country in South America. Okinawans consider themselves closer to Southeast Asia and China in terms of racial and cultural heritage. Indian. 1.67 for men. Note that I qualify the groups so they are not confused with a country’s general. and that the watering down of features leads to them getting evened out – in other words.72 for men. and new.e. 1.Much darker skin to the point of it being a stereotype in japanese minds (even though the dark skin is more due to the climate than to a difference in pigmentation).58 for women Cuba: 174. Indian. Average heights: 1.Abundant body hair .63 cm for men. 1. for details. . Again.70 for men. African origin.58 for women Peru: 1. skin is in the lighter range of this part of the world. Venezuela.0 cm Chile: 1.55 for women Mexican-Americans: 1.59 for women ish and Irish descent.). The proportions of these groups vary. For instance “White Canadian” (i. Scottish and Irish. however. Aymara) in: Peru and Bolivia Indians in: form the largest ethnic groups in Guyana and Suriname. Amerindian (respective to location). contemporary demographics. 1. Colombia. White American: They run the gamut of all the Old World types that have migrated to the US and there’s no common feature to pin down.69 for men.

http://www15.html Finally.org/BOOK/text-group-BodyChapters.Bibliography Most of the research presented in this book comes personal observation or from isolated facts pieced together from literally hundreds of sources both in print or online. are of questionable ideology or used to serve equally questionable agendas. http://www. Hans F. Center for Nonverbal Studies. Carleton Stevens Coon [The last two sources. used for the Human Types chapter. Desmond Morris The Racial Elements of European History.eyebrowz. http://center-for-nonverbal-studies. Human Development 19: Life Cycles. Many that I sourced are unfortunately no longer online. I adhere to neither and did my best to cross-check the material with neutral sources.andaman.or. Gûnther The Races of Europe. Burne Hogarth Bodytalk.org/ The Andamanese. http://entomology. Jack Hamm Le dessin anatomique facile. I gathered a lot of anthropological info through the now-defunct DODONA: Human Biodiversity Discussion Forum http://dodona. Publications: Drawing the Head and Figure. Lecture 6.com/index. I list here only those sources that offered a significant amount of material.com Pointe Shoe Quick Fit Chart. Kinship and Growth in Human Populations.proboards.edu/courses/hde19/lecture6.plala.cgi 101 .jp/miagolare/Eng_Fitting_Chart. K.] Online resources: The following websites were still up as of December ‘09.html Darken & Shape your Eyebrows.ucdavis. http://www.htm University of California.

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