A couple of years ago author Mark Simon released a terrific reference book for artists, simply titled Facial Expressions. The 256-page book contains over 3,000 photos of 50 male and female “models” (mostly friends of the author, I suspect) making a variety of facial expressions from various angles. There’s also a section of mouth phonemes and a few pages showcasing hats and headgear. The acting and photography is a bit amateurish at times but overall it’s a very helpful book. I’ve found myself cracking it open often. There are many photo reference books available to artists, but this is the only modern photo book I’m aware of that focuses solely on facial expressions. That makes it a valuable resource.
Simon is now releasing a follow-up volume, Facial Expressions Babies to Teens. Like many artists, I sometimes struggle to draw children of various ages (for instance, making a nine-year-old look different from a twelve-year-old). So I’m really looking forward to this book. It also has sections on phonemes and hats, and something called an “age progression gallery”, so it should be very helpful. According to Amazon.com, the book will be released on June 10.
You can order both volumes from Amazon.com through my Recommended Resources page.